Food and health

Foods That Reduce Inflammation In The Body

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Eating healthy among other things, is what is always recommended by experts to maintain good health.

“When you dont eat healthy, don’t get enough exercise or have too much stress the body responds by triggering inflammation”

Inflammation is necessary as it forms part of the natural healing process of tissue injuries from infection, according to research.

It’s also thought that it protects our bodies against foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, toxic chemicals among others.

” The trouble with inflammation occurs when the defense system gets out of control and begins to destroy healthy tissue and cause more damage than the original tissue” ScienceDaily

According to research certain foods may reduce inflammation while some may evoke inflammation response which is believed to can raise the risk of chronic inflammation leading to the development of chronic diseases.

Without a waste of time, let’s find out which foods reduce inflammation and which ones are anti-inflammatory.

Foods Associated With Inflammation

Unhealthy foods along with obesity are also found to drive inflammation

  • Processed carbohydrates: cookies, pasta, pastries, flour, etc.
  • Processes meats: sausages, colony, burgers etc
  • Deep fried foods: french fries etc
  • Margarine: Margarine are rich with omega-6 and less omega -3. The imbalance thereof result in some health complications due to chronic inflammation.
  • Drinks: soda

Foods That Keep Inflammation At Bay

According to research anti-inflammatory foods may reduce inflammation levels and thereby prevent the development of certain diseases.

It is reported that the balancing of macronutrients and omega 3 and 6 can help in reducing inflammation in the body.

Inflammation plays a key role in a natural part of healing process but can lead to chronic inflammation when it prolongs and may cause long term damage.

The following foods are believed to have an impact in reducing inflammation:


Among other leafy greens, spinach has anti-inflammatory properties and is packed with vitamin C, K and E, among other nutrients

It is also rich in antioxidants which boost immunity and protect the cells from oxidation.


Tomatoes are reported to have anti-inflammatory activities due to lycopene or carotenoid present in them.

They are thought to have the potential health benefits due to cancer and cardiovascular preventive effects possessed by lycopene in tomatoes. The claims are not supported by a lot of studies and further studies are required.


Nuts such as almonds and walnuts contribute to good health. Studies have also associated nuts with reduced markers of inflammation and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes according to Harvard Heath publishing.


Betalain in beetroot has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemo-prentive properties.

According to research “beetroot is considered a promising therapeutic treatment in range of clinical pathologies associated with oxidative stress and inflammation”


It is reported that oranges originate from ancient China and are the most cultivated fruit in the world. They are rich in vitamin c which is useful for the strengthening the immune system.

Oranges have anti-inflammatory properties due to the polyphenols present in them. They also possess carotenoids, which is associated with the prevention of lifestyle diseases.


Cherries are rich in vitamin c and polyphenols, fiber, carotenoids and potassium.

A number of studies were conducted and it was found that the ingestion of sweet and tart cherries can promote health by decreasing  oxidative stress and inflammation.

Research further indicates that cherries are also a rich source of tryptophan and serotonin as well as melanin. These hormones are known to elevate mood and improves the quality of sleep, respectively.

Reports “show the effects of consuming cherries on arthritis, and diabetes, blood lipids, sleep, cognitive functions and possibly mood.” Further studies are needed.


Anthocyanins are believed to have antioxidants, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-allergic, anti-carcinogen, anti-inflammatory effects and thus may play an essential role in preventing various degenerative diseases including diabetic retinopathy.

That said, blueberries are rich in anthocyanins and other nutrients. To learn more about blueberries click here

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines among others, are believed to be full of omega-3 fatty acids.

High levels of omega 6 are thought to be pro-inflammatory and it is said that the imbalance is of these fats may result in some health complications due to inflammation.

Research has shown that increasing the ratio of n-3 to n-6 fatty acids in the diet and consequently favoring the production of EPA in the body or by increasing the dietary of EPA and DHA through the consumption of fatty fish, or fish supplements”

This may help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases that involve inflammatory processes”

Olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and cardio cardiovascular protective effects due to its polyphenols content.

Research reveals that olive oil is used mostly in the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet has been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties associated with reduction in cardiovascular mortality, as the people there generally eat plant based foods.

This is the case because ” plant-based foods and olive oil are associated with inflammatory biomarkers and molecules implicated in atherosclerosis as well as cardiovascular disease incidence, mortality and other implications such as a heart failure and atrial fibrillation”

Other Anti-inflammatory Foods Include Herbs

Herbs such as :


Garlic is one of the common herbs used widely across many cultures as food seasoning. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties possessed by garlic, it is believed that it promotes potential health benefits.

Research says although there’s sufficient evidence on the health benefits of garlic as therapy under different pathological conditions in animal studies more clinical trials are needed on human models.


Turmeric is widely used as a spice and food coloring agent or can also be used as an ingredient for smoothies.

Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric and is said to have potent anti-inflammatory effects which are linked to the prevention of pathological conditions such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and neuro-degenerative disorders.

Turmeric is also used as cosmetics and in some medical preparations according to research.


Ginger is reported to have potential health benefits which are attributed to its phytochemicals.

“Its anti-inflammatory effects reduce the risk of degenerative disorder, cardiovascular diseases as well as digestive health. It also has antimicrobial potential which helps for treating infectious diseases”.

“Ginger consumption before exercise might reduce naturally occurring quadriceps muscle pain during moderate-intensity cycling exercise”

These effects are attributed to ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects. More evidence is needed”.

These Are The Signs And symptoms of Inflammation That You Need To Know

Research indicates that some responses triggered by inflammation form part of the healing process. Inflammation is an “important part of the immune system’s response to tissue injury caused by infection, trauma, toxic chemicals, and environmental agents. The diseases caused by inflammation have a suffix -itis”

These are the signs and symptoms exhibited by inflammation according to research.

  • Pain
  • Heat
  • swelling
  • Redness
  • Loss of function ( stiffness and immobility)

“Prolonged inflammation may result in acute inflammation if it lingers for hours or days or even more days or years if it’s a chronic inflammation”

It is said that chronic exposure to toxic chemicals and environmental agents and such as cigarette smoke can cause inflammation.

Final Thoughts

Inflammation is a natural response to tissue injury caused by infection, toxic chemicals irritants, and other foreign invaders. Inflammation is needed by the body as a natural healing process.

It becomes problematic when it lingers for as it leads to the development of chronic diseases.

Certain foods have been studied and investigated for their anti-inflammatory potency and it has been found that they can regulate the inflammatory response.

These foodsplant-based plant based as they are rich in phytochemicals such as polyphenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also considered anti-inflammatory. These kinds of fats are abundantly found in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines among other fishes.

They are also found in varying amounts in plant based foods such as flaxseed etc.

The Mediterranean diet is therefore considered the kind of diet that can keep the unnecessary triggers of inflammation at bay unless it is needed by the body for healing tissue injuries and wounds.

Why the Mediterranean diet, because it’s purely plant-based foods like legumes, whole grains fruits and vegetables including fish and fats like olive oil.

The main triggers of inflammation include processed carbohydrates and processed meats.

Thank you for taking up your time to read this article. I hope that you’ve enjoyed it. Kindly leave your comments, opinions, and questions in the comment section below. 

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  1. Hi Maggie, Thanks for this article, we should all be taking note of this information. The older I’m getting, the more attention I’m paying to these types of articles. Regards Barry.

  2. You’ve done a very good article here concerning foods that can reduce inflammation in the body.
    It is nice to know that spinach, tomatoes, and nuts are good to alleviate the effects of inflammation which is a new thing for me while any processed foods from meats and drinks are always bad for the body.

    Your recommendation of Omega-3 fatty acids from mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines sounds yummy and awesome and would definitely love to go after them.

    You’ve done a good article.
    All the best.

  3. Hi Maggie. i’m not sure whether it is my naivety or laziness that stopped me from ever doing detailed research of what foods are good or bad for you. If I heard opinions in the general course of the day I would listen but otherwise I would do nothing. i am reasonably good about what I eat.
    Your article takes everything to a new level for me. I need to do more. Your detail and research was excellent. i have learnt a lot. My only comment would be how can you make your story more entertaining. The detail was so much that at times my mind wondered.
    After reading your blog I would easily describe you as an expert. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hey Stephen

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m also glad that this article was useful to you and that it made a difference in your life. I want so much to learn to make my story entertaining but my serious mind gets the better of me but I will really try and thanks for raising that up. Your comment is really appreciated.

  4. Another excellent article, thank you Maggie. This has been a big discussion topic in our home lately and it’s great to see that for the most part, we are doing the right things. We live close to the Mediterranean and much of our diet fits into that category although we do drift occasionally. We also grow much of our own products which is proving particularly useful right now as we see prices climb. There is also an abundance of freely growing herbs that among other things make excellent tissans. I had a severe chronic pain condition and it’s amazing how most of that was turned around by using the foods you mention here and taking away those that cause inflammation. Looking forward to your next post. Happy Easter. Steve

    1. Hi Steve

      Thank you for your comment. It’s really appreciated. You are well on course. I’m glad to hear that you also found that food can really be your best medicine. If you pay attention to what you eat.

      Happy Easter to you too.

  5. Wow, What a great post I had no idea of any of this that there would be food that would help you with this, I would always take meds for that, so knowing that I can have a much healthier option with food. Also is good to know that I have been eating good food that helps with it like spinach and tomatoes, but for sure I’ll have to reduce my consumption of Processed carbohydrates as my wife likes to bake cookies and I like when she makes pasta. Well thank you so much for such a great and easy to read post, I’ll be definitely coming back to this page as with this social distancing times my wife and I are trying to go healthier in our lives.
    Have a great day, looking forward for your next post and have a happy Easter.

