The Top 10 Inflammation-Fighting Foods

Don't make over-the counter anti-inflammatory medication your go-to solution. Choose this all-natural solution instead.

June 1, 2017
dark chocolate coconut oil
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When you have a headache or joint pain, the easy fix is to reach for an over-the counter anti-inflammatory. However, recent studies show an alarming trend. 

It turns out that even one dose of the most popular OTC and prescription anti-inflammatories is enough to significantly increase your risk of heart attack! When taken regularly or in large doses, those same drugs can also cause serious gastrointestinal damage.

More: 11 Food Rules For The Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Fortunately, there's a healthier, all-natural way to ease inflammation, and it's on your kitchen table. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other nutrients are natural anti-inflammatories. By eating them regularly, you can lower your risk for inflammation and its harmful effects.

That's important because chronic inflammation is a factor in almost every major disease, from type 2 diabetes and heart disease to Hashimoto's and fibromyalgia. Inflammation can also speed up aging, make it hard to lose weight, and cause issues with digestion.

More: 11 Weird Things Inflaming Your Body

The great news is that the foods on the handy list below are not only natural anti-inflammatories, they taste fantastic! It's an easy choice to add more to your diet.

Here are my top 10 foods to fight inflammation naturally:

flaxseed
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1. Seeds (chia or flaxseed)

Chia and flaxseed are great sources of anti-inflammatory fiber and healthy omega-3s, and they easily blend into your morning protein shake.

Add it: Make your own Overnight Oats that feature both chia seeds and flaxseeds. 

Tree nuts
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2. Tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios—not peanuts)

Nuts help fight inflammation with clean protein and healthy fats, and they're equally at home in dinner or dessert.

Add it: Follow these simple baking rules to add nuts to your favorite pastries and baked goods. 

Berries
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3. Berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)

Berries are packed full of antioxidants, omega-3s, and fiber—all that, and they're tasty too!

Add it: Making sure they're not the dirtiest foods in your supermarket, add berries to these favorite smoothie recipes

Turmeric
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4. Turmeric (a.k.a. curcumin)

Long used in traditional Eastern medicine, turmeric contains chemicals that mimic your body's own natural anti-inflammatories.

Add it: Whip up a turmeric latte (it'll quickly replace your favorite PSL) or a tropical turmeric cleanser smoothie for an antioxidant boost.

Ginger
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5. Ginger

Not only does ginger soothe digestion and ease nausea, it can help decrease inflammation system-wide. 

Add it: A ginger-spice smoothie will put you in fat-burning mode and you can even use it to spice up your bone broth

Garlic
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6. Garlic

The sulfur compounds in garlic help stimulate your immune system and limit your body's inflammatory response.

Add it: To supercharge the healing power of garlic, turn it into a homemade roasted garlic spread or a DIY garlic hummus

salmon
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7. Fatty fish (wild-caught tuna or salmon)

The healthy omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish make them rockstars of the anti-inflammatory world.

Add it: Avoiding the fish you should never eat, follow these rules to buy better fish and enjoy the nutritional benefits. 

Leafy green vegetables
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8. Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, or chard)

Leafy greens contain so many natural anti-inflammatories, including antioxidants and fiber. Don't love the taste? Blend them up in a smoothie!

Add it: Toss them into these green smoothies we love, or add them into hearty soup recipes

Coconut oil
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9. Coconut oil

The health benefits of coconut oil are numerous, thanks to medium chain triglycerides that naturally lessen inflammation, plus lauric acid to boost your immune system.

Add it: It's one of the healthiest cooking oils, so add it to your cooking routine, but here's a bonus for you: there are many ways to use coconut oil, other than in the kitchen. 

Dark chocolate
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10. Dark chocolate

The flavanols in cacao help prevent inflammation that causes aging and disease, so dark chocolate is officially a health food! 

Add it: Throw them into a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe, a chocolate avocado mousse, or in a chocolate truffle to satisfy cravings. 

More than anything! Remember, fresh is always best. But if you're not eating the foods above on a daily basis, consider adding a high-quality multivitamin and omega-3 supplement to your daily routine. Turmeric, ginger, and garlic are also available in concentrated capsule form for a natural anti-inflammatory boost.

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