Health Nutrition & Diet 7 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat Every Day for Long-Term Health Stock up on these ingredients to reduce the risk of diseases caused by chronic inflammation. By Betty Gold Betty Gold Betty Gold is a food writer and editor with more than a decade’s experience working on titles such as Food Network Magazine, Bon Appetit, and Good Housekeeping. She is the former senior digital food editor at Real Simple and is currently overseeing all food and nutritional content for Well+Good as senior food editor. Real Simple's Editorial Guidelines and Ananda Eidelstein Ananda Eidelstein Instagram Website Ananda Eidelstein is a vegetable-loving food writer, recipe developer, and editor. She is the former Senior Food Editor at REAL SIMPLE magazine. Prior to writing and editing feature stories, having her own monthly vegetarian column, and developing over 300 recipes during her time at RS, she was the Assistant Food Editor at Rachael Ray Every Day. She has also gained experience in the test kitchens of Martha Stewart's Living, and Saveur magazines, in catering, TV, and a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City. Ananda is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, now known as the International Culinary Center, with nearly a decade of culinary and food media experience. Real Simple's Editorial Guidelines Updated on August 25, 2022 Fact checked by Isaac Winter Fact checked by Isaac Winter Isaac Winter is a fact-checker and writer for Real Simple, ensuring the accuracy of content published by rigorously researching content before publication and periodically when content needs to be updated. Highlights: Helped establish a food pantry in West Garfield Park as an AmeriCorps employee at Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center. Interviewed Heartland Alliance employees for oral history project conducted by the Lake Forest College History Department. Editorial Head of Lake Forest College's literary magazine, Tusitala, for two years. Our Fact-Checking Process Share Tweet Pin Email Inflammation refers to your body's natural process of fending off things that could be harmful—injuries, infections, or toxins—in an attempt to heal itself. When something hurts our cells, we release chemicals that trigger a response from our immune system—including antibodies, proteins, and increased blood flow to the damaged area. In the case of acute inflammation (like a bruise or swelling from an injury), this doesn't linger for longer than a few days. Chronic inflammation, however, happens when our body's "fending off" response persists and leaves us in a constant state of alert. And it's no secret that it can be detrimental to our health: Chronic inflammation has been linked to various diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis, and Alzheimer's. The good news is that we can use food to combat chronic inflammation. Instead of focusing on all the obvious inflammatory foods—sugar, soda, refined carbs, alcohol, red meat, and processed foods—let's hone in on the delicious ingredients you can load up on to reduce inflammation. Vegetables Leafy greens like Swiss chard, spinach, and kale and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts have powerful anti-inflammatory effects that reduce certain levels in the body that drive inflammation. For extra credit, add avocado to the mix (it also has beneficial compounds that protect against inflammation). Chili peppers contain certain acids, like capsaicin, that may reduce inflammation, too, as well as raw or lightly cooked mushrooms. Cook them in a frittata, or try throwing your favorite veggies on the grill. Berries Berries like acai, strawberries, and blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may reduce inflammation while also boosting immunity. Pack them into superfood smoothies, stir them into oatmeal, or try making an acai bowl. Fish and Nuts When it comes to combating inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids are where it's at. Salmon and sardines might ring a bell as super sources of omega-3s, but seeds and nuts are packed with anti-inflammatory effects, too. Add hemp seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, and walnuts to your diet to help reduce inflammation. You can add them to your breakfast bowl, or sprinkle nuts on salads or roasted vegetables. Red Alert: These Are the 4 Worst Foods That Cause Inflammation Turmeric Turmeric has a powerful constituent called curcumin, which is what's responsible for turmeric's rapid rise in popularity. It has serious anti-inflammatory benefits. Go beyond the golden latte and add this superfood spice to soups, grain bowls, and dressings. Pro tip: Add freshly ground black pepper to increase turmeric's absorption. Ginger Ginger helps ease inflammation by slowing the body's production of cytokines, a protein that triggers chronic inflammation. Ginger's a natural remedy for an upset stomach, too. Serve it with sautéed vegetables, fish, or bake it into cookies. Water Last but not least, there's water: It hydrates us and helps soothe inflammation in the body. For an anti-inflammatory upgrade, make tea. Green or black tea has flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Brew it yourself to avoid any unwanted sugars from packaged versions. Meet Sumac, the Superfood Spice That'll Help You Fight Inflammation—and Bland Food—For Good Include these anti-inflammatory diet foods into your daily routine and fight inflammation one bite at a time. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Real Simple is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. 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