Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Author: Henrik Aulbach



Lesezeit: 3 min

Chronic inflammatory processes in the body lead to various problems. Recent research indicates that the development of diseases like dementia can be attributed to the increased presence of inflammatory substances in the brain starting from the age of 30. Such gradual inflammation can be prevented with the right diet.

Silent Inflammations in the Body

Chronic inflammations in the body lead to various diseases. They usually develop unnoticed and gradually until they become chronic and are difficult or even impossible to cure. The following diseases are associated with chronic inflammatory processes:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Gout
  • Digestive System Disorders

These diseases are significantly exacerbated by an unhealthy lifestyle. Lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, stress, and an unhealthy diet are the main factors. The practical aspect is that you have full control over these factors. You can exercise more, eat healthier, reduce stress, and quit smoking and excessive drinking to prevent inflammation.

In this context, a “wrong” diet refers to consuming too many snacks and sweets, along with wheat and red meat. You should aim to avoid these foods for an anti-inflammatory diet.

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition: What Matters

An anti-inflammatory diet largely avoids inflammation-promoting foods and instead focuses on anti-inflammatory plants and foods.

Anti-inflammatory foods are characterized by their healthy components. For instance, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing the intake of these fatty acids optimizes the body's ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the occurrence of inflammation.

Antioxidants are also a crucial part of an anti-inflammatory diet. They intercept free radicals before they cause damage to tissues, potentially leading to inflammation.

In addition to healthy sources of omega-3 fatty acids like fish, plant-based foods are anti-inflammatory. Below, you'll find a selection of what are likely the most important anti-inflammatory foods.

It's worth considering consulting with a nutritionist or a medical professional for guidance. Every person has unique requirements, so special conditions might apply to you. 

Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

In addition to the 10 anti-inflammatory foods listed below, there are many others, of course. We've compiled these 10 foods to help you get started on an anti-inflammatory diet. 

  1. Whole Grains: Refined carbohydrates can promote inflammation. Whole grains with more fiber, nutrients, and anti-inflammatory properties are preferable over simple carbohydrates.
  2. Water: Your body needs plenty of water to flush out inflammation-promoting substances and fight inflammation. Feel free to infuse water with herbal teas to incorporate additional anti-inflammatory compounds.
  3. Leek and Onion Vegetables: Historically, Hildegard of Bingen recommended leek and onion vegetables for various purposes, particularly considering cooked vegetables as beneficial. Nowadays, we know that both cooked and raw forms are beneficial. These vegetables contain various minerals (such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc.) as well as vitamins. Red onion contains a good amount of anthocyanins, which have antioxidant effects. Sulfides are also of particular importance.
  4. Broccoli: This vegetable, often regarded as a nemesis by many children, contains numerous mustard glycosides. Additional secondary plant compounds make broccoli a helpful ally against inflammation.
  5. Turmeric: This spice contains an anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin. Incorporate turmeric into your diet more often.
  6. Ginger: This rhizome is often recommended for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, often taken in the form of ginger shots. In fact, ginger is a valuable component of an anti-inflammatory diet.
  7. Berries: Particularly, the healthy flavonoids (plant pigments) can assist in reducing inflammation. Once again, anthocyanins are among them.
  8. Nuts: Natural and unprocessed nuts combine healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Nuts are highly recommended as an anti-inflammatory snack. 
  9. Olive Oil: While olive oil doesn't contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, its anti-inflammatory properties are based on other components, such as polyphenols. Therefore, olive oil is highly recommended.
  10. Flaxseeds: In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds contain lignans, which can have anti-inflammatory effects. An additional benefit of flaxseeds is their improvement of gut health due to the fiber content.

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition: Frequently Asked Questions

What helps against inflammation in the body?

High levels of inflammation are often attributed to lifestyle factors. Sedentary behavior, poor diet, stress, and tobacco and alcohol consumption are typical causes of elevated inflammation. So, it's in your hands to reduce inflammation and adjust your lifestyle. You should:

  • Manage stress
  • Engage in more physical activity
  • Improve your diet (see the list above)
  • Avoid tobacco and reduce alcohol consumption

How do you remove inflammation from the body?

If you have (chronic) inflammation in the body, it should be treated by a doctor. Lower inflammation levels or reduced chronic inflammation might be achieved through the following key points:

  • Healthy Diet: Inflammation-reducing substances, fewer processed foods, and omega-3 fatty acids are important factors. 
  • Exercise and Movement: Lack of exercise can increase inflammation levels, get your circulation going!
  • Adequate Sleep: Lack of sleep can hinder the body's ability to reduce inflammation.
  • Stress Management: High stress promotes inflammation in the body. Effectively reduce stress in your daily life.
  • Weight Control: Excess weight contributes to chronic inflammation. 
  • Smoking and Alcohol: Ideally, avoid both to mitigate inflammation.

Do herbal remedies help against inflammation in the body?

Herbal remedies may contain anti-inflammatory substances like flavonoids, making them potentially beneficial. It's advisable to consult with a nutritionist or doctor to determine which plant-based foods are suitable for you. For instance, wheat and other grains might promote inflammation.

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