Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

We toss the word inflammation around quite a bit, so much so that most of us tend to think we're all inflamed, that it’s perfectly normal and that there’s nothing that can be done about it. But inflammation is a pretty serious sign that something's gone haywire in your body. While the occasional inflammatory response is normal and healthy, chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious ailments, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity and gastrointestinal disorders.

Inflammation is a sign that your body is craving attention and, you guessed it, nourishment! Switching from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to an anti-inflammatory, whole-foods, plant-based regimen will help reduce inflammatory markers and support a healthy body. Many of the foods you’ve been making into smoothies already fit this category, but here are ten additional anti-inflammatory options to help you along.

1. Enzyme-rich foods, including wheatgrass, other grasses, banana and raw honey

Enzymes are powerful in helping shut down the markers that are triggered when we have an inflammatory response. When foods are properly broken down before absorption into the bloodstream, they're also less likely to cause the pain and discomfort associated with inflammation.

2. Pineapple and Papaya

These two foods contain two very specific enzymes known to combat inflammation. Pineapple is rich in the digestive enzyme bromelain, while papaya is known for its inflammation-fighting digestive protein papain.

3. Cherries

Research shows tart cherries help reduce the likelihood of experiencing a gout attack, a condition where recurrent episodes of inflammatory arthritis attack the big toe, the most commonly affected area. Cherries may also help improve recovery following strenuous exercise by reducing inflammatory markers and oxidative muscle damage.

4. Berries, including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries

Rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, such as flavanols, flavonols, anthocyanins and ellagic acid, berries also contain a natural compound shown to potentially inhibit tumor growth. They top the list of antioxidant-rich foods, which help fight oxidative damage (most often the cause of inflammation in the body) by turning off the inflammation signals triggered by cytokines and COX-2s.

Cranberries are most noted for preventing urinary tract infections.

5. Green Tea

Green tea is a major source of the catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which contains potent free-radical scavenging ability. It may also help halt arthritis development and progression by blocking Interleukin-1, a pro-inflammatory cell, from damaging cartilage.

6. Cacao

In a 2005 study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers discovered that epicatechin and other flavanols found in cacao proved to be effective at inhibiting the action of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are inflammatory messengers that can be helpful in normal levels but are also known to be a key contributor to inflammation-related conditions when produced in excess.

The flavonoids found in cacao are also inhibitors of cyclooxygenase (COX-I), which contributes to inflammation.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to blunt inflammatory markers in disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, diabetes, skin disorders and cognitive decline, among others.

8. Seeds, including flax and chia

Flax and chia seeds are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, they are filled with fiber, promoting bowel regularity and reduced risk of inflammatory bowel disorders.

9. Avocados

Researchers found that the addition of avocado or its oil increased the absorption of carotenoids, beneficial antioxidants, by anywhere from 700 to 1700 percent. These carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein, alpha-carotene, and zeaxanthin, function as important antioxidants to fight inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and protect the body against free radical damage.

Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats, including monounsaturated fat and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid.

10. Rhizomes, including turmeric and ginger root

Turmeric contains active ingredient curcumin, a potent antioxidant, liver detoxifier, and anti-inflammatory. Curcumin has been shown to produce the same anti-inflammatory effects of the drug ibuprofen, without the side effects.

Ginger contains the appropriately-named compounds gingerols. These substances are believed to contribute to their anti-inflammatory magic!

Ginger is not only used as a potent anti-inflammatory root, it is also a carminative, a substance that helps reduce the formation of intestinal gas.

Check out this article for signs of inflammation and ways to help alleviate it and try our Inflamed No More! smoothie recipe to cool your inflammation!

