Foods to Reduce Inflammation and Help You Heal

Food is central to the health of our bodies. The types of foods we eat have the power to do more than just give us energy. Certain foods can reduce chronic inflammation, which in turn can reduce our risk of disease.

You may know of inflammation as the body’s response to injury. If you twist your ankle, the body sends inflammatory cells to the injury to start the healing process. This is what’s known as acute inflammation, and is critical to our wellbeing.

But chronic inflammation happens when our body continues to send inflammatory cells when there is no need. This can lead to joint pain, chest pain, tiredness, fevers, and more. Illnesses related to chronic inflammation include Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and more, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Luckily, we have the power to combat chronic inflammation based on the food we eat. Your choices at the grocery store, in the kitchen, or at a restaurant, can have positive consequences on your health and that of your friends and family. Here’s how to start building your anti-inflammatory diet.

Foods to eat

  • Fruits and vegetables: Add colorful fruits and veggies to your meals, like tomatoes, berries, dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach, bell or chili peppers, broccoli and avocados
  • Fish: Salmon, anchovies, cod, tuna, and mackerel
  • Spices and oils: Plant-based oils like olive or avocado oil, and spices like turmeric and cocoa
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds
  • Whole-grains including oats and barley
  • Green tea

Foods to cut back on

  • Refined carbohydrates like white bread or pastries, added sugars in drinks like soda or sugary coffee
  • Processed foods such as chips, salt-heavy snacks
  • Heavily fried foods or fast food
  • Red meat

New guidelines for eating don’t have to eliminate the fun of meal time. Try researching anti-inflammatory recipes to make with friends and family. Together, you can start eating healthier and protecting your health for the long haul. Bon appetit!


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