As much as you try to lead a healthy life, sometimes your body may need a little extra help. Inflammation can wreak havoc internally, and much of it can be caused or exacerbated by the foods you eat. Here, we spoke with nutritionists Jessica Cording and Nilli Grutman to get their take on the best inflammation-fighting foods to get your body healthy and glowing in no time.
You May Also Like: 5 Surprising Foods That Can Make Skin Oilier
Both Cording and Grutman listed turmeric as a top food in fighting inflammation.
“Turmeric has more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds, but curcumin is the most well-known,” says Cording. “It’s been shown in many studies to work as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which benefits a wide range of conditions ranging from cancer to joint diseases like arthritis.”
Insider tip: Cording says that the pigment in turmeric can help give your body an “overall glow.”
Although some of us associate chocolate with a sweet tooth and cheat days, dark chocolate, in moderation, can be good for you. It’s high in antioxidants, like flavonoids, and can “help keep you from feeling deprived,” says Cording.
Insider tip: When indulging on a piece of dark chocolate, remember “the darker, the better,” says Cording.
Thanks to a compound known as gingerols, we can know add ginger to our list. Cording explains that this particular compound has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that could potentially aid in treating osteoarthritis and other anti-inflammatory conditions.
Insider tip: “When your body is inflammation-free, your cells are now healthy and can replicate other healthy cells,” says Grutman. “In turn, this type of healthy regeneration helps people look young and fresh for a long time.”
Dark Leafy Greens
Is there anything dark leafy greens can’t do? Greens like kale, spinach, parsley and chard are high in vitamins and antioxidants, like flavonoids. Because these greens can really help with inflammation, it’s no wonder Grutman believes they belong in every meal and every dish.
Insider tip: Running out of ways to prepare your greens? Juice them! According to Grutman, her favorite green juice recipe calls for two stalks of celery, two cucumbers, one bunch of parsley and cilantro, one head of butter lettuce, and a quarter cup of pineapple. Sounds delicious!
Cording says strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are great anti-inflammatory foods because they’re packed with antioxidants plus a whole range of vitamins and minerals that fight damage from free radicals in the body and protect against disease.
Insider tip: Just like turmeric, berries can also help leave your body glowing. Eat them with yogurt or alone –– either way, they’re good for you.
Technically, baking soda is not a food, but because it’s so good at fighting inflammation, we had to make an exception.
“Baking soda helps alkalize our blood and tissues, meaning it helps our body become less acidic,” says Grutman. “Inflammation decreases when the body is more alkaline.”
Insider tip: Grutman says to add 1/4 tsp. or 1/2 tsp. of baking soda to a liter of water in order to get the full anti-inflammatory effect.