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7 Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Should Include in Your Daily Diet

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Inflammation is your body’s natural way of protecting itself from things that could hurt it, like injuries, infections, or toxins, so it can heal. 1 When something hurts our cells, our bodies send out chemicals that make our immune system react by sending antibodies, proteins, and more blood to the area that was hurt. Acute inflammation, like a bruise or swelling caused by an injury, doesn’t last more than a few days.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, happens when our body’s “fending off” response keeps going and keeps us on high alert all the time. And it’s not a secret that it’s bad for our health: Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s have all been linked to long-term inflammation.

The good news is that we can fight long-term inflammation with food. Instead of focusing on the obvious inflammatory foods like sugar, soda, refined carbs, alcohol, red meat, and processed foods, let’s focus on the tasty ingredients you can load up on to reduce inflammation.

Vegetables

The consumption of leafy greens such as Swiss chard, spinach, and kale as well as cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. These effects reduce certain levels in the body that are responsible for driving inflammation.

Add avocado to the mixture if you want additional credit (it also has beneficial compounds that protect against inflammation).

Mushrooms, whether they are raw or minimally cooked, as well as chili peppers, contain specific acids, such as capsaicin, that have the potential to alleviate inflammation.  You might make a frittata with them, or you could try grilling some of your favorite vegetables.

Berries

Berries like acai, strawberries, and blueberries are full of antioxidants, which may help reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. You can add them to superfood smoothies, oatmeal, or try making an acai bowl.

Fish and Nuts

Omega-3 fatty acids are the way to go when you want to get rid of inflammation. People often think of salmon and sardines as great sources of omega-3s, but seeds and nuts also have a lot of anti-inflammatory effects. Hemp seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, and walnuts can help reduce inflammation when you eat them. You can put them in your breakfast bowl or on salads or vegetables that have been roasted.

Turmeric

Curcumin, a strong part of turmeric, is the reason why it is becoming more and more popular so quickly. It helps fight inflammation in a big way. 6 You can use this superfood spice for more than just a golden latte. You can add it to soups, grain bowls, and dressings. Add freshly ground black pepper to help your body take in more turmeric.

Ginger

Ginger helps reduce inflammation by slowing down the body’s production of cytokines, a protein that causes chronic inflammation. 7 Ginger is also a natural way to settle an upset stomach. Serve it with fish or sautéed vegetables, or make cookies with it.

Water

Last but not least, there’s water. It keeps us hydrated and helps reduce swelling in the body. Making tea can help reduce inflammation. Flavonoids, which are found in both green and black tea, help reduce inflammation. If you don’t want any extra sugar, make it yourself instead of buying it in a package.

Fight inflammation bite by bite with the help of these foods that are anti-inflammatory and should be included in your daily diet.

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