5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Manage Autoimmune Diseases

These days, “inflammation” is a major buzzword. Everyone seems to be on a mission to fight it – but why? Well, if you have an autoimmune disease, inflammation is the process behind problematic symptoms. Eating anti-inflammatory foods will keep things under control.

What Is An Autoimmune Disease?

The immune system protects the body by attacking viruses, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens. This keeps infection and sickness at bay. However, an autoimmune disease makes the immune system target the body by mistake, causing harm to perfectly healthy tissue and cells.


Symptoms show up in the form of inflammation. Redness, heat, pain, and swelling are common signs, but specifics depend on the body part affected. Most autoimmune diseases act in more than one area. Examples of autoimmune diseases include the following:1

  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Graves’ disease
  • Vitiligo
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Autoimmune diseases can’t be cured, but proper management will prevent flare-ups. Start by focusing on the diet and eating foods that fight inflammation.


Foods With Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Properties

1. Avocado

Half an avocado contains 6.7 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids

There’s a reason why avocados are all the rage. Half an avocado offers 6.7 grams of anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fatty acids. It also contains antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, along with magnesium, fiber, and potassium. Avocado is also versatile and delicious! Spread it on toast, add it to salads, or make fresh guacamole.2


Even avocado oil combats inflammation. For instance, the Arthritis Foundation recommends avocado oil for its anti-inflammatory effects. Use it in cooking or even as a light dressing.3

2. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids


Fatty fish is one of the healthiest sources of protein. It’s packed with omega-3 fat, a type of anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acid. Tasty examples include salmon, tuna, and trout. Shellfish like crab and oysters also offer these nutritious fats.4

In fact, eating fatty fish reduces serum C-reactive protein, a biomarker of inflammation. Moreover, long-term intake has been shown to prevent and reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.5 6


Toss it into a salad to bulk up your greens. To control inflammation even more, flavor fatty fish with spices and herbs instead of salt.7

3. Nuts

Nuts contain minerals and essential vitamins


When you’re craving a crunchy snack, reach for nuts. You’ll get a generous dose of anti-inflammatory nutrients like magnesium, fiber, and unsaturated fatty acids. In turn, inflammatory markers like serum C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 will decrease.8

With so many types of nuts out there, there’s something for everyone. Cashews, almonds, and peanuts are delicious choices. Just be sure to buy unsalted nuts to avoid added sodium.


4. Green Tea

Green tea contains catechins

Green tea is known for its antioxidant plant chemicals called catechins. But the benefits don’t stop there! Catechins also possess anti-inflammatory properties, making it an awesome drink for autoimmune disease. Black tea also contains some catechins but not as much. The tea can be enjoyed either hot or cold. You can even add a cup of cooled tea to a refreshing smoothie.9

5. Eggs

Eggs contain a lot of protein and have anti-inflammatory properties

Like salmon, eggs provide high-quality protein, but be sure to eat the whole egg. The yolk is packed with anti-inflammatory lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients related to vitamin A. The unsaturated lipids will also add to the inflammation-fighting action.10 11

From scrambled to boiled, eggs can be enjoyed in countless ways. Try mixing mashed avocado with a hardboiled egg for a delicious anti-inflammatory sandwich.

While you’re at it, avoid pro-inflammatory foods. It’s the best thing you can do for autoimmune disease. Red meat, refined starches, and added sugars are the biggest offenders.12 13