If you have a condition that requires you to manage your inflammation, implementing an anti-inflammatory diet is a great lifestyle choice. Plus, eating the right foods can limit the number of medications you need to control inflammation. By tapering down inflammation, you can control flare-ups and decrease pain.
Below we share what an anti-inflammatory diet looks like and ways to get started.
Best Foods to Eat to Reduce Inflammation
Anti-inflammatory foods are generally natural foods that are found on the outside aisles of a grocery store. They include fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, plant-based proteins, fatty fish, herbs and spices and whole grains.
The foods you want to avoid are those that contain sugar, high fructose corn syrup and refined carbohydrates – many products found on the inside aisles of a grocery store. Processed meats, artificial trans fat and alcohol should also be avoided.
Let’s take a closer look at which foods to grab for in each food group.
- Fruits and veggies. The best thing you can do is aim for variety. Dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach have been shown to reduce inflammation. Cherries, raspberries and blackberries contain a substance that gives them their bright colors that helps fight inflammation, too.
- Whole grains. Foods high in fiber and made with whole grains are also a good option. Eat these in moderation, as they aren’t as effective as fruits and vegetables. Choose healthy selections like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-wheat bread. Be sure that the grains are unrefined and unbleached.
- Beans. Beans are a great way to fill up and add substance to dishes like salads and soups. Plus, they’re high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants to help fight inflammation.
- Nuts. Nuts are great for snacking or when added to a salad. They contain healthy fats that reduce inflammation. If you don’t like nuts, or need a change of pace, opt for avocados instead. Do watch your portions, though, as even healthy fats add up fast.
- Fish. It’s recommended to eat fish twice a week. Fish and seafood contains omega-3s that fight inflammation. Some of the best fish for omega-3s include salmon, sardines and tuna.
- Herbs and spices. Flavor your meals generously with fresh herbs and spices like turmeric, curcumin and garlic.
An anti-inflammatory diet is healthy overall, so you can enjoy a wide range of health benefits aside from lowering inflammation.