Foods and Spices That Reduce Inflammation


Inflammation is the body’s response to injury. It works to heal wounds, but it can also play a role in some chronic diseases. This response is how the body attempts to heal itself and defends against foreign invaders. Do you suffer from painful swollen joints and inflammation? You may be able to reduce the pain associated with inflammation with these foods.

Foods and spices that reduce inflammation naturally.

  1. Fish – Especially fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) that support the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins resulting in lower levels of the two major inflammatory proteins: C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6.
  1. Spinach – Spinach and similar dark green leafy vegetables are high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant flavonoids and carotenoids. It contains vitamin A, B, C, E, K, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and folate. Choose vegetables like broccoli, lettuce, kale and cabbage which dramatically reduce inflammatory proteins in the blood.
  1. Berries – Especially blueberries and Goji berries. Both are very high in antioxidants and are a great anti-inflammatory food. Blueberries contain quercetin, an antioxidant that protects your body from oxidative damage caused by inflammation. Both also contain phytonutrients and polyphenols known for their anti-inflammatory protection. Consider other berries such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and cranberries which are also high in healthy antioxidants.
  1. Chili Peppers – Hot, spicy peppers contain capsaicin, the active components that give them their “burn” but also help act as potent anti-inflammatory. Capsaicin signals your brain to increase brain-derived neuropeptide factor that reduces inflammation and increases metabolism. Sprinkle a dash of cayenne pepper on your food to take advantage of the anti-inflammatory properties.
  1. Spices – Ginger and Turmeric are roots used as spice with high anti-inflammatory qualities. Both contain curcumin that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory, just like ibuprofen, to reduce inflammation. Adding ginger and turmeric can reduce inflammatory markers (CRP and interleukin-6) in as little as 7 days.
  1. Beans – Beans are a rich source of fiber and phytonutrients, both help lower CRP, an indicator of inflammation found in the blood. The 10 most common bean varieties contain a variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Beans are also an inexpensive source of protein.
  1. Pineapple – Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme shown to reduce swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain after injuries and surgeries. Bromelain is a major ingredient in a variety of natural anti-inflammatory supplements for arthritis and swelling.
  1. Papaya – Papaya contains papain a protein-digesting enzyme. Papaya also provides Vitamins E and C, and when combined with papain, the fruit helps to reduce inflammation and improve digestion.
  1. Citrus – Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and limes, are rich sources of Vitamin C, critical for the production of collagen, which helps build and repair tissues. Collagen repairs skin, bone, blood vessels, tendons and ligaments, helpful for those who suffer from osteoarthritis. Citrus fruits are also a rich source of inflammation-fighting antioxidants.

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