12 Super Foods that Combat Inflammation

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Like it or not, your mother was right, you are what you eat.  This is especially true when we are talking about inflammation.  Many people suffer from chronic inflammation due to lifestyle and poor food choices.

Those who exercise to excess in order to make up for their poor diet can find they, too, are in a constant state of inflammation. Still others suffer from joint pain, swelling, and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic inflammation can lead to osteoporosis, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and many more.

The good news here is that there are foods you can eat that can both prevent and fight off inflammation. Here is a list of the top 12 foods you should add to your diet to keep your cells healthy and your joints pain free.

 

1. Olive Oil

You’ve probably heard all about the heart healthy benefits of olive oil, but have you heard that it’s rich in Omega-9 fatty acids? Omega-9 can help keep inflammation levels down.

Pitch your vegetable oil for more health friendly oils like olive, avocado, or grape seed oil. Be sure to use extra virgin olive oil. It’s good for your heart, your brain, and stops inflammation. This is a winner all the way around.

Blueberries with leaves on a wooden table. Studio isolated.

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2. Blueberries

Blueberries are such an incredible super food, it’s no wonder they are included here.

These little blue jewels are both anti-inflammatory and antioxidants.

Put them in everything, cereal, salads, smoothies, and yogurt. The healthiest option, as always, is organic, wild, or homegrown blueberries.

Fresh Ginger Root

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3. Ginger

No, not ginger snaps, but the spice itself.

Ginger contains some of the same properties as non-steroid anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals. It’s also an antioxidant, and that can help protect you from inflammation.

You can add a little ginger to almost everything, soup, tea, juice, and salads.

Read more about anti-oxidant rich food.

Transparent cup of green tea with lime on wooden background

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4. Green Tea

It’s been all over the news, green tea can reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease and now there is one more reason to drink it. Green tea is just great at putting up an anti-inflammatory fight.

Drink it hot or cold, and add a little lemon for some extra antioxidant power.

Find out how to choose the best tea.

papaya

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5. Papaya

Besides being a great source of vitamins, like beta carotene, C, and E, this exotic looking fruit is a terrific antioxidant.

Papaya not only tastes great but it has enzymes that can help reduce inflammation.

Fresh Green Broccoli

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6. Broccoli

Ok, everyone knows that broccoli is good for you but did you know just how good this really is?

Besides having anti-inflammatory properties, it also has cancer fighting phytonutrients that also help with allergies and can potentially remove carcinogenic mixtures from your body. It’s also a very strong antioxidant and is high in vitamin C.

Try to eat it raw or steamed to get all the nutritional benefits.

Sliced Avocado

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7. Avocados

Break out the guacamole!

Avocados not only taste great but they have an amazing array of vitamins, even minerals, to keep your body healthy and free of inflammation.

It’s the clear winner in the anti-inflammatory game.

Fresh Turmeric

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8. Turmeric

This yellow-orange tuber is a great tasting spice that has super strong anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s also a great antioxidant and many claim that it can relieve arthritis pain better than over the counter pain killers, with little or no side effects.

Add this spice to your Chinese stir fry, soup, salad dressings, or make a nice cup of tea.

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9. Cranberries

The fruit, of course, not the musical group.

You can use fresh or frozen cranberries on your salads, desserts, even by themselves as a snack, and reap the benefits of this little juicy fruit.

Cranberries are not only anti-inflammatory but they are good for your entire digestive track, from your mouth to your intestines, as well as being good for your heart.

Black And White Sesame Seeds

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10. Chia Seeds

You may have thought that these tiny black seeds were only for growing funny looking pets but they are good for so much more.

Chia seeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids which are the best anti-inflammatories around.

These little seeds, ounce for ounce, contain more Omega-3 than salmon, and without the worry about mercury, hormones, or antibiotics that can be found in salmon.

Add some chia seeds to your salad, soup, cereal, and smoothies.

walnut and a cracked walnut isolated on the white background

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11. Walnuts

Walnuts are another winner in the game against inflammation.

They are full of alpha linoleic acid, which the body converts to Omega-3. ALA has been shown to protect the cells from inflammation as well as calm inflammation that is already present in the body.

Remember, however, that walnuts, like all nuts, are high in fat and should be eaten in small quantities.

Fresh green celery isolated

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12. Celery

These crunchy green stalks are another good option as they are full of antioxidants as well as vitamin C, manganese, and beta carotene.

Add celery to soups, salads, or enjoy them raw.

Sources:

Healthline.com