13 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Can Eat

anti-inflammatory foods to eat
anti-inflammatory foods to eat

Inflammation has been implicated in a host of health problems from rheumatoid arthritis to cardiovascular diseases, chronic inflammatory conditions, and even cancer. Research suggests that your diet could play a key role in supplying bioactive constituents as well as nutrients that can modulate inflammatory processes.1 There are some foods you should include in your weekly diet plan to ensure you are doing what you can to cut inflammation in your body. Just be sure you’re having them as part of a balanced diet, and avoid binging on any one or consuming more than what would constitute normal dietary intake. If you intend having large quantities of any foods, do check with a doctor first for any side effects or drug interactions.

Here are some anti-inflammatory foods to cut inflammation:


1. Olive Oil

Monounsaturated fat extra virgin olive oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids which can inhibit inflammation. Studies have shown its effectiveness in combating inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, and even cancer.2

2. Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is a delicious hassle-free way to include an anti-inflammatory food in your diet. Its inflammation fighting ability has even been employed to treat hypertensive patients.3 Pomegranates contain phytochemicals that can help suppress inflammatory signalling in colon cancer cells. In other words, they could be important to prevent tumor cells from proliferating.4


3. Turmeric

Golden yellow spice Turmeric, with its active component curcumin, has health benefits aplenty. And much of its therapeutic potential or immune boosting properties, are linked to the anti-inflammatory action of this spice.5

4. Ginger

The warm heat of ginger can spice up a meal instantly and is central to certain cuisines from South and Southeast Asia. Its benefits as a herbal remedy have been tapped by cultures the world over. Scientific research now backs up its claims as an effective herbal medicinal product that has “broad anti-inflammatory properties”. 6


5. Onions

Quercetin has made a place for itself in the annals of anti-inflammatory foods of importance. Onions, rich in this flavonol, have this anti-inflammatory property as well.7

Quercetin works by stabilizing cells responsible for histamine response, resulting in both an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effect.8


6. Green Leafy Vegetables

Stock up on those collard greens. Experts say that green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are good anti-inflammatory foods. The antioxidants and polyphenols it contains are compounds that have a protective effect against inflammation.9

7. Sweet Potatoes

Even the humble sweet potato could be good for you when it comes to inflammation. Animal studies have revealed that the purple sweet potato inhibits proinflammatory molecule production. This may be of significance when it comes to halting the progress of inflammatory brain disease.10


8. Walnuts

The ellagic acid in walnuts has anti-inflammatory properties, acting to prevent plaque formation and the hardening of arteries that is linked to increased risk of stroke, heart attacks, and heart disease.11 And if that wasn’t enough reason to stash some nuts in your larder, there’s the anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids of which walnuts have plenty.12

9. Chrysanthemum Tea

A delicate cup of chrysanthemum tea may hardly seem like it has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. But looks can be deceptive. This floral brew inhibits inflammatory pathways in your body, helping you dodge or battle problems like chronic inflammation.13


10. Berries

Berries with their quercetin and other phenolic compounds like flavonoids with antioxidant properties are so good for you, it should come as no surprise that they have some serious potential in the anti-inflammatory department as well. They can, among other things, inhibit proinflammatory molecule production helping cut inflammation, besides increasing apoptosis or cell death of tumor cells, making them a useful dietary anti-cancer agent.14

11. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is now well-known for its ability to help you cut inflammation in the body, and many a remedy is available in books and online that incorporate the spice. Research backs this up, explaining that the flavonoid compounds like gossypin,quercetin, gnaphalin, hypolaetin, oroxindin, hesperidin, and hibifolin in cinnamon are responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties.15


12. Bitter Melon

An acquired taste, the bitter melon contains phenolic compounds that have strong antioxidant power and are also anti-inflammatory and immune boosting.16

13. Fatty Fish

No list of inflammation fighting foods would be complete without mention of fatty fish. Fish like mackerel, tuna, sardines, and salmon are rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation. Some rely on fish oil to deliver a more potent dose, but you could take a less contentious route and simply up dietary intake of these fish.17