For most of us, the word “inflammation” doesn’t conjure up the most pleasant of images, but inflammation can be an important part of the body’s healing process. It helps bring essential nutrients to areas that need them. When inflammation is chronic, however, it can lead to a long list of health problems, including: heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, dementia, and some types of cancers.
Thankfully, it’s possible to control and reduce chronic inflammation through the foods you eat. The five foods below are rich in anti-inflammatory properties, and can reduce your risk of developing a large number of health problems if you consume them regularly.
Five Foods to Fight Inflammation
Dr. Robin Evans is a board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. We wanted an expert’s opinion on this topic, so we asked what her thoughts were on anti-inflammatory foods. She gave us some extremely helpful insight!
Turmeric holds a plethora of different health benefits, which is why it’s the first “food” on our list. Dr. Evans had this to say about this incredible spice:
Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties and there is scientific data that shows benefits in dermatology. Patients with a history of Malignant Melanoma have been shown to have a decrease in additional melanomas with intake of turmeric. I recommend that my patients who have melanoma or a history of melanoma and are therefore at greater risk for additional melanomas take turmeric tablets and also incorporate turmeric in their diet. People who are at high risk in general for melanoma – those with fair skin, family history of melanoma, people who burn easily and tan poorly and have a history of blistering sunburns – could benefit from taking turmeric as well.”
Try our: Broccoli Turmeric Slow Cooker Soup
Approximately 85% of calories in avocados come from fat. Fortunately, the fat found in avocados is a healthy type of fat that offers a number of health benefits. Avocados contain phytosterols, which are important supporters in keeping inflammation under control. Avocados have been shown to be particularly beneficial in helping to prevent arthritis. Boost your intake of anti-inflammatory avocados by topping a salad with avocado, or creating our Pea and Avocado Dip or Guacamole Verde.
Learn more about the power of avocados.
3. Wild Caught Cold Water Fish
Wild fish is another inflammation-fighting food recommended by Dr. Evans. She stated,
I also recommend incorporating Omega 3 essential fatty acids in one’s diet for inflammatory skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema, and acne. This can come from supplements and also from increased intake of cold water fish including salmon, herring and mackerel – preferably wild fish as opposed to farm raised for optimal Omega 3 EFA content.”
There are several other foods rich in Omega 3’s, but cold water fish is one of the best options. In addition to skin conditions, diets rich in fish can help prevent a number of inflammation-causing maladies, such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and certain cancers.
Be sure to try our Mediterranean Chopped Salad with Salmon, Cucumber, & Mint.
Kelp contains fucoidan, a type of complex carbohydrate that can help keep inflammation in check. Several studies have even shown that kelp extract can control and fight liver and lung cancers. Keep in mind, however, that certain packaged seaweed snacks contain unhealthy salts and oils. Celebrate sea vegetables the right way with these healthy seaweed snacks.
Berries, particularly blueberries, contain the highest anti-oxidant levels of all fruits and vegetables, but berries help control inflammation, too! Furthermore, they’re packed full of inflammation-reducing phytonutrients, which support whole-body health and cognitive benefits. Try our Skinny Berry Parfait.
Learn more about the health benefits of blueberries.
Swap out unhealthy processed options, for these foods to fight inflammation, today! Not only will you feel healthier, but you’ll look healthier too!