Publish 23 February 2021
Reasons and Reactions to Inflammation
Most inflammation is a physiological response to injury, infection, or illness. You often experience swelling, pain, heat, and redness. As a vital part of your body’s natural healing system, it signals the immune system to fight off infections, repair tissue damage, and heal up wounds.
Sometimes, an unfavorable lifestyle triggers an inflammatory response. This can result from poor diet and nutrition, increased stress levels, insufficient physical activity, and sleep deprivation. Inflammatory foods include sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial trans fats, and refined carbohydrates. When inflammation occurs without an injury or infection to fight, the immune system attacks itself—the body’s cells, organs, joints, and tissues.
Left untreated for prolonged periods, inflammation can lead to chronic (and autoimmune) diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity, cancer, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and other fatal conditions.
Whether the cause of inflammation is injury, infection, or an unhealthy lifestyle, it is necessary to lessen its ensuing pain and symptoms. Apart from prescribed medications, certain anti-inflammatory foods help to reduce inflammation and chronic pain.
A major advantage of an anti-inflammatory diet is that it is a holistic, physiological therapy. So it is void of side effects such as brain fogginess, memory loss, allergic reactions, or stomach ulcers associated with anti-inflammatory medications.
Best 6 Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Besides being an excellent source of protein, the fatty fish, salmon, is packed with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. They are metabolized into resolvins and protectins. These compounds help reduce inflammation that can lead to chronic diseases such as heart and kidney diseases.
Increasing your consumption of fatty fish, especially salmon, decreases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It helps reduce joint pain and swelling in RA patients. Other fatty fish that can reduce inflammatory markers are mackerel, herrings, sardines, and anchovies… except tilapia or catfish.
Ginger root has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and chemoprotective properties. It is common in traditional medicine to stop nausea, aid digestion, reduce severe inflammation, ease menstrual pains and aching joints from osteoarthritis. When you apply it topically, it helps to reduce swelling.
A 2010 research study reveals daily consumption of raw and heated ginger significantly reduces exercise-induced muscle injury and pain. 
Turmeric contains a bioactive compound, curcumin, which loads it up with anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties. Because of its curcumin content, turmeric helps to reduce inflammation caused by arthritis, diabetes,  and other chronic diseases. 
Combining the curcumin in turmeric with the piperine in black pepper increases curcumin bioavailability and absorption by 2000%. 
4. Hot Peppers
Hot peppers contain a compound, capsaicin, which is responsible for its spicy hot kick and enriches it with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. Capsaicin is used in topical creams and gels formulated for the treatment of neuropathic pain, osteoarthritic or lower back pain, and joint pains.
Chili, as well as bell peppers, are loaded with vitamin C, B-6, and antioxidants that help to improve the immune defenses and significantly reduce inflammation. Bell peppers deliver the antioxidant quercetin, which has been found to reduce a biomarker of oxidative stress in sarcoidosis  (an inflammatory disease). While chili peppers deliver sinapic and ferulic acid, which possess powerful anti-inflammatory and therapeutic benefits.
Spice up your meals with jalapenos, habaneros, cayenne, or serrano peppers.
5. Tart Cherries
Tart (and sweet) cherries are loaded with the antioxidant anthocyanins, which helps to alleviate pain and inflammation. Cherries also contain loads of vitamin C and polyphenols for improving the immune system and regulating select body functions.
A 2012 research study found that the antioxidants in tart cherry juice significantly reduce inflammation biomarkers in women suffering from inflammatory osteoarthritis, after 21 days of daily consumption. 
Grapes are loaded with plant compounds anthocyanins and resveratrol, which help to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of chronic diseases. Resveratrol is also a phytoestrogen, so it helps to lower the risk of bone fracture and back pain in post-menopausal women. 
Additional Anti-Inflammatory Considerations
Other anti-inflammatory foods include pumpkin seeds, berries, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, dark chocolate, cocoa, and green tea.
It is not enough to eat these foods individually; if you plate anti-inflammatory foods with foods that aggravate inflammation and pain, you will not observe remarkable results, or you might even suffer greatly. This means that your complete diet and nutrition need to be in sync.
Avoid or limit consumption of full-fat dairy products, deep-fried junk foods, over-processed carbs, and red meat. They supply high amounts of saturated fats, which raise insulin and bad cholesterol levels and cause inflammation.
A plant-rich anti-inflammatory diet plays an important role in pain management, but it must be accompanied by other health-promoting activities such as exercise, meditation, and sleep. Notify your doctor before replacing prescription anti-inflammatory drugs with natural alternatives.
To support the writing of useful articles about nutrition, ClinicalPosters sells human anatomy posters, scientific posters and other products online. You may sponsor specific articles, remit a small donation,Slide extra posters into DeuPair Frames without removing from the wallYou can donateYou may sponsor specific articles, remit a small donation,Slide extra posters into DeuPair Frames without removing from the wallYou may remit a small donationAlso shop for ClinicalPins that include more than lapel pins or leave an encouraging comment to keep the work going. Stay safe and A Bit More Healthy.
- Black CD, Herring MP, Hurley DJ, O'Connor PJ. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise. J Pain. 2010 Sep;11(9):894-903. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2009.12.013. Epub 2010 Apr 24. PMID: 20418184.
- Nabavi SF, Thiagarajan R, Rastrelli L, Daglia M, Sobarzo-Sánchez E, Alinezhad H, Nabavi SM. Curcumin: a natural product for diabetes and its complications. Curr Top Med Chem. 2015;15(23):2445-55. doi:10.2174/1568026615666150619142519. PMID: 26088351.
- He Y, Yue Y, Zheng X, Zhang K, Chen S, Du Z. Curcumin, inflammation, and chronic diseases: how are they linked? Molecules. 2015 May 20;20(5):9183-213. doi:10.3390/molecules20059183. PMID: 26007179; PMCID: PMC6272784.
- Shoba G, Joy D, Joseph T, Majeed M, Rajendran R, Srinivas PS. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):353-6. doi:10.1055/s-2006-957450. PMID: 9619120.
- Boots AW, Drent M, de Boer VC, Bast A, Haenen GR. Quercetin reduces markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in sarcoidosis. Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug;30(4):506-12. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2011.01.010. Epub 2011 Feb 15. PMID: 21324570.
- Kuehl KS, M.D., Elliot DL, M.D., Sleigh AE, B.S., Smith JL, M.P.H. Efficacy of Tart Cherry Juice to Reduce Inflammation Biomarkers Among Women With Inflammatory Osteoarthritis (OA). 2012 Dec 1. doi:10.5296/jfs.vlil.1927
- Li, Xin & Phillips, Frank & An, Howard & Ellman, Michael & Thonar, Eugene & Wu, William & Park, Daniel & Im, Hee-Jeong. (2008). The Action of Resveratrol, a Phytoestrogen Found in Grapes, on the Intervertebral Disc. Spine. 33. 2586-95. 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181883883.
Access more article features, photos, and references.