Registered Dietitian

Comment by ilonawarner
October 19, 2015
You left out the world's most powerful inflamatory and that is the mangosteen fruit.
Before reading your comment, I have never hear about this fruit. I’m intrigued. Can you please elaborate on its benefits? Is this fruit difficult to find in Latin America? With which ingredients it is good to mix it when making a Nutri-Blast?
Comment by tamsta
October 01, 2015
Looking for blend recipes. For chronic sinusitis. Just bought a Nutribullet a few weeks back and loving it so far. I he tried most of the above foods just looking for specific blends if any out there!!
Comment by BlueDreams
September 05, 2015
I have an auto-immune called Primary Billiary Cirrhosis. My body is killing the billiary (exit ducts) of my liver. No cure. I need liver support and anti-inflammatory support. I have the NutiBullet RX and love it. So far I have been making anti-inflammatory concoctions. Is there something I can add for extra liver support?
Reply by GenieAngel
October 30, 2015
I hope this helps: Grapefruit High in both vitamin C and antioxidants, grapefruit increases the natural cleansing processes of the liver. A small glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice will help boost production of the liver detoxification enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins. Beets and Carrots Beets Both are extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene; eating beets and carrots can help stimulate and improve overall liver function. Green Tea This liver-loving beverage is full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function. Green tea is not only delicious, it’s also a great way to improve your overall diet. Learn more about the benefits of green tea. This is the only thing my mother drinks. :-) Leafy Green Vegetables Leafy Greens One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls, greens suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver. Try incorporating leafy greens such as bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens, and chicory into your diet. This will help increase the creation and flow of bile, the substance that removes waste from the organs and blood. Avocados This nutrient-dense super-food helps the body produce glutathione, a compound that is necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins. Apples Apple High in pectin, apples hold the chemical constituents necessary for the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. This, in turn, makes it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process. Cruciferous Vegetables Eating broccoli and cauliflower will increase the amount of glucosinolate in your system, adding to enzyme production in the liver. These natural enzymes help flush out carcinogens, and other toxins, out of our body which may significantly lower risks associated with cancer. Lemons & Limes Lemons and Limes These citrus fruits contain very high amounts of vitamin C, which aids the body in synthesizing toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. Drinking freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver. Walnuts Holding high amounts of the amino acid arginine, walnuts aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Walnuts are also high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which support normal liver cleansing actions. Make sure you chew the nuts well (until they are liquefied) before swallowing. Cabbage Much like broccoli and cauliflower, eating cabbage helps stimulate the activation of two crucial liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins. Try eating more kimchi, coleslaw, cabbage soup and sauerkraut. Turmeric The liver’s favorite spice. Try adding some of this detoxifying goodness into your next lentil stew or veggie dish for an instant liver pick-me-up. Turmeric helps boost liver detox. I mix whatever strikes my fancy into my Nutribullet with 1/2 cup of Almond Milk and a 1/2 cup of Organic Cran-Apple Juice. I hope this helps. Blessings~GenieAngel
Comment by kcexar
July 15, 2015
I have very severe gutatte psoriosis and the topicals and anti- biotics that the docs have given just don't work. Had this flare up since mid March with no sign of calming down. I'm going to order a NurtiBlast... any recepies that would be good for auto- immune skin emergencies such as mine?
Reply by shattleroe
September 10, 2015
I would suggest going gluten free for 3 weeks. This means checking labels for anything associated with wheat. There are studies showing there is a very strong connection between the two. Read carefully. Gluten is hidden in many thing (some mustards for instance). Good luck with this. It is well worth the effort. After three weeks, mass a little back into your diet for 4 days. If you see a reaction, then you know to remove it permanently. Good Luck!
Comment by Weld59
July 13, 2015
Are regular "Bing" type cherries as effective as Rainier cherries as an anti-inflammatory ingredient?
Comment by Weld59
July 13, 2015
Is the spice "Cumin" associated associated with Tumeric and, if so , can it be used like Tumeric Root or powdered Tumeric as an anti-inflammatory ingredient?
My wife and I just bought the NutriBullet and we're excited to use it. She has Ankylosing Spondylitis‎, and the anti-inflammatory recipes are going to help us a lot! Thank you for this article!
Comment by dlymie
July 09, 2015
Thank you, I have Lyme disease and my inflammation and hot flashes are crazy. Any suggestions for a blast to get rid of hot flashes.
Reply by Acaras19
July 09, 2015
Dlymie I have some really great Shake recipes to help with hot flashes. In fact, two of my dietary clients who are going through menopause have been hot flash free for 5 months. Email me at I would be happy to help you!
Reply by Malie
August 01, 2015
I am interested in your shake recipes for hot flashes. Thank you so much.
Comment by jsobsey
July 08, 2015
i have had Gastro-esophageal reflux disease for about 10 years or more years now. I cant ingest anything made with ginger, it instantly causes me to have pain
I am no longer on Nexium thanks to ginger! Very powerful and yummy!
Reply by jotonn58
June 20, 2015
looking forward to not have to take my heartburn medication, ordered my machine this morning
I have been nutra blasting for a month I feel great and the ginger is great I have gastritis and have been on medication for 4 years until your recent info on ginger . On price a day I haven't had meds in a month.
It was great to read your personal experience: it is great that you are not taking meds anymore! Can you please share some of the recipes of the Nutri-Blasts you have been taking to avoid gastritis?? My dad has suffered gastritis his entire life (he is 62), and he recently got his NutriBullet. I would love to share your recipes with him.
Comment by rohrjul
April 06, 2015
Thank you Krista...A lot of good information, and extremely timely and beneficial. Because I already use most of these foods in my Nutriblasting on a daily basis, I was delighted to recommend these foods to people that I know and love.
Thanks for the information, since using my nutribullit I have been feeling better,
Thank you Krista for the information. I am always curious about this subject.
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