The 10 BEST Inflammation-Fighting Foods You Need To Be Eating

 | 16 Comments  | Articles, Health, Nutrition


Fighting inflammation is quickly becoming a major health priority—and for good reason, considering inflammation is linked to everything from bloating and acne to life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.

Here are 10 of the BEST anti-inflammatory foods you NEED to be eating!

1. Turmeric. Turmeric was one of the most trending pins in Pinterest in 2016 until now. Turmeric – a member of the ginger family, contains Curcumin a powerful antioxidant that has long been used in Chinese and Indian systems of medicine, as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions. One of these conditions is cancer.  Turmeric can destroy cancer cells and promote healthy cell function. It also helps prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for the growth of cancer cells. Turmeric changes the regulation of DNA, blocks certain enzymes that promote the growth of cancer cells, and because of its mega antioxidants, it reduces the inflammation in the body.

“Turmeric (the yellow powder that is one of the components of yellow curry) is the most potent natural anti-inflammatory identified today. It also helps stimulate apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells and inhibit angiogenesis (the formation and development of blood vessels that feed tumors). In the laboratory, it enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reduces tumor growth.” – David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph. D

Out of any nutrient, turmeric is the one that has the most HUMAN trial-based evidence (not rats, not mice, squirrels or whatever) in being universally useful for just about every type of cancer. This culinary spice helps the body to destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout the body and cause more harm.

Other benefits of turmeric:

•    Effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis

•    Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis

•    Help for Cystic Fibrosis Sufferers

•    Reduces risk of childhood leukemia

•    Improves liver function

•    Lowers cholesterol

•    Protects against Alzheimer disease

•    Relieves arthritis

•    Boost immune system

•    Improves digestion

2. Berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and the dozen other varieties of berries out there, contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins may reduce inflammation, boost immunity and reduce the risk of heart disease. Berries also tend to be lower in sugar than most fruits. By replacing your high sugar fruits with berries, you are significantly reducing the amount of sugar you consume.

Your body produces natural killer cells known as NK. NK helps keep your immune system healthy and functioning properly. A study done by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that men who consumed blueberries every day produced more NK cells than those who didn’t. Eating berries is a tasty and potent way to fight inflammation.

3. Salmon.  One of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids is salmon.  A study done by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found Omega-3s to be some of the most potent anti-inflammatory substances that result in consistent relief of inflammation, and reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medications.

Research continues to show that Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. In the

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide for The University of Maryland Medical Center, it is stated that Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for memory, cognitive performance and behavioral functions.

Sick with wild-caught salmon, as it has the highest and best quality of Omega-3 fatty acids over farm-raised fish.

4. Bone broth. Bone broths is full of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, and others, in the best form that your body can easily absorb.  Bone broth also contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the very same compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.

Bone broth provides healing and protection against leaky gut. Leaky gut is a condition in which your intestinal wall has tiny tears, causing waste, food, and bacteria to travel through and get into your bloodstream. This leads to inflammation, and many other autoimmune conditions. Bone broth helps heal the gut, and repair and reduce the damage of inflammation in your intestinal wall.

As a bonus, bone broth is full of collagen. As we age, we lose collagen. By consuming bone broth, we’re kept youthful on the inside and out.

5. Avocados. Avocados are an incredible, “superfood.” Known for their healthy fats, avocados are packed with potassium, fiber, and magnesium. Multiple 2005, 2009 and 2015 studies in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, found avocados to be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer thanks to containing the compounds carotenoids and tocopherols. Another study shows that they provide the compound AV119 (a natural sugar in avocados) which helps reduce inflammation. Overall, avocados contain potent compounds that not only reduce your inflammation but cancer risk as well.

6. Green Tea. By now, most of us know that green tea is good for us but do you know why? A 2010 Literature review in NCBI, showed green tea to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and other conditions. This is contributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, especially the potent antioxidant called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate).

According to Authority Nutrition, “EGCG inhibits inflammation by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production and damage to the fatty acids in your cells.” The high EGCG in green tea is excellent for reducing inflammation and protecting your cells from damage that could lead to disease.

