Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s, and more—but these foods can help reduce your risk of illness.

James Ransom

It’s no secret that chronic inflammation can be detrimental to our health. We’re not talking about the natural-occurring one that protects your body—like when you get a cut or burn. We mean the kind that major diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s have been linked to. The good news, we can use food to combat chronic inflammation. Instead of focusing on all of the inflammation foods that are quite obvious, such as sugar, soda, empty carbs, alcohol, and any processed food, let’s hone in on the foods you can load up on to reduce inflammation.

Vegetables including leafy greens like Swiss chard and spinach, as well as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale have powerful anti-inflammatory effects that reduce certain levels in the body that drive inflammation. Add avocado to the mix with its beneficial compounds protecting against inflammation and you’re set. Chili peppers contain certain acids that may also reduce inflammation, as well as raw or lightly cooked mushrooms.  Try this Chard and Herb Frittata.

Berries like acai, strawberries, and blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may reduce inflammation while also boosting immunity. Pack them into smoothies or oatmeal.

Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon and sardines might ring a bell here, but also seeds and nuts have anti-inflammatory effects. Find them in hemp seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, and walnuts to help reduce inflammation. Add seeds to your breakfast smoothie or oatmeal, and sprinkle nuts on salads and roasted vegetables.

Turmeric has a powerful constituent called curcumin and it’s responsible for turmeric’s rise in popularity for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Go beyond the golden latte, and add this spice that comes ground into soups, grain bowls, and dressings. Always add freshly ground black pepper to increase turmeric’s absorption.

Last but not least, water. Not only does it hydrate but can help soothe inflammation in the body. While you’re at it, make tea. Green or black tea has flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Brew it yourself to avoid any unwanted sugars from packaged versions.

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Include these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet and fight inflammation one bite at a time.

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