Hey Angels and Alphas,
Most nutrition experts already know that inflammation can be both good and bad.
On the one hand, it can help your body protect itself from injury and infection. On the other hand, chronic inflammation has been studied to lead to, you guessed it, chronic disease.
Stress, low activity levels, and foods that can cause inflammation can further increase that risk. However, studies have suggested that some foods can help alleviate some of that chronic inflammation.
Today, we’ve compiled a list of some of the strongest anti-inflammatory foods you can get, as well as tips on how to easily add them to your daily routine. Let’s get right into it.
Berries are small but don’t judge them by their size. They’re nutritional powerhouses full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Dozens of berry varieties exist. Some of the more common ones include blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.
Berries contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins. These compounds have been shown to have effects that reduce your risk of chronic disease. In one study that tested about two dozen adults, people who consumed blueberry powder every day produced significantly more natural killer cells (also known as NK cells) than people who didn’t. Your body naturally produces NK cells, and they’re an organic part of your immune system.
Broccoli is robustly nutritious. It’s a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Not only that, but research has shown us that eating lots of cruciferous veggies has been associated with a lower risk of cancer and heart disease. This may partly be because of the anti-inflammatory effects the antioxidants contain.
Broccoli is also rich in sulforaphane, which is an antioxidant that decreases inflammation by reducing your levels of cytokines and other fancy terms such as nuclear factor kappa B (another molecule that drives inflammation in your body.)
Avocados are a food rich in fiber, magnesium, potassium, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Avocados are also rich in carotenoids and tocopherols, both of which are linked to a reduced risk of cancer. In addition, one of the compounds in avocados may reduce inflammation in newly forming skin cells. In one high-quality study that included more than 50 adults, people who ate avocado had a reduction in inflammatory markers interleukin 1 beta and CRP.
Bell peppers and chili peppers are both loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants which both have anti-inflammatory effects. Bell peppers also provide you with the antioxidant quercetin. This antioxidant reduces inflammation specifically related to chronic diseases such as diabetes. Chili peppers contain sinapic acid and ferulic acid, both of which may reduce inflammation and help support healthier aging.
While you can find thousands of varieties of mushrooms worldwide, only a few of them are edible and commercially grown. These include portobello mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, truffles, and more. Mushrooms are typically very low in calories but rich in copper, selenium, and all of the major B vitamins. They are also rich in phenols, as well as other antioxidants that provide your body with anti-inflammatory protection.
Grapes fuel your body with anthocyanins, a surefire way to reduce inflammation. In addition, they may directly decrease your risk of several diseases, including heart disease, eye disorders, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and more.
Grapes are also an amazing source of resveratrol, another antioxidant with countless health benefits. Studies have even shown this compound can protect you against heart inflammation.
In one study that included over 50 people with heart failure, those who consumed 2 50-mg resveratrol capsules for three months experienced a decrease in their inflammatory gene markers.
An even older study from 2012 found that adults who ate grape extract every day experienced increased levels of adiponectin. And remember, low levels of this hormone are associated with weight gain and an increased risk of chronic diseases.
But grapes, being the nutritional powerhouse they are, power us with a variety of antioxidants that help protect our bodies against inflammation.