Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness

Top 12 Anti-Inflammatory Foods


Diana Herrington    May 3, 2015

Inflammation is an important immune system function. But, when out of control, it can cause serious damage. Inflammation has been linked to major diseases such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and signs of aging. (To learn more about inflammation, read Inflammation: The Slow Silent Killer.)

There’s good news: many foods are naturally anti-inflammatory. Antioxidants found in foods protect your cells from the effects of free radicals and can help reduce an overabundance of inflammation in your body.

12 Natural Anti-Inflammatory Foods

1. Beets, with their wonderful red color, are a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Beets can boost your energy and lower your blood pressure. A single serving of 500 ml. beetroot juice has been shown to reduce blood pressure by 10.4/8 mm. Beets are high in nitrates; this study showed that a serving of beetroot juice boosted athletic performance by 1-3 percent.

2. Blueberries have been found to reduce inflammation in many studies on animals; there are yet to be more studies done on humans. Studies do indicate that blueberries are good for brain health. It is best to eat organic berries since pesticides on berries are hard to wash away due to their size.

3. Broccoli is loaded with detoxifying antioxidants. Broccoli is a particularly rich source of kaempferol and isothiocyanates, both anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. Broccoli even has a significant amount of omega 3 fatty acids, which is a well known anti-inflammatory.

4. Flaxseed oil has a balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.  The omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation. Research studies show lignans can slow the growth of prostate cancer cells. It was also found that lignans may play an important role in increasing breast cancer survival. Three studies following thousands of women diagnosed with breast cancer were published at PubMed Central®.


5. Green Tea contains many  anti-inflammatory flavonoids.  A 2002 study found the most abundant catechin of green tea (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) to be a potent anti-inflammatory compound with therapeutic potential. The antioxidant properties of green tea are so effective that studies have shown a 22 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer, a 48 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer and an amazing 57 percent reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

6. Garlic can help reduce inflammation. At Washington State University they found garlic to be 100 times more effective than two antibiotics at fighting the Campylobacter bacterium — one of the causes of intestinal illness.

7. Ginger: Ginger helps reduce inflammation and control blood sugar. Ginger tea is a great addition to any diet. A study published in the National Library of Medicine compared ginger extract to common pain killers and found ginger to be very effective in reducing pain.

8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil helps fight inflammation.

Olive oil is full of polyphenols which protect the heart and blood vessels from inflammation.

9. Onions contain quercetin, a potent antioxidant that can help your body fight inflammation.

Onions stimulate the respiratory tract and help expelling sputum (phlegm). The onion is also a proven antioxidant and may be helpful in treating certain cancers. To learn more about the supporting research done on onions, read: Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research.

10. Seaweed contains a complex carbohydrate called fucoidan that studies have shown to reduce inflammation. Seaweeds contain 14 times more calcium by weight than milk. Kelp, kombu, wakame and arame are good sources of seaweed.

11. Spinach is one of the highest nutrient-dense foods. It contains a unique mixture of phytonutrients, is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components which help protect against cellular damage.

12. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to be more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway at the molecular level.


15 thoughts on “Top 12 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

  1. Reblogged this on Simple Living Over 50.

  2. I have arthritis in my spine that can be pretty uncomfortable when inflammation sets in. Among my other morning dietary supplements, I take curcumin, which contains turmeric and it seems to help a lot. I didn’t realize how many other anti-inflammatory foods I eat. Garlic, ginger, onions, spinach, seaweed, and broccoli. Thanks for the helpful list.

  3. Thank you so much for re-blogging this for us.. my arthritic knees thank you…

    Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura

  4. Reblogged this on Let Food HEAL Your Body! and commented:
    This is a must read for anyone suffering with any kind of illness… Inflammation is at the root of it and these foods will relieve the symptoms!

    • Inflammation causes way too many problems for a lot of us. It’s nice to have tasty, non drug forms of relief as an alternative.

      • Amen to that!! My go to anti inflammatory spices are ginger and turmeric. I’ve sprinkled a healthy dose into my tea and nutriblasts for the last two years and I’ve never needed Tylenol or aspirin since 🙂

  5. nice post. kudo’s for educating people about inflammation.

  6. Love the post! That is why we switched to a plant based diet, it is just so much healthier. Great blog, I am a new follower, thanks to seeing the re-post on Simple Living over 50! Cheers, Suz.


  7. I think I must look into Flaxseed oil a good deal more closely as I have been aware of it for many years but have never bothered with it. Now I am most bariatric, I am finding nutrition is a major thing to consider even though I still allow poor food choices into the diet, there are no where near the amount there were before surgery… Green tea is the best and I am already a convert to that one!

  8. Reblogged this on sliceofheaveninsweden and commented:
    The top anti inflammation foods to eat.

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