7. Bell & Chili Peppers. These peppers are rich in antioxidants with high anti-inflammatory properties. Bell peppers and chili peppers are loaded with vitamin C. Bell peppers have the antioxidant quercetin, which has been shown to reduce one marker of oxidative damage.  Chili peppers contain sinapic acid and ferulic acid, which not only reduces inflammation but also leads to slower aging.

8. Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is composed of medium-chain fatty acids that are immediately converted into energy by the body, making it an excellent pick me up! Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, but because of its high lauric acid content, coconut oil does not behave in your body the same way other poor quality saturated fats do. Just be sure to use organic, cold-pressed, coconut oil.

A 2014 International Immunopharmacology study in India, showed that the high levels of antioxidants found in unrefined, virgin coconut oil reduced inflammation and healed arthritis more effectively than the average leading medications.

Other benefits of coconut oil include:

•    It’s a cholesterol free food

•    Aids in weight loss by speeding up your metabolism and promoting feelings of satiety

•    Lauric Acid in coconut oil increases your immune system and helps fight disease

•    Lauric Acid helps prevent against some cancers

•    Increase thyroid health

•    Increases your bone strength and aids in mineral absorption

•    Its antifungal properties have been shown to reduce candida and yeast in the body

•    It’s antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties help fight infection and the flu

9. Ginger. A commonly known anti-inflammatory herb, ginger can be used fresh, dried, or in supplement form and extracts and teas. Ayurvedic medicine believes that because ginger is so effective at warming the body, it can help break down the accumulation of toxins in your organs. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, which is our body’s sewage /filtration system.

A 2015 study in Pharmaceutical Biology, praised ginger as an excellent herb for treating inflammation in allergic and asthmatic disorders.

10. Last but not least, dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich, delicious and satisfying. It may taste great, but dark chocolate is also good for your health. It is packed with antioxidants that by now, you know are essential to reducing inflammation. Antioxidants reduce inflammation as well as potentially reducing the risk of disease and leads to healthier aging.

The flavanols in dark chocolate are responsible for chocolate’s anti-inflammatory effects, and according to the Journal of Hypertension, also keep the endothelial cells that line your arteries healthy.

As great as it sounds, not all chocolate is anti-inflammatory. To get the most benefits, make sure to choose dark chocolate. You want it to contain at least 70% cocoa (more is even better) to reap the full anti-inflammatory benefits.

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16 comments on “The 10 BEST Inflammation-Fighting Foods You Need To Be Eating”

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    Private  |  Seattle, Washington

    Except salmon I consume all of these.

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    Private  |  Jura, France

    could you please list the references when posting articles and information that are not your personal statements/findings? thanks

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    Private  |  Minnesota, USA

    I’m glad berries are on that list! I just planted about 170 raspberry bushes in my yard this spring! (Transplanted from my neighbor’s yard to save them before that property is bulldozed this summer). I also got about 60 strawberry plants from his yard. This year I got my garden constructed & I planted hot chili peppers in my new vegetable garden. 🙂 I’ve also got higher sugar things in my yard- a few apple trees, a cherry tree, and a grape vine from the neighbor. (Sorry, I’m so excited that I finally can produce my own food after many years stuck in apartments and condos).

    You can make a curry that has turmeric, hot chili peppers, coconut oil, ginger and bone broth in it (along with other spices, veggies, proteins, etc). Fresh ginger is also delicious in smoothies.

    Recently I started making my own chocolate at home, using Swerve instead of sugar. Doing it yourself is fun! You can put things in them that aren’t typically available in stores, too (I made lemon saffron chocolates last week). The only hard part for me was finding pure cocoa butter that was meant for consumption (most stores sell it labeled “external use only”). It was about a 70 mile drive to a store that had it.

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      Private  |  Seattle, Washington

      Both strawberries and raspberries can take over a yard if left on their own, but congratulations on have a garden!

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        Private  |  Minnesota, USA

        Thank you.

        The strawberries have all been kept in containers so that I can move them into my garage in the winter and the raspberries are in fenced beds with barriers to spreading, so hopefully that will help. 🙂

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          Private  |  Seattle, Washington

          Pretty smart! Strawberries in containers allows you to move them around if needs be. We end up moving the ones across the yard back to the patch.

