10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Know

Reduce inflammation and fight disease with these grocery list staples


Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, herbs and spices can reduce inflammation in the body, which in turn reduces your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.

Amy Jamieson-Petonic, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, says one easy way to get anti-inflammatory foods into your diet is to go green.

“Think spinach, think broccoli, think Brussels sprouts. These foods are going to have specific anti-oxidants that will reduce inflammation in the body. Broccoli actually has a specific chemical that turns on and off cancer genes,” Jamieson-Petonic says.

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Jamieson-Petonic says 100 percent whole grains also have been shown in studies to reduce inflammation. Beans, peas, and legumes tend to stabilize blood-sugar levels. When blood sugar spikes, it increases our risk for diabetes. And she says you can wash down all of your anti-inflammatory foods with a little bit of almond milk — as long as it is unsweetened.

“If you get the regular almond milk, it’s sweetened with cane juice, and that’s an added sugar,” Jamieson-Petonic says. “Added sugars increase inflammation body, and they increase our risk of disease.”

Jamieson-Petonic says herbs and spices also can decrease inflammation. So add things like turmeric and cinnamon to some of your dishes for added health benefits.

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  • Aileenbp

    I need to know more about anti-inflammatory foods….quickly! We are leaving on a three week trip, including a 12 day cruise on Friday and I am I’m in the middle of a Fibro Flair. I also have osteoarthritis…..and I really am hurting a lot right now! HELP!

    • Health Hub Team

      A cruise is a great opportunity to eat anti-inflammatory foods. Start with breakfast: fresh fruits, healthy oatmeal, an egg white omelet with veggies — no cheese please. Stay away from high-fat breakfast meats, fruit in syrup and baked goods. Lunch should also be a feast of fruits, vegetables and salads with lean protein. Drink water and teas, which are anti-inflammatory. Skip the French fries in favor of a whole grain roll, or bread with poppy or sesame seeds. At dinner, opt out of side dishes and ask for smaller portions. A little red wine is good for your health, but sugary mixed drinks will bring on inflammation. If you have a sweet tooth, just take a bite of dark chocolate or share so you don’t overdo it. Chefs and staff will be willing to accommodate special requests, too. — Brenda Powell, MD

  • Londonwitch

    What do you do when everything you eat effects your urinary trac? Fruit, oatmeal, bread, milk, sugar, peas and so on, and doctors will not listen to you?

    • Health Hub Team

      Without knowing your specific situation and symptoms, it is very hard to comment. We recommend following up with a doctor in person, whether it is one of the urologists in our Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute or someone in your area. —  Health Hub Team

  • M. Susburg

    So are hot peppers bad or good for you? I really enjoy the low sodium red pepper sauces on a lot of different food,

    • Health Hub Team

      Hot peppers are good for you! They have a component called capsaicin that may improve blood flow. In fact, some healthcare providers recommend capsaicin cream for patients with diabetes who are trying to improve blood flow in their feet. — Amy Jamieson-Petonic

  • John LaFosse

    Collard greens and Kale are wonderful for detoxification. If you are a heart patient, it is staggering if you go on a green diet. I used a BMI calculator and tracked all my food intake for a while with an exercise journal and it was very interesting. For a person, whom is sick it is a full time job. Simple thing like walking everyday more so than I think I could make a big difference. At the beginning nausea and digestion issues can be a drag but going for a good stroll and breathing clean air is vital.

  • Krista Johnson

    Hi, I’m just coming off a high dose of solu-medrol infusions for an MS flare. I’m trying to detox this effective poison out of my body. Feeling terrible. I’m trying to eat mostly anti inflammatory. Lots of greens (kale, chard, spinach) etc. Any advice?