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7 Natural Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Beat Inflammation the Drug-Free Way

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We have long since established that inflammation is the primary cause of most chronic illnesses. The pathway to wellness, as we believe, does not involve NSAIDs or other unnatural drugs. We truly believe you can make inflammation a non-issue by making natural anti-inflammatory foods a mainstay in your diet.

The list we present below is a good starting point. Put them on your next shopping list, and you’ll be taking the first step to better vitality.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries have long been known to be an antioxidant powerhouse. Blueberries reduce inflamed arteries, eliminating potential blockages that can seriously affect heart health. One particular flavonoid in berries called anthocyanins is especially known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show it not only alleviates inflammation but may also be effective in fighting obesity. Other berries, like blackberries and cranberries, also contain anthocyanins, so you aren’t limited to only blueberries.

Like grapes, berries are also high in the antioxidant resveratrol, which helps combat the spread of inflammatory free radicals.

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2. Ginger

Ginger is simply one of the best foods for inflammation. Unfortunately, this root medicinal herb is almost always glossed over in the traditional western diet. What makes it so special is the antioxidant of similar name — gingerol. Research shows that this compound blocks certain enzymes that lead to inflammation. More specific studies also show that it may be effective for alleviating joint swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

It should be noted, by the way, that ginger is not to be confused with ginseng. The two are from entirely different plants. However, ginseng is also an acceptable choice, as studies show that it may suppress inflammation-induced colitis.

READ MORE: How to Reduce Inflammation Without OTC Drugs or Medication

3. Beets

Beets are known to lower blood pressure due to its high nitrate content, which has a vasodilating effect on blood vessels. This root vegetable is also one of the top anti-inflammatory foods due to its rich concentrations of vitamins and flavonoids.

The reddish pigment in beets is in part thanks to a compound known as betalains. Studies show this substance is beneficial in keeping inflammation at bay. Beets also happen to be chockful of folate. Deficiency of this vitamin has been linked to chronic inflammation, according to a 2013 study.

4. Tart Cherries

Runners have long known cherries to be one of the best natural anti-inflammatories. In fact, they take tart cherry juice as a post-workout drink for speedier muscle recovery. Many athletes in their 40s and 50s swear by it and believe it helps keep inflammation and arthritis at bay.

According to research, these claims may be more than just placebo effect. In a study from the Oregon Health and Science University, women between their 40s and 70s exhibited remarkably lower levels of inflammation after drinking tart cherry juice twice a day.

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5. Dark Chocolate

Yes, you read that correctly: Chocolate is indeed an inflammation reliever. However, this does not mean you can add Snickers and Milky Way bars to your list of natural anti-inflammatory foods. We’re talking about dark chocolate, in its raw form. Studies show that dark chocolate consumption not only stops inflammation, but also improves cognitive function. More specifically, it’s believed to deactivate genes linked to inflammation, insulin resistance and other diseases.

We recommend raw cocoa powder, which you can find in any health food store. You may also consume solid dark chocolate candy bars in moderation. Be sure the treat has a dark chocolate content of at least 70 percent.

READ MORE: 5 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes: Delicious Homemade Foods That Reduce Inflammation

6. Wild Salmon

Oily fish like salmon is super-high in omega-3 fatty acids. This type of healthy fat makes salmon one of the best foods for inflammation, hands down.

Of course, there are other foods that contain omega-3s. However, fish in particular contain two particular types of omega-3s known as eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). EPA and DHA are found in most cold-water fish and are not available in omega-3s found in plant sources. Studies show intake of these two highly bioavailable and active fat forms have been linked to reduced inflammation.

While you should eat more fish, always aim for wild-caught rather than farm-raised fish. The latter is akin to grain-fed meat (i.e. it’s bad for your overall health).

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7. Bone Broth

Bone broth is one of our favorite natural anti-inflammatory foods. This should not come as a surprise for anyone who has been following our posts. We have discussed the benefits of bone broth and collagen in deep detail. In a nutshell, broth is rich in minerals like magnesium, silicon and phosphorus. It’s also high in glucosamine and chondroitin, two naturally occurring compounds renowned for treating inflammation-induced arthritis.

Broth also comes in varieties depending on the specific type of bones used. Bovine, chicken and fish broth are all excellent sources that will alleviate inflammation in one degree or another.

Natural Anti-Inflammatories Are the Key to Body Revitalization

Natural anti-inflammatory foods are all the medicine you need to reset your body to its default state of health and vibrancy. Assuming it’s all-natural, you can also take a supplement like Total Relief. For best results, we recommend eating the top anti-inflammatory foods while also cutting down on foods that cause inflammation.

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Ryan Tronier

Ryan Tronier is a writer and editor who has worked with NBC, ABC, and USA Today.
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