    1. Thank you Juan for your comment. It is much appreciated. It’s good to hear that you are on the mission to improving your lifestyle.

      Wish you all the best.

  6. Hey Maggie,

    I want to thank you personally for this fantastic article. It makes our job easier to help others reduce the harmful impact of Inflammation on the body naturally. Eating healthy and promoting our bodies’ health is a necessity nowadays. We are suffering from unfortunate times, and we need to educate ourselves with good habits and a healthy lifestyle.

    These foods, such as Garlic and Ginger, are known to be great against infections as well as Inflammation. I love garlic because they have natural antibiotics, and they are amazing during winter to fight against cold and flu. Of course, sometimes it doesn’t protect us 100%, but it still gives a positive impact by reducing the effect of the infection and Inflammation on the body and make it a mild disease.

    Also, let’s not forget the food rich in Vitamin C, such as Oranges. It is, and it will always be fantastic against the flu, and they are great to improve the immune system. This article got wealthy information for anyone who wants to improve their lifestyle and protect themselves against infections and inflammations.

    Thank you again, Maggie, as always your website provides the best information to improve our lifestyle.

    1. Hey Dr. Alkhawadeh
      It’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Your comments are highly appreciated. Experts like yourself always advocate the messages of healthy living and it is times like this one we are facing today that we are reminded of eating organic foods to strengthen our immune defense against foreign invaders such as coronavirus. Thank you so much for dropping by.

  7. Dear Maggi, Thank you for an article with information about reducing inflammation in the body. I know from my own experience. I have recently been diagnosed with mild arthrosis in my knees and both my wrists. As such i need to keep a lookout to what i am eating in order to reduce the symptoms. I feel it very quickly if i am eating the wrong type of foods. My jonts starts to ache quite badly.
    You article has gathered the most important information about how to help in such matters. Keep ut the good work. Roy

    1. Thank you Roy for sharing your experience with us about inflammatory foods and their harmful effects. Your comment is much appreciated.

  8. Hi Maggie, great article! Thank you for explaining the process our body goes through when encounters inflammation. I think we tend to forget what our body does to heal itself. We all need to lay off the processed and fried foods and eat natural foods. I’m happy to say that I eat or drink (ginger-tumeric tea) most of the Anti-inflammatory Foods on this list and will continue to, knowing how well they protect my body from inflammation. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hello Maggie, great article! This is so important, and we really do need to watch what we eat. The fact that inflammation can cause us all kinds of problems with our bodies really means that we need to always do some research before even purchasing anything. This is my first time knowing that inflammation can cause tissue injury and infection. I really like your website and how you have everything broken down. Nice work!

    1. Hi Tamika
      Yes, it does help to make an informed decision even when we purchase foods. Reading food labels to know what you are purchasing does help as well. Thank you for your comment.

  10. I think we eat foods that cause inflammation because it is relatively cheap and also very tasty. We have the ‘thinking in the now syndrome’ going on, and not acknowledging the effects these foods have on our body. Though going through this list reminds me that there are so many healthy and tasty options to choose from. I’m at a point where I need to consider what I eat or have the issue of my knee pain flaring up.

    1. Thank you for reading the article and commenting. Yes, we like foods that are sweet and rich in unhealthy fats but the impact, in the long run, is detrimental.

  11. I have eczema so my skin gets inflamed now and then too. All the foods you listed I absolutely love too, just goes to show, my body knows what’s good for me. Thanks for the useful information. Great article!

  12. Hi Maggie,
    This article has come at the perfect time for me, I have been suffering from tendinitis for a year now, it comes and goes and is extremely painful and can make it very difficult to move at times.
    I eat at least half of the foods you suggest. Now I know what else I should be eating.
    Thank you very much for sharing this awesome information.

    1. Hey Lisa
      I’m sorry about your situation and it’s good that you’ve taken the necessary steps towards change. Thanks for your comment.

  13. Hi Maggie, Thanks for this post!

    Unfortunately for me, you’ve listed a lot of the foods I’m consuming at the moment in the unhealthy food list (including the deep-fried potato chips that I’m snacking on at the moment). But on the bright side, there are a lot of my favourite foods on the list of foods that reduce inflammation in the body, including beets and blueberries, yum!

    So, will I get a benefit from switching most of my eating to the inflammation-reducing foods and just treat myself occasionally to chips, pasta and cured meats? Or should I really be avoiding the bad foods all the time?

    Thanks in advance!

  14. Thank you for this, I have been trying to create a new diet so this helped a lot. Inflammation is the root of all diseases so it’s nice to know what to look out for.

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