Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that a chemical in extra-virgin olive oil, oleocanthal, inhibits inflammatory enzymes in the same way that ibuprofen does. Drizzle olive oil on veggies and salads, and dunk bread into it instead of patting on butter or margarine. Here are more amazing health benefits of olive oil.
Bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme in this tropical fruit, reduces inflammation. Studies show that eating pineapple may reduce pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and lower swelling in people with carpal tunnel syndrome. (Never ignore these 6 pain symptoms!)
These popular fruits are just one of the many foods that reduce inflammation because they contain quercetin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant. No wonder one a day keeps the doctor away. Here are the 7 healthiest ways to eat apples and give your body a nutritious boost.
Nuts and seeds
Foods high in the amino acid tryptophan may lower pain sensitivity just one hour after eating. Other foods with high levels of tryptophan include hazelnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, turkey, dairy products, soy, seafood, whole grains, rice, beans, and lentils. This is why nuts are the best disease fighter in your pantry!
Green leafy vegetables, including kale, chard, bok choy, and silverbeet are foods that reduce inflammation because they're packed with anti-inflammatory carotenoids, which are plant pigments that give green and orange produce their vibrant color. (Here's a list of the best antioxidant-rich fruit and veggies you should be eating, according to Tufts University nutrition researchers.)
Yes, you read that correctly. Dark chocolate contains chemicals that help fight inflammation. According to a large Italian study, people who ate about one square of dark chocolate every three days had significantly lower measures of a protein associated with inflammation than those who ate no chocolate at all. Here are more healthy reasons to eat dark chocolate every day.
istock/foods fight inflamation pain brown rice
Brown rice and other whole grains can help fight off the pains of irritable bowel syndrome. Whole grains are also a good source of magnesium, which appears to cut the frequency of migraines by helping to relax nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. Added bonus: According to a Harvard University study, women who eat brown rice are less likely to be overweight than those who don’t. Try these tricks for adding more whole grains to your day!
Chomp on some grapes or mulberries or sip wine (yes!) for a dose of resveratrol, which inhibits inflammatory enzymes in much the same way aspirin does (but without the stomach irritation). Grapes are amongst the 30 foods that fight cancer.
British researchers who analyzed the diets of 25,000 people found that those who ate foods with a chemical common in oranges and other orange-colored fruits, like apricots and nectarines, were less likely to have painful inflammatory joint conditions. Just one or two daily servings of these fruits per day made a difference. Plus, you can use the orange peel in a number of unexpected ways around your home.
Cherries contain chemicals called anthocyanins, which give berries their blue and red colors and fight inflammation in the same way aspirin does. Raspberries and strawberries are also foods that reduce inflammation. (Did you know that there's such a thing as eating too much fruit? Here's the recommended amount of fruit you should be really eating.)