Studies have routinely shown that chronic inflammation is associated with various chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and even cancer, just to name a few.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of diseases associated with chronic inflammation is projected to increase persistently over the next three decades. In 2014, nearly 60% of Americans had at least one chronic condition, and globally, every three out of five people die due to chronic inflammatory diseases.
RELATED: Popular Foods That Increase Inflammation, Say Dietitians
The good news? There are lifestyle and diet changes you can make to reduce your own risk of developing chronic inflammation. One way is to avoid inflammatory foods such as ones that are laden in added sugars, refined flours, and vegetable and seed oils. Instead, you’ll want to eat foods that fight inflammation, such as ones that are high in fiber and rich in nutrients.
“The secret eating trick is to eat a diet full of colorful foods,” says Cedrina Calder, MD, MSPH, and member of our medical review board. “Choose foods with bright, deep, or rich colors. These are usually packed with antioxidants which help fight inflammation and may reduce the risk of chronic disease.”
Here are some colorful foods to add to your diet to reduce inflammation. Then, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries all have vibrant colors and are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that all help to reduce inflammation. More specifically, berries contain an antioxidant called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Here are the Secret Effects of Eating Blueberries, Says Science.
Salmon is rich in both EPA and DHA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation in the body that can lead to chronic ailments such as heart disease and diabetes. Cook a fillet at home using one of our 21+ Best Healthy Salmon Recipes!
As far as anti-inflammatory spices go, turmeric is top tier. The vibrant yellow-orange spice has been shown to target inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes, and several other chronic diseases. Put one teaspoon of the spice into a smoothie or latte, but make sure to add some black pepper in order to activate its anti-inflammatory properties.
Coffee is great, but if you get the jitters after drinking a cup or two, it may be best to sip on a caffeinated beverage that’s a bit more gentle. Green tea is a great choice, with one cup containing about 30 milligrams of caffeine as opposed to the 90-100 milligrams you’d find in a cup of coffee. In addition, one cup of green tea packs a lot of antioxidants. One substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is of particular interest, as it inhibits inflammation by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
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