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Inflammation can be both good and bad.
On one hand, it helps your body defend itself from infection and injury.
Stress, unhealthy inflammatory foods and low activity levels can make this risk even worse.
However, some foods can actually help fight inflammation.
Here is a list of 13 anti-inflammatory foods that are supported by science.
Berries are small fruits that are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Although there are dozens of varieties, some of the most common berries include:
Your body produces natural killer cells, which help keep your immune system functioning properly.
One study found that men who consumed blueberries every day produced significantly more natural killer cells, compared to men who did not (5).
In another study, overweight men and women who ate strawberries had lower levels of certain inflammatory markers associated with heart disease (6).
Bottom Line: Berries contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These compounds may reduce inflammation, boost immunity and reduce the risk of heart disease.
2. Fatty Fish
Bottom Line: Fatty fish contain high amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Broccoli is extremely nutritious.
It’s a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale.
This may be related to the anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidants they contain.
Bottom Line: Broccoli is one of the best sources of sulforaphane, an antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Avocados are a true “superfood.”
They’re packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
In addition, one compound in avocados has been shown to reduce inflammation in young skin cells (22).
Bottom Line: Avocados contain various beneficial compounds that protect against inflammation and may reduce the risk of cancer.
5. Green Tea
You’ve probably already heard that green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink.
Many of its benefits are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, especially a substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
Bottom Line: Green tea’s high EGCG content reduces inflammation and protects cells from damage that can lead to disease.