Foods that Reduce Inflammation


12 Foods That May Keep Inflammation at Bay

Whole Grains

Whole grains are an essential part of any diet. The fiber in whole grains reduce levels of C-reactive protein, which is linked to inflammation.

To get enough whole grains, you can incorporate foods like oatmeal and brown rice to their diets.

Citrus Fruits

Vitamin C can slow the progression can reduce inflammatory effects. A study conducted at the University of South Florida showed that people who consume more vitamin C have a lower risk of developing arthritis. The best citrus fruits to add to an anti-inflammatory diet to increase vitamin C intake include:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Tangerines


Recently, researchers have discovered that cherries and cherry juice can reduce inflammation in lab rats by 50 percent. Accordingly, similar results have been identified in humans. Some researchers claim that cherries are the most anti-inflammatory food. Thus, eating a cup of cherries or drinking a cup of juice can greatly reduce inflammation. It is important to note that tart cherries are more effective than sweet cherries.

Green Tea

Green tea contains several antioxidants that can help to alleviate the symptoms of painful inflammation. Green tea contains polyphenols, which reduces the inflammatory effects of arthritis, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which prevents joint damage.

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens contain vitamin E, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Consequently, spinach, kale, and collard greens are some of the best foods for an anti-inflammatory diet. Dark leafy greens protect cells from free-radicals and harmful by-products that are created during the metabolic process and are linked to rheumatoid arthritis.


As another source of Vitamin E, broccoli contains sulforaphane, which can ease inflammation. While researchers are still in the early stages of testing the effects of sulforaphane, it appears to have anti-inflammatory effects and can prevent damage to cartilage. Broccoli also contains vitamin A, vitamin K, and calcium.


Many types of fish have omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. Eating three ounces of fish twice a week can alleviate symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Some of the best fish for increasing your omega-3 fatty acid intake are:

  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Trout


Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, which is studied to have anti-inflammatory properties. The spice has been used for hundreds of years in India to prevent inflammatory diseases and is present in many Indian foods, specifically curry. Some people choose to take turmeric extract for its health benefits.

Soy (Not the sauce)

Soy contains isoflavones, which reduces inflammation in women. As isoflavones have been shown to reduce inflammation in mice, it is likely that isoflavones can help people with rheumatoid arthritis. Tofu, soy milk, and edamame are all excellent foods for incorporating soy into an anti-inflammatory diet.


Garlic contains diallyl disulfide, which prevents enzymes from damaging cartilage. The allicin in garlic, which gives it its odor and taste, reduces pain in people with inflammatory diseases. Some people choose to take garlic extract or eat just eat an entire clove to feel it’s effects.

Olive Oil

Olive oil contains oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties. It stops the body from producing the chemicals responsible for inflammation. You can incorporate olive oil into an anti-inflammatory diet by using it as a substitute for some saturated fats like butter. Extra-virgin olive oil has the most nutrients.


Nuts are full of antioxidants that reduce inflammatory effects. Almonds, which contain high amounts of vitamin E and calcium, are especially beneficial. Walnuts, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are another good choice for people with inflammation.

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