Chronic inflammation is a common characteristic of a wide range of conditions including heart disease, cancer, stroke, obesity, arthritis, and depression. While not all inflammation is preventable (as we get older, our immune system weakens and we’re more likely to experience chronic inflammation) there are measures you can take to reduce inflammation. One of the easiest things you can do to lower inflammation is to eat non-processed, plant-based foods.
Here are seven great inflammation-fighting foods to add to your diet.
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Salmon is packed with omega-3, which helps protect against depression and reverse inflammation throughout the body, including the brain. The brain already contains a great deal of omega-3, but the body can’t produce its own; therefore, it’s important to get this fat from the food you eat.
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Is there anything kale can’t do? Just a single cup of kale provides 10% of the recommended daily amount of inflammation-reducing omega-3s (the same that are found in salmon).
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In addition to helping lower blood pressure and boost stamina, these purple veggies contain a nutrient called betaine, which decreases the risk for inflammation.
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Fermented foods such as yogurt can add a beneficial bacteria that protects the lining of the gut and prevents inflammation. It also increases levels of serotonin, helping you fight depression.
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Good news, everyone: chocolate is good for your health! Small quantities of dark chocolate, at least. Eat 1.5 ounces of 70% dark chocolate every day to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and C-reactive protein, which is a pro-inflammatory marker. Studies have shown that dark cocoa powder can improve cognition, improve brain power, and help prevent bad moods.
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Tofu and other soy-based foods contain isolflavones and omega-3s, which may help reduce inflammation levels in the body.
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Tomatoes are full of lycopene, an antioxidant that fights inflammation. Cooking tomatoes also enhances their inflammation-fighting abilities, as heat brings out more lycopene.