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8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods I Eat Every Week

Anti-inflammatory foods are those that have been well studied to reduce inflammation in the body. They’re single ingredients and most nutritionists agree that we need to eat more of them.

If you suffer from an autoimmune disease, diabetes, heart disease, gut disorders or any other inflammatory condition, you can benefit greatly by incorporating more of these simple foods into your diet.

Can changing your eating habits change your overall health? You betcha!

Eight plates of individual anti-inflammatory ingredients on white table.

Every time we eat we have the option to choose foods that are inflammatory or anti-inflammatory to the body. Foods that hurt our overall wellness or boost our overall wellness.

Inflammatory foods are sugar, refined carbohydrates, industrial seed oils, alcohol, red meat and processed food (soda, burgers, chips, etc), to name a few.

Anti-inflammatory foods are single ingredients that are unprocessed and unadulterated in any way. They’re the very best from mother nature and well studied for their nutritional value and positive impact on the immune system, cardiovascular system and our bodies and brains in general.

I became well versed in wholesome, anti-inflammatory foods several years ago when I embraced a whole foods diet. After being diagnosed with four autoimmune diseases in two years I realized my body was fighting a mini immune system war and I needed to provide reinforcements. Those reinforcement came in the form of groceries.

The simple concept of getting back in the kitchen and cooking my meals versus grabbing convenient and packaged foods made an enormous difference in my body. Not surprisingly, my immune system rebounded (it’s quite resilient you know).

Watch the Video and See What I Eat

The Best Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is frequently touted as a top anti-inflammatory diet. Why? Because it’s centered around fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and seafood. All whole food ingredients that are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, minerals and essential fatty acids.

But if you’re allergic to nightshades, shellfish or gluten, many recipes in the Mediterranean Diet would actually be inflammatory rather than anti-inflammatory for your body.

That’s why individualized diets are key. At the end of the day, you have to eat in a way that’s nourishing for your unique body. Start with healthy whole foods, then adapt as needed.

8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods I Eat Weekly

Over the years I’ve learned to eat the foods that make me feel my best and which are well-studied to reduce inflammation in the body. But there are 8 key anti-inflammatory foods I find myself eating every single week. Let’s dive in and I’ll tell you why – and give you several recipe ideas for each.

Plate of berries on a white table.

Berries

Berries, whether they’re blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries all contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins. In fact, it’s the presence of anthocyanins that give berries their vibrant red, blue and purple color.

While all fruits are generally high in antioxidants, berries are superstars with chemical compounds that great at fighting inflammation, cancer and cardiovascular disease. But here’s the cool part. Not only do berries reduce existing inflammation, but they train our cells to respond better to any episodes of future inflammation. And that’s why it’s important to eat them regularly.

Berry Recipes to Enjoy

Plate of spinach on a white table.

Leafy Greens

I’m sure you know leafy greens are good for you, but do you know why? Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, dandelion greens and other leafy greens are rich in antioxidants and alkalizing to the body. They’re packed with vitamins and nutrients including folate, fiber, vitamins A, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K along with a variety of minerals.

While some jokingly refer to leafy greens as “rabbit food,” there’s a reason why most in the animal kingdom prioritize greens. They nourish our body at a cellular level, prevent cognitive decline, keep our gut microbial community in tip top shape and reduce overall inflammation.

Leafy Green Recipes to Enjoy

Plate of salmon on a white table.

Salmon

Salmon and other fatty fish such as trout, sardines, anchovies and mackerel are high in essential omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), which have significant anti-inflammatory properties. Why are they essential? Because your body can’t make them. You must get them from your diet.

If you have an autoimmune condition, omega-3’s are even more important because they’ve been proven beneficial with conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, ulcerative colitispsoriasis and multiple sclerosis.

Omega 3’s are also critical for brain health and interestingly enough, those who consume fatty fish regularly are less likely to be depressed or anxious. In short, omega-3’s are one of the most well-studied nutrients and the results time and again show the massive anti-inflammatory effects they have on the body.

Salmon Recipes to Enjoy

Plate of avocado sliced in half on a white table.

Avocado

When most think of avocados they think of healthy fats. And that’s because avocados are loaded with monounsaturated “good” fats – the kind which help to reduce cholesterol and soothe inflammation of the joints. Avocados are also high in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, selenium and zinc.

Heathy fats, like those from avocado are needed for energy, blood clotting, brain development, absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and limiting inflammation. The various nutrients in avocados have also proven beneficial in preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

And fun fact about avocados – they have more potassium than bananas. A 3.5 oz serving of avocado has 14% of the recommended daily allowance of potassium while a banana has 10%.

