Facts

10 Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Foods

The lower the inflammation, the higher the health!

By: Rebecca Jacobs

When it comes to busting inflammation, adding anti-inflammatory foods to your plate is an excellent choice. Yes, these foods are particularly trendy in the wellness world (hello, turmeric lattes and superfood shots), but they’re also extremely effective! Aside from being a powerful (and researched-backed) method to reduce inflammation, turning to superfoods like turmeric, ginger, and pineapple can help naturally bring your body back to balance and benefit overall health. So load up on those fresh-pressed juices, sprinkle some golden spices on your veggies, and toss some dark leafy greens in your smoothie. It’s time to load up on superfoods for a super you! 

Ahead, we’re breaking down the best anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet. From busting bloat to soothing sore muscles, find out why you need these nutrients on your plate! 

The Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Add to Your Diet to Supercharge Your Health 

#1 Pineapple 

As if we need another excuse to enjoy this sweet fruit, pineapple makes a great anti-inflammatory food to add to your smoothies or enjoyed mixed into a fruit salad. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme most commonly known to help support digestive health and combat seasonal allergy symptoms. So, go ahead and sweeten up your diet with this tropical fruit! 

Here are some yummy ways to enjoy pineapple:

  • Blend up a tropical smoothie with some fresh pineapple, and coconut milk
  • Grill it plain and serve it over vanilla Greek yogurt 
  • Add it to your water for an all-natural flavor boost
  • Make a fresh pineapple salsa with red onion, sweet peppers, avocado, lime juice, and cilantro 

RELATED: 14 Delicious Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Grill 

#2 Bone Broth 

You know that bowl of chicken noodle soup that brings so much comfort when you are just feeling rundown? Well, it’s the broth that brings all the anti-inflammatory goodness to your diet and a big reason to enjoy it regularly. Bone broth packs in a hefty dose of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and protein in a low-calorie package to not only help support overall health but to also help ease any type of joint pain or inflammation. It’s also the ideal gut-boosting superfood that can help soothe gut irritation and inflammation. So, don’t hold out on adding bone broth to your diet for times you are sick. Make it a regular part of your diet to help support overall wellness. 

Wondering how to incorporate this superfood into your diet? Here are some ideas:

  • Use it as the base for your soups and stews
  • Substitute bone broth for water when you’re making rice, pasta, or boiled veggies
  • Add it to your mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash
  • Blend it into your favorite sauces or dips
  • Add it into your scrambled egg mix or baked egg cups prior to cooking

#3 Chia Seeds

These seeds may be tiny, but they pack in a mighty dose of anti-inflammatory superfood power. Chia seeds are rich in plant-based protein and omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation while also supporting brain health. Adding chia seeds to your diet is also a great way to add in some extra fiber (nearly 5 grams per tablespoon) to keep your digestive health in tip-top shape. 

Here’s how to get all of their anti-inflammatory benefits:

  • Make a satiating chia seed pudding with almond milk, berries, almond butter, and your favorite add-ins such as nuts and cacao nibs
  • Add a spoonful to your smoothie
  • Sprinkle them into your favorite baked goods recipe
  • Mix them into your energy balls
  • Add them to your yogurt bowl or overnight oats

#4 Beets

These beautiful red gems are the perfect anti-inflammatory veggie to add to your diet. Beets contain betalain, the powerful antioxidant that gives beets their vibrant color. Antioxidants are great for combatting free radical damage in the body, so go ahead and add beets to your healthy eating plan — your health will thank you for it. 

Not a big fan of beets? Try roasting them with some coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt and pepper, or try adding them to your salad. 

Some other ideas?

  • Juice them with carrots, lemon, ginger, and celery for an anti-inflammatory boost
  • Mix cooked beets into a warming salad with fennel, arugula, avocado, walnuts, and a honey balsamic dressing
  • Blend cooked beets into a vibrant hummus
  • Thinly slice them and bake them into beet chips with a drizzle of oil and sprinkle of salt

#5 Coconut Oil 

While high-fat foods like coconut oil often get a bad rap, the bottom line is that coconut oil contains numerous health benefits. For one,  its lauric acid content gives this oil some added immune-supporting benefits to help keep us healthy all year long. 