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      Private  |  GA, United States

      WOW! That sounds awesome to have that many! Isn’t it great to be able to just go outside and pick your own stuff? 😀 I’d be excited about all that, too! 😀 I’ve been gradually trying to add fruit trees/bushes to our yard, but slooooooow going. Out of pear trees, blueberry bushes, strawberry plants, a fig tree, muscadine vine, and a gogi berry bush, we’ve only had blueberries bear so far (ha ha, the fig tree downright died. The others just have some years to go before bearing, I guess) I looooooove freshly grown fruit/veggies!!

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        Private  |  Minnesota, USA

        It would have been slow going for me too, if the situation with my neighbor hadn’t happened.? My own purchased plants included the cherry tree, two apple trees, a gooseberry bush, a lingonberry bush, and a persimmon tree. The first year in my house I did only indoor restoration and renovation work and didn’t have time for much of anything outside.

        Anyway, I hope the new garden is enough to offset the frustration of having businesses move in next door. That and the big fence I am building as soon as my garage is done being constructed.

        It sounds like you are off to a good start! It can take years for some things to bear, so it is a practice in patience.

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          Private  |  GA, United States

          Oh no! I’m sorry about the business moving in! <:-/ Hopefully the fence and some trees can help! And it's still more privacy than an apartment, I would think. 🙂 Mmmmmm, and so many fruits available! We have 4 big apple trees up the road, free for the picking, and we absolutely LOVE it when apple season arrives! It's a money-saver AND tastes better than grocery-apples! 😀

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    Private  |  Santiago, Chile

    Thank you so much for this article, Zuzka! Very informative and delicious. I consume all of these foods and will definitively try to add some more of them on each meal. Following your Z Shred SFMP it’s easy to include them all! 🙂

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    Private  | 

    Excellent post and will be a great help. Thanks.

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    Private  |  Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

    Does anyone know how much turmeric one should have in a day to reap health benefits? I have had golden milk before but don’t drink it daily. Just wondering if someone out there can give me an approximate amount, thanks!

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    Private  | 

    Hi Zuzka!! I love the information you provide and reading all your posts! I’m curious, can you tell me what nutrition course(s) you take/have taken and recommend? I would love to educate myself even moreso–but want to apply myself to nutritional courses that are really worth it. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge–it has really helped me change my and my families’ lifestyle for the better!!!!

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    Private  |  UK

    I eat most of these foods. Apart from salmon – I can’t stand the taste of it. Also dark chocolate taste pretty awful. Who ever put milk into a chocolate was a genius. Fresh ginger – the best aroma ever, smells like lemon ice cream to me.

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    Private  | 

    Excellent article, thank you, Z.

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    Private  | 

    I would add to this: hemp oil and phytocannabinoids. They are not only “anti-inflammatory”–they help our bodies regulate every single physiological system. They are like the conductor of an orchestra. Each section of the orchestra is a different physiological system/function/cellular process, and the conductor is in charge of regulating the tempo, tune, volume, etc. If you understand that humans (and all vertebrates) produce their own ENDOcannabinoids, and if you understand what the endocannabinoid system does, you would understand how important hemp is (non-psychoactive). I fairly recently started working for a company that makes liposomal hemp oil (organic, non-GMO, and nanoenhanced), which is 97-100% bioavailable under the tongue. It’s absolutely phenomenal and people are loving this oil and that it is not psychoactive at all. Awesome product married to network marketing. 😉

    I love what you have to say about turmeric, Z! I’m hoping that the chemist of our company (world-renowned chemist for his expertise in liposomal technology) will make liposomal turmeric so we can solve the problem of absorption. Most of the turmeric we consume is not absorbed, hence why they make curcumin supplements. But liposomal turmeric oil would be perfect, directly absorbed into the bloodstream.

    Anyway, this is an excellent article, Z! I can say that all these foods are staples for me, except dark chocolate. I don’t eat much of it for some reason. I just don’t crave it. I crave coconut like a crazy person though. And I just bought this amazing fermented hot sauce from a local start-up company, that is made with bell peppers and habanero. MMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm. Can’t go wrong with blueberries in the yogurt, canned salmon with the bones a few times a week (for the calcium and the Vitamin D) and avocados on everything.

    Lately: Avocados with blueberries in sheep yogurt, with goat whey (couldn’t find sheep whey) and powdered coconut milk. OOOh my goodness.

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