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What you eat can play both a positive and negative role in managing chronic inflammation. Though Diet alone will not control inflammation but making suitable choices may help prevent it from getting worse.

What Are Natural Anti-Inflammatories?

Natural anti-inflammatories are foods that you can eat to lower your odds of having inflammation. If you have a condition that causes inflammation, it may help to change your eating habits. If you have a condition like rheumatoid arthritis, changing what's on your plate won’t be a magic cure. But an anti-inflammatory diet might lessen the number of flare-ups you have, or it might help take your pain down a few notches.

An anti-inflammatory diet is widely regarded as healthy. Even if it doesn't help with your condition, it can help lower your chances of having other problems.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

A variety of foods have anti-inflammatory properties. These include foods that are high in antioxidants and polyphenols, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins (like beans and nuts), fatty fish, and fresh herbs and spices.

Inflammation resulting from lifestyle factors, such as obesity, smoking, and a sedentary existence can contribute to a range of diseases. These include heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s. Having diabetes, being overweight, having obesity, and eating high levels of saturated fats, trans fats, and refined sugar are all risk factors for chronic inflammation.

The following table lists diet and lifestyle changes that may help reduce chronic inflammation.

Dietary and lifestyle changesReasons
Adopt a low glycemic dietHigh sugar intake links to chronic inflammation, stroke risk, coronary heart disease risk, and type 2 diabetes risk. Soda, refined carbohydrates, and high fructose corn syrup are foods that can promote inflammation.
Try a low-fat dietSaturated and trans fats worsen inflammation. People should try to reduce or eliminate processed and packaged foods that have trans fats from processed vegetable or seed oil, and baked goods with soybean or corn oil.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetablesThese foods are high in antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce the risk of chronic inflammation.
Get enough fiberResearchers have shown an association between high fiber diets and lower inflammatory factors, such as TNF-alpha and interleukin-6.
Eat more nutsAlmonds and other nuts may help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, are pro-inflammatory states. Diabetes is a chronic inflammatory disease.
Drink green and black teasScientists have associated compounds found in green and black teas with lower C-reactive protein in the blood.
Add curcumin to foodA component in turmeric called curcumin improves several inflammatory diseases
Add fish oil to the diet Omega-3fatty acids positively affect lower levels of inflammatory factors in the blood, such as C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and TNF-alpha.
Eat more mung beansThese beans may have anti-inflammatory properties.
Add sesame lignans to the dietSesame oil contains sesame lignans, which people associate with decreasing inflammatory factors and improving blood pressure.
Exercise regularlyBurning calories through exercise lowers inflammatory factors even if people do not lose weight.
Inflammatory Foods (Foods to avoid)

Anything highly processed, overly greasy, or super sweet isn’t a good choice for you if you have inflammation. The following foods may increase inflammation for some people, hence should be avoided as much as possible:

If you are trying to reduce fight inflammation, try to reduce your intake of these foods. You do not have to eliminate them but try to eat them only occasionally. You can lower your risk of chronic inflammation with changes to what you eat.

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Sources:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis/turmeric-and-anti-inflammatory-herbs
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-foods-that-cause-inflammation#1.-Sugar-and-high-fructose-corn-syrup
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-inflammation#antiinflammatory-diets
  4. https://www.webmd.com/diet/anti-inflammatory-diet-road-to-good-health#2
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