Did you know that chronic inflammation plays a role in most major diseases? That’s correct, if you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or even depression, chances are you have chronic inflammation. Is there any way to reduce this inflammation?

THE STORY: While not a cure for any diseases, what you eat can help fight this inflammation, thereby helping control or reduce the impact of disease. Here are some of the top anti-inflammatory foods you can incorporate into your diet, plus foods you should avoid.

BEST FOODS TO FIGHT INFLAMMATION: Here are 6 foods that you should incorporate into your diet to help fight inflammation.

Berries: Whether it be strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or any other kind, the substance that gives berries their color helps fight inflammation!
Cruciferous veggies: Research shows that eating veggies such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables is associated with decreased risk of heart disease and cancer. This could be because they’re rich in the antioxidant, sulforaphane, which helps in fighting inflammation.
Fatty fish: All fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, but these fish are some of the best sources - salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. Why are these so good? They contain EPA & DHA fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain plenty of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, along with selenium and all the B vitamins!
Turmeric: Used often in Indian dishes, this spice is known for its content of curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get enough of this nutrient simply via food, so a supplement is recommended.
Dark chocolate: You’re likely familiar with the fact that dark chocolate (in moderation!) can be good for you. Part of the reason is that it’s packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.

FOODS TO AVOID: Along with foods to incorporate there are certain foods you should avoid when possible too. Cut out the following:

Refined carbs: This includes white bread, white rice, crackers, biscuits, and pastas.
Fried foods: You KNOW fried food isn’t good for you already and it definitely isn’t helping with inflammation, so cut out foods like french fries, fried chicken, donuts, etc.
Sugary drinks: Sugar causes the body to release cytokines, which are inflammatory messengers, and sugary drinks such as soda, energy drinks, and sweet tea.

THE WRAP-UP: Considering that underlying health conditions such as diabetes and heart problems are also ones that exacerbate the effects of COVID-19, reducing inflammation is vitally important right now. These foods can help you get a handle on inflammation to try to avoid further health issues. Stay safe and stay healthy!