Avocado Recipes to Enjoy

Plate of broccoli on a white table.

Broccoli

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are jam-packed with antioxidants, vitamins and phytochemicals. Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and fiber, but it’s the sulforaphane which makes broccoli extra special.

Sulforaphane is one of the most studied compounds in broccoli. It’s shown to have have protective effects against cancer and detoxify harmful chemicals from the environment that would otherwise trigger inflammation in our body.

Broccoli Recipes (and other Cruciferous Recipes) to Enjoy

Plate of garlic on a white table.

Garlic

Garlic has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties and studies show that it has both cancer preventative and immune boosting effects. It’s naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-viral, which is what makes it so popular in reducing symptoms of the common cold.

Of course, fresh garlic adds an enormous amount of flavor to recipes, but the wide-ranging health benefits are where garlic shines. Garlic contains anti-inflammatory chemicals such as quercetin which naturally inhibits histamine and sulfur compounds that stimulate your immune system to fight disease.

If you have arthritis, garlic may be your best friend as it can help fight the pain, inflammation and cartilage damage of arthritis.

Garlic Recipe to Enjoy

Plate of ginger on a white table.

Ginger

Ginger, like garlic, has been used for centuries around the world for its healing properties. It’s well known for relieving nausea and helping with motion sickness and pain.

Ginger contains substances known as gingerols that reduce inflammation and turn off pain-causing compounds in the body. In terms of digestion, ginger supports digestion and helps with motility, moving things things more efficiently through our intestines. I’m all for fresh ginger, but when ginger capsules can move things through our intestines twice as fast, that’s pretty amazing!

Because of these digestive benefits ginger has proven to reduce colorectal cancer and boost the immune system (remember that 75-80% of your immune system comes from your gut).

Ginger Recipes to Enjoy

Bowl of chia seeds on a white table.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds may be known as a superfood today, but in ancient times they were a dietary staple for providing energy. The word “chia” actually translates to “strength” in ancient mayan language.

In addition to the numerous vitamins and nutrients in chia seeds, they also provide a hefty dose of fiber (in fact, they’re one of the best sources of fiber in the world). That’s key for balancing blood sugar and good gut health.

Chia seeds, along with flax seeds, are loaded with antioxidants and omega-3’s. The antioxidants fight free radicals and the omega-3’s reduce inflammation (as I mentioned above with the salmon). In a world where our ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is out of balance, chia seeds are an easy way to keep the balance. And keep our health.

Chia Seed Recipes to Enjoy

I hope you enjoyed learning more about these ingredients and the enormously positive impact they can have on the body. I have hundreds more healthy recipes on my website, so make sure to check those out for healthy meal inspiration.

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30 comments on “8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods I Eat Every Week”

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I was diagnosed with rhumatoid arthritis 11 months ago at age 33. It definitely turn my life upside down! Your recipes have been extremely helpful!

    • Hi Sherri – sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but that is wonderful to hear that you found my recipes helpful :)

  2. Love this information!!!!  I have found whole food capsules that really help me get in my daily dose of fruits, veggies, and berries.  My family’s health has greatly improved since being on those.  Thanks for the info!

  3. Hi! I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found your blog!!! You have a wonderful way of sharing your passion and knowledge. I have been forced to eat much more healthy do to our daughter’s health and food restrictions. She is now 20 and I feel like we have FINALLY figured out the large majority of her health issues and she is feeling much better. It has taken so long, so many Dr’s, so many tests, surgeries, numerous elimination diets, tears, missed school, depression, etc.

    She has been diagnosed with celiac, mast cell activation, ehlers danlos, chronic migraines, pots, and very painful and disruptive endometriosis. She gets very sick if she has tomatoes, corn, some beans, eggs, fish, seafood and of course gluten. She can tolerate small amounts of dairy. She had “excision” endometriosis surgery six months ago and finally feeling the benefits. Her diet is soooo important!

    Very long story, sorry. We both will love your following your blog. I’m especially interested in the anti-inflammatory info for myself.

