The 6 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Eat

The 6 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Eat

According to rheumatologists, foods that are “anti-inflammatory” contain chemical compounds that help the body fight or avoid inflammation. Some inflammation is beneficial, as it is part of the body’s natural immune response to foreign invaders. Chronic inflammation, however, can contribute to or increase the risk of health issues, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

Eating foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds may help reduce overall inflammation. That, in turn, may reduce your risk of cognitive decline, slow disease progression, and help prevent chronic health conditions. Polyphenols, omega-3 fatty acids, prebiotics, probiotics, vitamin E, and flavonoids are the primary chemical compounds in anti-inflammatory foods. Foods containing these compounds are typically high in fiber, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. 


Naturally rich in protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants, nuts may help reduce inflammation. According to a 2023 study, almonds and walnuts can lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is released in response to inflammation, and other inflammatory markers in the blood. The same study revealed that Brazil nuts may fight oxidative stress, which occurs when there’s an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. That imbalance can trigger an inflammatory response. 

Citrus Fruits

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant present in citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and limes. A review of 21 studies included 307 healthy people and 327 people at risk for chronic disease, and the duration of the studies ranged from two to 31 weeks. The researchers concluded that those who drank 100% fresh-squeezed orange juice daily significantly lowered markers of inflammation. Citrus fruits also provide fiber, potassium, some B vitamins, flavonoids, and carotenoids, all of which may help reduce inflammation

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a staple in the popular Mediterranean diet, which has been studied extensively for its ability to reduce inflammation. Researchers note that olive oil is 70 to 80% oleic acid, which is a fatty acid that helps balance pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, olive oil contains oleocanthal, an antioxidant that has exhibited similar anti-inflammatory properties to non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in past research. 

Whole Grains

Whole grains include brown rice, oats, whole-wheat flour, buckwheat, bulgar wheat, wild rice, and millet. Do your best to avoid refined grains, such as white rice, all-purpose flour, and white bread, as they can cause inflammation. Whole grains are fiber superstars, so they help to balance gut microbiome and keep inflammation in check. A meta-analysis of nine randomized trials found that people who ate more whole grains had fewer inflammatory markers in their blood. Whole grains also have a positive impact on blood sugar, and since excess sugar has been linked to chronic inflammation, that’s good news for your inflammatory levels.

Beans And Legumes

Both beans and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein and anti-inflammatory compounds. Beans are rich in protein and fiber, so they help encourage a more balanced microbiome. Having a higher presence of healthy bacteria in the guy may help suppress the inflammatory process. Black beans and kidney beans also offer anthocyanins, antioxidants that are also present in black, red, and blue-colored berries. You can incorporate dried or canned beans and legumes into various recipes. Just make sure that you opt for the “no salt added” options if you use canned beans and legumes. 

Leafy Green Vegetables

Yet another reason to enjoy leafy greens! A study published in 2019 found that people who ate a diet abundant in leafy greens had lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood. Kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and arugula, for example, contain different vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids that act as antioxidants. Carotenoids work to block inflammatory pathways within cells, a process that halts the production of cytokines.

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