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14 Best Foods That Help Fight Inflammation

Inflammation plays an important role in the body's immune response. Do you know why? It makes attempts to heal an injury from within, defends itself from other foreign pathogens like bacteria and viruses and it helps in repairing the damaged tissues. If there is no function of the inflammation, the wounds in the body wouldn't heal and become infectious.

There are two types of inflammation - acute and chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation includes a cut in the skin, a sprained ankle, a sore throat, etc. This type of inflammation goes away within a few days.

Chronic inflammation is a long-term condition, which includes osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and so on. These serious health conditions take time to cure.

Studies have shown that certain foods can help fight inflammation. These foods are sources of phytonutrients, healthy fats, and omega 3 fats that can help keep inflammation at bay.

Foods That Help Fight Inflammation

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1. Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants called flavonoids and anthocyanins that help fight chronic inflammation. Blueberries are famous for their wide range of health benefits such as lowering the risk of diabetes, preventing eye diseases, and promoting heart health, to name a few [1].

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2. Leafy vegetables

Yellow, orange, red and dark green leafy vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, such as carotenoids and flavonoids which have been shown to have a positive effect in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Consume leafy vegetables like beet greens, cabbage, kale, and so on [2].

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3. Green tea

Everyone knows how green tea benefits weight loss. But, not many know the other benefit of green tea which is reducing body inflammation. This healthy beverage contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is known to have strong anti-inflammatory effects [3].

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4. Fatty fish

Fatty fishes like salmons, sardines, mackerel and herrings are a great source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA. They are known to lower inflammation that can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome [4].

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5. Avocados

Avocados are considered a superfood due to its nutritional and phytochemical composition. This fruit is high in carotenoids, tocopherols, magnesium, potassium, fibre, monounsaturated fats and other essential compounds that have been shown to lower markers of inflammation [5].

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6. Grapes

Grapes are an excellent source of anthocyanins, which helps lower inflammation and reduce the risk of several chronic diseases such as eye disease, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and heart disease [6].

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7. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are rich in nutrients and essential plant compounds like phenols and antioxidants that have been shown to protect your body from chronic inflammation. Include shiitake, portobello and truffles mushrooms into your diet [7].

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8. Dark chocolate

Eating a bar of dark chocolate satisfies your taste buds, but apart from the taste, it is a host of other health benefits like lowering inflammation. Dark chocolate contains flavanols, an important antioxidant that is said to lower inflammation [8].

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9. Broccoli

Broccoli is another food that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that inhibits inflammation by lowering the levels of cytokines and NF-kB, which are known to increase inflammation [9].

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10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a great source of nutrients and an antioxidant called lycopene, which is known to contain anti-inflammatory properties [10]. Lycopene helps lower inflammation by decreasing inflammatory cytokines in overweight and obese people [11].

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11. Bell peppers

Bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants that exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. It contains the antioxidant quercetin, which may lower oxidative stress and inflammation in people with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease [12].

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12. Cherries

Cherry is another anti-inflammatory food that contains antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and catechins which fight inflammation [13]. A study showed that people who consumed 280 gm of tart cherries per day for one month had a decrease in inflammatory marker CRP for 28 days [14].

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13. Turmeric

Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that is widely used to treat many inflammatory-related ailments like arthritis, diabetes and other diseases [15]. As per a study, consuming turmeric with black pepper decreases the inflammatory marker CRP in people with metabolic syndrome [16].

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14. Ginger

Ginger contains an essential bioactive compound called gingerol, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A study showed that people who performed elbow exercises consumed 2 gm of ginger per day for 11 days, this significantly reduced pain and inflammation [17].

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