What you eat has a profound effect on your health and wellbeing; food affects both your physical and emotional health. An issue that underlies many health conditions is inflammation – read through our article to understand why. Long-term low levels of inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, is linked with many serious conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer's.
Anti-inflammatory foods are ones that contain anti-inflammatory compounds. These include:
- Many vitamins and minerals to nourish our cells
- Fibre that promotes gut health and feeds our friendly gut bacteria
- Omega-3 essential fats that most people don’t eat enough of, and
- Plant compounds that are known to fight inflammation (especially the deeply-coloured plants).
You reap what you sow. Include these foods in your diet.
Fruits and vegetables are one main component that plays a role in the reduction of most serious conditions. They are high in many vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Dark-coloured ones like blueberries, tomatoes, and leafy greens (e.g. spinach, kale and collards), tend to be especially high in anti-inflammatory and other health-promoting plant compounds.
Nuts and seeds are very convenient snacks that are known for heart health and stabilising blood sugar. They contain anti-inflammatory vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fibre.
Healthy fats like olive oil, flaxseed oil, and fatty fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, and sardines) are also top foods. The “omega-3” oils found in them are both anti-inflammatory and heart healthy.
If you’ve heard of the health benefits of green tea and coffee you’re going to want to consider including those in your anti-inflammatory food list. These contain special plant compounds that help reduce inflammation. Drinking them plain is the best way, because adding loads of sugar and cream aren’t very anti-inflammatory.
There are a number of alternative foods to swap for those that might already be in your diet. Have a look at our list of anti-inflammatory food swaps to help you make these decisions.