    Thank you so very much!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words Robbie and I’m thrilled you love my recipes and website! I know the frustration of unraveling health issues, but that’s great that your daughter is figuring out her triggers and making positive changes. I hope you and your daughter continue to enjoy my recipes and I wish you both all the best! :)

  4. I have found one amazing, incredible and pretty much miraculous food that has helped with my inflammation and have therefore forgotten about all of the other anti-inflammatory foods as well as which foods cause inflammation so this was a very good reminder of which foods to incorporate and which foods to steer clear of. For inflammation I use turmeric with pepper. I won’t go into detail but the pepper activates the inflammatory properties in turmeric. If I use ground turmeric I take one teaspoon with 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. I put it into about I cup of nut milk or coconut milk and chug it. The creaminess of the milk really softens the flavor and makes it drinkable. Cow milk would work to soften the taste as well but it is an inflammatory food so it kind of defeats the purpose. Mixing the turmeric and pepper with avocado works great as well as it is creamy. When I use the turmeric root I take two inches with 1/4 teaspoon pepper. I chop it up pretty small and then add the pepper and mix. You don’t want to chew this as it will stain your teeth (my husband tried it) so i pop it into my mouth after I have chewed up some food, try to hide it in the food, and swallow (sorry if that was gross and unappreciated). You will find that some foods hide the taste better than others. I took this (either the ground turmeric or root, not both) once a day for two days and the third day I noticed an amazing difference. I can skip a day or two now (or more if I am not very active) but I try to take it every day. I hope this helps someone else as much as it has helped me. Don’t forget the pepper because as beneficial as turmeric is, for inflammation it is useless without pepper!

    • Yes, turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory ingredient! I love it in my turmeric milk (golden milk) recipe and it’s great as a supplement as well. Thanks for sharing Martha!

  5. Hey, very nice blog. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

  6. First I want to say Thank you for making and sharing your videos! Making a healthy life style change can be stressful due to not knowing what to eat. You have helped me with my journey to making this change immensely! I have stomach issues as well and see you say Ginger capsules help a lot. Can you tell me what brand of ginger capsules you use and find beneficial? There are so many to choose from.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Karen – I’m happy you’re enjoying all my recipes and videos! I usually use fresh ginger wherever possible and have many recipes on my site that use fresh ginger (you can search by ginger in the top search bar). But you can certainly take ginger capsules as well. I don’t have a particular brand preference.

  7. I’m not sure if you shared what autoimmune diseases you were diagnosed with but I am curious, you also mentioned that brown rice bothers your digestive tract. Green leafy foods can be a problem for me and I’m wondering when you started eating better some of your gut problems improved?

    • Hi Donna – I’ve been diagnosed with celiac, hashimoto’s, psoriasis and endometriosis. And the brown rice doesn’t seem to bother me as much anymore, though I still steer clear of large quantities of quinoa. All of us are quite unique with our food sensitivities, but yes, my gut definitely improved as I adopted real food and healthier habits! :)

  8. I like a lot of the things you eat and what you 
    include with them. I also like and alkaline body.

  9. Love the video you have been a life savor to me I follow all your receipes and prep I have celiac and I cook everyday. Before you I had no choices. Same thing over and over. Thank you shopping tomorrow for weekly prep. Bless you

    • Wow, thanks Beverly! Honestly, that is the main reason I started this blog as there wasn’t a lot out there for everyday cooking for celiacs. I’m so glad you’re finding my content helpful. :)

  10. I try to eat all of these foods on a weekly basis, but I have to say, I haven’t really gotten into chia. I don’t like the way it gels up everything. I know it’s good for you, but my favorite way to “chia” are those fun plants with the chia hair! LOL! Good reminder on how to eat for better health though. Thanks!

    • Cha Cha Chia! Hahaha yes, I’m constantly singing the tune in my head when I bust out the chia seeds. :) Yes, I can understand the gel texture not being as appetizing to some. Maybe add it to smoothies in small amounts.

  11. A lot of great info in this article, thanks for all the healthy insights!!!

  12. I love all of these foods! I know I definitely feel better when I eat like this. And you’ve given me so much inspiration for other ways to incorporate these into my diet!

  13. These all are must! I’m glad that I’m using these ingredients almost every day, too. Except the salmon… I’d love to include more salmon in my diet.

  14. Wow, this was REALLY packed with info… but all very clear & actionable! Love the recipe ideas, too. :) It can be so complicated to navigate food allergies. Thanks for this awesome post!

  15. So interesting and informative Lisa!! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge, delivered as usual in your soothing and calm manner. My fridge is bursting at the seams with meals, dressings and prepped veg all inspired by you, we should be the healthiest people around soon ???
    It is also very much appreciated that you acknowledge every comment posted. You are amazing, thank YOU so much x

    • Thanks so much for the kind words and the support, Anita! Honestly, its comments like this that really make all the research and hard work worth while! :)