Inflammation is a natural part of our bodies’ immune response, but at the same time, chronic inflammation can be seriously damaging. Studies have shown that chronic inflammation has a role to play in arthritis(1), obesity(2), heart disease(3), and even cancer(4).
Can the foods we eat contribute to whether or not we experience chronic inflammation? It turns out that some foods can, in fact, cause an inflammatory response – namely those high in sugar and trans fats. But there are many foods that act as natural anti-inflammatories. If you struggle with or are concerned about chronic inflammation, read on.
1. Fatty Fish
“Dietary omega-3 fatty acids have a variety of anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects that may be of relevance to atherosclerosis and its clinical manifestations of myocardial infarction, sudden death, and stroke,” one study states(5).
Where to get these omega-3 fatty acids? Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, are rich in them.
Baked, grilled or broiled fish is better for you than fried, dried, or salted fish, and if you’re not a fan of any type of fish, there’s always walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds/oil or fish oil supplements.
2. Dark, Leafy Greens
Vitamin E, often found in dark leafy green vegetables like kale or spinach, has a crucial role to play in reducing inflammation.
An antioxidant, this vitamin has been shown to significantly reduce inflammation in rats(6), and help prevent heart disease in humans(7).