Chronic inflammation can throw off your hunger mechanism and metabolism-regulating hormones, spur insulin resistance, and even cause you to hang onto water weight, says nutritionist Alex Caspero, R.D. What's more, research published in the journal Diabetes has linked elevated levels of inflammatory markers with future weight gain. While pretty much any good-for-you food will lower your body's levels of inflammation at least a bit, these eight foods truly go above and beyond.
Fat makes up your body’s inflammation-regulating compounds, called prostaglandins. And while some reduce inflammation, others egg it on. To up your levels of inflammation-fighting prostaglandins, eat more omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA—for which salmon and other fatty fish are famous, says Caspero. What’s more, since omega-3's can help decrease your levels of inflammation-causing LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides, they can lower inflammation even more, says Rene Ficek, R.D., lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating.
Fish not your thing? No problem. Flax boasts nature's highest concentration of plant-based omega-3's, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Blueberries are a rich source of bioflavonoids, which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, says Caspero. Fewer free radicals, less inflammation.
Turmeric gives curry its yellow color, along with a hefty load of bioflavonoids, says Caspero. Plus, research from the
shows that turmeric suppress NF-kappa B, an immune-regulating protein that
triggers inflammation University of Texas
Hailed as having the "highest anti-inflammatory content of any food" by Oregon Health and
tart cherries are filled with anthocyanins, antioxidants that are known to
reduce inflammation as effectively as some pain meds. Science
This one hits inflammation from a couple angles since it's rich in isoflavones and omega-3 fatty acids. The result: lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, says Caspero
Other blends are good, too, but green is a more active anti-inflammatory, possibly due to its higher flavonoid content, according to one 2012 study out of India
In one study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate whole grains (think: oatmeal, brown rice, and barley) lowered their levels of C-reactive protein by 38 percent compared to those who opted for refined grains. And that was after controlling for the weight they lost!