Here are some healthy ways to add it to your diet:

  • Blend a teaspoon of this anti-inflammatory superfood oil to your smoothies or morning coffee
  • Use it in place of inflammatory oils (such as canola or vegetable oil) when baking
  • Drizzle it over your roasted veggies for an even greater anti-inflammatory boost
  • Use it to grease the pan for scrambled eggs, roasted veggies, or baked goods

#6 Swiss Chard 

While kale and spinach are anti-inflammatory superstars, there are some other spotlight-worthy leafy greens. Loaded with vitamins A, C, and K and anti-inflammatory antioxidants like quercetin, Swiss chard is a must-have nutrient when it comes to foods for busting inflammation. It’s known to improve bone health, regulate blood sugar, boost brain health, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and support a healthy heart.

Here’s how to add Swiss Chard to your diet:

  • Add it to soups or stir-fries
  • Blend it into your smoothie
  • Use it as the leafy base for your salad 
  • Saute it with a drizzle of avocado oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Add it to a lemon garlic pasta dish

#7 Walnuts 

Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, plant-based protein, and antioxidants, this heart-healthy nut is an easy and delicious way to sneak in a wide variety of anti-inflammatory nutrients, including antioxidants and plant-based omega-3s. Research also suggests that walnuts may also support gut health. 

Here’s how to enjoy them:

  • Use them as a topping for your smoothies, oats, or yogurt bowls 
  • Mix them into baked goods or energy bites
  • Blend them into a homemade nut milk
  • Chop them up and add them to your salad
  • Snack on them plain with a side of fresh fruit

#8 Sweet Potatoes

Satisfy your comfort food cravings with this nutrient-dense clean carb. Thanks to their rich nutrient profile — full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, C, B6, manganese, and potassium — sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods to add to your plate. 

Here’s how to add sweet potatoes to a healthy diet:

  • Blend them into a sweet potato mash 
  • Bake them into wedges, chips, or fries
  • Stuff them with shredded chicken or black beans
  • Toast them in place of bread for avocado toast
  • Mix roasted sweet potato into a yogurt bowl with berries and cinnamon

#9 Tart Cherries

Different from their sweet variety, tart cherries are low in sugar and loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds. While both fruits are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, tart cherries contain specific compounds that have been shown to ease muscle aches. And there’s more — research shows that these small but mighty berries may also support sleep! 

Here are some yummy ways to enjoy tart cherries:

  • Add them to a homemade trail mix with your favorite raw or dry-roasted nuts and seeds
  • Mix them into baked goods like muffins, pies, and breads
  • Add them to baked oats or a berry overnight oats recipe
  • Blend them into a creamy chocolate smoothie with cacao, avocado, banana, and almond milk

#10 Spirulina

If you’ve never heard of this aquatic superfood, listen up! Spirulina, also known as blue-green algae, is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse loaded with a wide range of benefits. For starters, a single tablespoon contains 4 grams of plant protein and a mere 20 calories. In fact, gram for gram it’s thought to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods to exist. Thanks to its powerful phytochemicals, spirulina has been shown to reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative damage. Plus, it can improve muscular endurance, lower blood pressure, and support healthy cholesterol levels. 

Here are some ways to enjoy spirulina:

  • Blend a spoonful into your smoothie
  • Mix it into a vanilla or banana overnight oats recipe
  • Add it to baked goods like banana bread
  • Sneak it into sauces, spreads, salad dressings, or dips

The Bottom Line 

If you want to support overall health, you have to address inflammation at its source. Dietary changes are one of the first places to start when it comes to making changes we are in control of. And the lower your inflammation, the better your health, and the better your health, the better you feel. So go ahead and add these foods to your diet and slash your inflammatory load one healthy bite at a time.