The 5 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Always Have On Hand

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.

1. Garlic

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.

garlic photo
Photo by Photography-S!

2. Spices

Tumeric is just one miracle spice to consume to reduce inflammation, in addition to ginger and cinnamon. Add them to your tea and food and you should be feeling better in no time.

ginger photo
Photo by notafish

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.

extra virgin olive oil photo
Photo by USDAgov

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.

salmon photo
Photo by jansokoly


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.

dark chocolate photo
Photo by jamieanne

Photo by Neeta Lind

Food, Health, Life

About the Author
Natalia Lusinski
In addition to Simplemost, Natalia is an ongoing writer for Bustle (sex, dating, relationships, and money), HelloGiggles (pop culture and news), The Delite (feel-good stories), and Don’t Waste Your Money (yep, money issues!). You can also find her writing in the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye, xoJane, Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, among other publications. She has a Ph.D. in couch-surfing, having spent four years sleeping on over 200 L.A.-area love seats and sectionals, all in an effort to whittle down her student loan debt. She still loves couch-surfing in other cities, too (hint, hint).

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