Inflammation is part of the body’s normal immune response; without it, we can’t heal. But recent studies have shown that chronic inflammation is a leading cause of many diseases including psoriasis, allergies, asthma, heart disease, and arthritis. Foods high in sugar and saturated fats can spur inflammation by causing the immune system to overreact. Eat these foods to fight chronic inflammation.
- Dark Leafy Greens – Vitamin E may play a key role in protecting the body from pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. One of the best sources of vitamin E is dark green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens.
- Fatty Fish – Oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce chronic inflammation.
- Beets and Berries – Beets are full of antioxidants and have been shown to reduce inflammation, as well as protect against heart disease, thanks to fiber, vitamin C and plant pigments called betalains. Berries, especially red varieties, also have anti-inflammatory properties—possibly because of anthocyanins, the powerful chemicals that give them their rich color.
- Nuts – Nuts, particularly almonds are rich in fiber, calcium, and vitamin E. Walnuts contain high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fat. All nuts are packed with antioxidants, which can also help your body fight off and repair the damage caused by inflammation.
- Soy – Several studies have suggested that isoflavones, the estrogen-like compounds found in soy products, may help lower inflammation levels in women. You can incorporate soy milk, tofu, and edamame (boiled soybeans) into your regular diet.