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5 of the Best Natural Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Updated on October 18, 2016

Inflammation is a cause of extreme discomfort to a large number of the population. Many people instinctively turn to anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by their doctor to solve this soul destroying problem. Is there a better way, though? Could natural anti inflammatory foods prove to be a better source of relief for inflammatory conditions?

If you would like to give natural anti inflammatory foods a try then here are 5 foods that I would recommend in your search for natural relief from inflammation. I’ll start with two fruits that have been causing waves in the world of natural healing due to the powerful protein digesting enzymes they contain. The two fruits are pineapple and papaya and the enzymes are known as bromelain and papain. Perhaps you’ve heard of them?

Pineapple

If you have done any sort of online research so far into natural remedies for inflammation then the chances are you have come across one called Bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme found in Pineapple that is well-known to have anti inflammatory effects. Many people have chosen to take the supplementary form of Bromelain but I feel that pineapple – as the natural food source of the anti-inflammatory enzyme – can be just as effective (if not more effective) than the supplement form and there are many ways by which you can add pineapple into your regular diet.

Bromelain can be found in Pineapple juice as well as in the fruit itself but personally I am a firm believer that most digestive enzymes are best taken in their natural, full fruit form. Why? If you look into the inner workings of the human digestive systems you will quickly see that many enzymes only see their full effects when they are digested along with the fibers and even the skins that house them. A combination of fiber, skin and pulp will allow your body to fully digest and use the enzymes contained within the fruit, so I would always go for the full fruit option. I’ll try not to mention this for every food on the list but please keep it in mind as we mention other natural anti inflammatory foods going forward. As much as I love fruit skins, I have to admit that I’ve never had the nerve to try pineapple skin! Have you?

Papaya

If you’ve come across Bromelain in your research then you might also have stumbled upon Papain. Similar to Bromelain, Papain is another protein digesting enzyme that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory within the human body. Papain comes from the Papaya fruit which is not unpleasant to consume in the slightest. Again, I’d go for the full fruit option but I understand why you might want to go for the supplement.

Greens

Have you recently started to disobey your parents golden rule about eating your greens? Green leafy vegetables such as Spinach, Broccoli, Kali and other cruciferous vegetables are renowned for being rich in vitamin E, which plays a vital role in protecting the body from inflammation.

Fish

As a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids – which are known to reduce inflammation – fish is a great choice for those looking to increase their intake of anti-inflammatory foods. On top of this, fish is an amazing source of easily digestible lean protein, which helps to rebuild and maintain cartilage and connective tissues. If you’re not too keen on fish in general then perhaps you might consider trying fish oil supplements which have also shown positive results when it comes to reducing inflammation.

Beetroot

This fun and distinct vegetable isn’t just fun to eat, beetroot is also packed with vitamin C and betalains, powerful anti-oxidants that have been associated with reduced inflammation along with protection from other serious ailments. Tasty in salads or as an accompaniment to winter stews, beetroot is another simple vegetable to add into the diet.

Be Careful with Supplements

So there we have it, five extremely useful natural anti-inflammatory foods in the fight against inflammation. I should mention here that there are many others which you could investigate including nuts and whole grains. Perhaps you know of others? As we mentioned earlier in the article I would always favor the fruit or food in its natural form over supplements but I also know that this simply isn’t possible for some, whether this is due to cost or schedule. If you are going to go down the supplement route, be sure to buy a product that is high in quality and has undergone some sort of testing. Many supplements that are available on the shelves of health stores are not what they claim to be on the label and as with many things in life you often get what you pay for. If you stick to eating foods in their whole form then at least you will know what you are getting.

Which natural anti-inflammatory foods would you recommend and why?

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    • nutritionhub profile image
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      nutritionhub 2 years ago

      Pineapple is a fave of mine too janshares and PaigSr! Certainly an easy one to add into the diet.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 2 years ago from State of Confussion

      The Pineapple got my attention. Not sure about the others. But happy to add a bit more of the Pineapple to my diet.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Wow, so good, so well-done. This is a very informative and visually appealing hub on anti-inflammatory foods. I love pineapple and its juice and will consume more, thanks to your article. I already eat a lot of these foods. It's good to know that they will help me to feel better when I need a natural option other than ibuprofen. Voted up, useful, awesome, and beautiful. Thanks for sharing this article, Don Bobbitt.