Diet & Nutrition 5 MIN READ 173 VIEWS February 3, 2023

Anti-inflammatory Foods You Must Add to Your Diet

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Anti-inflammatory Foods

The right diet can be a powerful force to keep you in great shape even in your old age. A poor one, on the other hand, can seriously affect your health and well-being. So how to select foods to maintain a healthy lifestyle? The good news is that there is an easy way to tell if a specific food will help your body – by looking at its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is nothing but our immune system’s reaction or defense mechanism against damage or infection. The anti-inflammatory foods you consume can help protect you from further harm.

But when inflammation persists long after the initial cause has passed and becomes uncontrolled and chronic, it can be harmful, leading to further damage to various body parts and organs and eventually resulting in severe life-threatening diseases and conditions. Therefore, adding anti-inflammatory food to your daily diet can be extremely beneficial.

Top 10 Anti-inflammatory Foods

Some foods naturally come loaded with anti-inflammatory nutrients. They are easy enough to add to your meals, but more importantly, they can also be consumed in supplement form. Just make sure you choose wisely. You don’t want to end up with a product packed with sugar, salt, or artificial ingredients. Instead, look for supplements made with pure, high-quality extracts derived from plants and herbs.

Below are the ten best anti-inflammatory foods found in most households and readily available in the local market.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is the spice that is responsible for the bright yellow colour of our beloved curries. It is often used as a seasoning in Middle Eastern cooking, especially in Yemen, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Turmeric contains curcumin, which makes the spice one of the top foods to reduce inflammation because it’s the main active ingredient that provides turmeric with its characteristic flavour.

Curcumin is known to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. In recent years, research has shown that curcumin may prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and arthritis and even slow down the ageing process.

Hence, no anti-inflammatory foods list can be completed without this wonderful spice.

2. Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used as traditional medicine and a part of any anti-inflammation diet for centuries in many parts of the world. It comes from the Zingiberaceae family, which consists of about 2,000 species of flowering plants native to tropical areas around the world. The root of ginger contains several bioactive compounds, including gingerol, paradols, and shogaols. These substances have powerful antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects.

3. Garlic

Garlic is a member of the genus Allium, along with leeks and chives. It is related to onions and shallots. Like them, garlic is part of the allicin family, which includes wide different varieties of wild and cultivated garlic. Fresh garlic is rich in sulfur-containing compounds called organosulfur compounds. One such compound, diallyl disulfide, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making Garlic one of the best natural anti-inflammatory foods.

4. Onions

Onions come from the same genus as garlic. Native to central Asia, where it was first domesticated more than 5,000 years ago, these bulbs belong to the same family as chives, leeks, and scallions. Like garlic, onions have very potent anti-inflammatory properties. They also have very low sodium levels, making them ideal for people who suffer from high blood pressure.

5. Green Tea

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains a wide array of antioxidants, which gives it its distinctive deep green colour. Antioxidants help reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body. Some of these compounds include caffeine, catechins, anthocyanin, and quercetin. These compounds have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Numerous studies show that drinking green tea regularly can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, dementia, and certain cancers.

6. Fish Oils

Fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients, meaning our bodies need them for normal functioning. However, we cannot produce omega-3 fats on our own, so we have to obtain them through food or supplements. There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Research shows that consuming EPA and DHA can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve brain function, and fight inflammation.

7. Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is made from cold-pressed olives. It is not hydrogenated or refined, which makes it very healthy. EVOO is packed with monounsaturated fat, including oleic acid and polyphenols, which have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects.

8. Berries

Berries are small, sweet fruits that are full of nutrients. Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are among the most popular. Research shows that berries are particularly rich in vitamin C, fibre, and flavonoids, which have excellent anti-inflammatory properties.

9. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate comes from cocoa beans, which are high in theobromine, polyphenols, and flavanols, which belong to the group of flavonoids, a potent antioxidant that has robust anti-inflammatory effects. Several studies have shown that dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, increase levels of HDL (good cholesterol), and decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

10. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are high in unsaturated fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are also an excellent source of dietary fibre, which is vital for the digestive system. All kinds of nuts and seeds contain beneficial nutrients, but walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts are especially rich in vitamin E, which protects against inflammation.

Foods Promoting Inflammation That Should be Avoided

In addition to these top anti-inflammatory foods, there are several common items you should avoid in order to keep inflammation under control. These include processed foods, trans fats, and added sugars. All three promote inflammation in the body; they tend to raise levels of pro-inflammatory compounds called cytokines.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods - expert's tip

Trans fats, in particular, are highly inflammatory because they interfere with the body’s ability to produce essential fatty acids, causing a drop in HDL (good cholesterol) levels. High-fructose corn syrup, another pro-inflammatory substance found in processed foods, has a negative effect on blood vessel function. It increases the vascular resistance and also increases insulin resistance which can make one prone to heart diseases, diabetes, obesity. And too much sugar leads to an increase in belly fat.

So what can you do to reduce inflammation naturally? Start eating foods from this anti-inflammatory food chart today, and then cut out the bad stuff.


Researchers found that inflammation is the primary cause of many diseases, from heart disease to cancer to Alzheimer’s. By taking steps to limit the amount of inflammation in your body, you can significantly lower your risk of developing these conditions. The foods on this list are simple to use and easily available in most homes. Including these healthier options in your daily anti-inflammatory diet would be a great start toward a healthy and disease-free life.

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