Best Anti Inflammatory Foods to Add to Your Diet
To keep your body healthy, you need to eat lots of anti-inflammatory foods. These will ensure your body’s immune system functions as it should, and you avoid conditions and diseases related to inflammation. Before you consider what foods to add to an anti-inflammatory diet, however, you might wonder what is meant by inflammation in the first place!
Your body’s immune system works hard to fight off anything it senses as being foreign, including bacteria, microbes, and chemicals. When it doesn’t stop doing this, even attacking healthy tissues and cells, this causes inflammation. This inflammation can then cause arthritis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, depression, and many other conditions. Eating lots of foods that reduce inflammation can ensure the immune system is working as it should, and you reduce your risk of getting any of those conditions.
To ensure you’re following the best inflammation diet possible, let’s talk about some anti-inflammatory foods you can add to your everyday eating, as well as some foods to avoid, and how each of these affects your immune system for good and for bad. We’ll also offer some suggestions for how to add these foods to your anti-inflammatory diet so you know you’re getting enough of these every day.
1. Dark leafy greens, the best anti-inflammatory foods
The absolute best anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet are dark leafy greens, such as romaine lettuces and spinach. These foods are chockfull of antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals that work to regulate your body’s immune system. These also help to rebuild damaged cartilage and tissue that may contribute to inflammation-related diseases.
To add more dark leafy greens to your anti-inflammatory foods list, have more of these on sandwiches; don’t rely on a few pieces of head lettuce alone, but pile high some spinach and romaine lettuces. You might also add some spinach to an omelet or any type of soup, or blend it when making juice. The taste of fruit and other ingredients will hide these healthy foods for inflammation, and you can then easily sneak them into your everyday diet!
2. Add celery to your list of good anti-inflammatory foods
While leafy greens are considered some of the best foods for your anti-inflammatory diet, celery is another great vegetable to add. The high moisture content as well as the antioxidants in celery help to build strong tissue in the body and fight off inflammation.
If you don’t each much celery, stop eating plain tuna fish sandwiches and have tuna salad, with diced celery and onions. Add celery to your anti-inflammatory diet by having it as a crunchy snack, with peanut butter or hummus as a dip. You can also make a fresh vegetable soup with lots of celery as part of your anti-inflammatory diet.
3. Beets are anti-inflammatory
You may know that the deep colors of fruits and vegetables are made by their various vitamins and minerals, and beets are no different. Their dark color indicates that they are a very good anti-inflammatory foods, full of lots of essential nutrients that help your body create healthy, fresh blood cells. This can ensure your immune system is working properly.
If you’ve never had beets before, make some homemade borscht, or beet soup. This is a very tasty dish to add to your anti-inflammatory diet and it will keep you from getting bored with eating all your other anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables!
4. Broccoli and blueberries are very anti-inflammatory
Both broccoli and blueberries are high in magnesium and potassium, two important minerals that are used for creating fresh, healthy blood. This healthy blood will regulate your immune system and ensure it’s working properly without working overtime, creating inflammation.
If you don’t like broccoli on its own, make some broccoli and cheese soup, where the cheese will hide the flavor. Chop it into salads so you don’t notice the taste as much. You can add blueberries to your anti-inflammatory foods list by blending it with fresh, filtered water for your own juice drink, or make a protein shake with almond milk, protein powder, and blueberries.
5. Pineapple is anti-inflammatory
The enzymes in pineapple are very good for your digestive system, which is linked to a strong immune system. The best anti-inflammatory diet will help your digestive system cleanse itself of bacteria and harmful buildup so the immune system doesn’t work overtime, thinking it needs to attack that buildup. Try pineapple chunks with cottage cheese, or add some pineapple to other fruits when making your own juice or flavored water. Add pineapple juice to your anti-inflammatory foods list, and you might enjoy it in place of your morning orange juice!
6. Inflammatory foods to avoid
While many foods can help the body to fight inflammation, some foods can actually increase the risk or make inflammation worse. These inflammatory foods include anything processed, meaning that it’s in a can; canned foods have preservatives added, and these chemicals can cause inflammation. Processed meats are also full of chemicals called nitrates, and these can cause inflammation. These processed meats would include hot dogs, sausages, and canned meats like Spam. The chemicals in soda and fast foods are also considered inflammatory foods to avoid.
Lard is another inflammatory food, as this dense fat is very bad for the immune system and can clog the arteries, slowing down healthy blood flow. Refined carbs, or foods that are made with white flour, are also part of an unhealthy inflammation diet. Switch to whole grains for your bread, pasta, and cereals, and avoid any white flour products.
If you are getting the impression that the best anti-inflammatory foods are those that are healthy and full of vitamins and essential minerals, you’re right! There are many reasons to add leafy greens, berries, veggies like broccoli and celery, and all the other foods we’ve listed here to your everyday diet, but fighting inflammation may be one of the most important. This can keep you healthy as you age and reduce your risk of many inflammation-related conditions, while also helping you control your weight and increase healthy blood circulation.