No one likes inflammation—whether we have joint pain or flu-like symptoms, whether it’s acute or chronic, it makes us feel off-kilter and not even close to 100 percent.
But, by adding more anti-inflammatory foods into our diets—i.e., more fresh foods than packaged ones—we can reduce inflammation. Here are five of the best foods to eat to do so.
Yes, we can use garlic to ward off vampires, but also to ward off inflammation, all due to its anti-microbial properties. For thousands of years now, it not only helps fight off infections, but also helps prevent disease.
3. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
The great thing about olive oil is that you can eat it with so many different things—on salad, on pizza, with pasta, with toast, you name it.
Plus, it contains a natural chemical, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent. Researchers call it oleocanthal, and the compound inhibits activity of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes, “a pharmacological action shared by ibuprofen,” according to scientists from the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “The finding is significant because inflammation increasingly is believed to play a key role in a variety of chronic diseases,” they said. So, next time you’re tempted to use butter, use olive oil instead.
4. Fish Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You know that olive oil we mentioned? Well, to reduce inflammation even more, why not sauté some fish in it? Not just any fish, but those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, albacore tuna, and sardines, to name a few.
In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests eating fish at least twice a week. Not only will the fish lower inflammation, but also lower chances of developing chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
5. Dark Chocolate
This one is our favorite, of course. After you try all the above, reward yourself with a sweet treat—yep, dark chocolate. Researchers have found that eating it regularly, which equaled about one 20 grams serving every three days, can reduce inflammation.
Photo by Neeta Lind