This article was last updated on Feb. 10, 2023.
Foods that are rich in antioxidants help fight cell damage and inflammation.
High-antioxidant, anti-inflammatory powerhouse foods
Spinach, kale, collard greens and other leafy greens are packed with antioxidants. Spinach, in particular, is rich in vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps fight cell damage that can lead to age-related vision problems like macular degeneration. Use in salads or add to eggs and soups.
While all nuts have antioxidant properties, walnuts contain almost twice as many antioxidants as the equivalent amount of most other nuts. But don’t overdo it. Researchers believe only about seven walnuts a day is all it takes to reap their health benefits.
Fresh, dried or in supplement form, ginger contains several active compounds, including gingerol, that give this root its anti-inflammatory power. Peel, mince, and add to stir-fry, salad dressing or drink in tea.
While tea is known for its antioxidant power, green tea contains a potent concentration of one of the most powerful antioxidants, which is believed to stop cancerous tumor growth. If you aren’t a fan of brewed tea, try matcha, which is a type of green tea made from powdered tea leaves. It is especially rich in antioxidants, and you can get it in powder form to add to smoothies, yogurt or baked goods.
They are high in protein and fiber and score low on the glycemic index. Black beans are especially powerful, because of the high-antioxidant content in their dark skins. Add to salads, soups, eggs and tacos.
This brightly-colored spice contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant compound. While you can buy turmeric as a supplement, it’s far tastier to make this spice a staple in your kitchen. Add it to dressings, soup and stir-fry.
Naturally high in antioxidants, berries are among the healthiest of foods. Blueberries are especially powerful because they contain the antioxidant known as quercetin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Don’t overlook this simple vegetable. Celery is a strong anti-inflammatory, rich in protective compounds called flavonoids that have been found to lower inflammation, improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Stir chopped celery into guacamole, salads, or use it in place of chips.
This tropical fruit is rich in manganese and potassium, in addition to antioxidants that prevent disease. Blend in smoothies or eat in salads as a sweet topping.
Salmon is rich in essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower the risk of chronic disease.
Cacao beans are packed with antioxidants and nutrients. But, if you are eating chocolate for health benefits, it must be minimally processed. Get your chocolate fix with a square of dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao.
Need an anti-inflammatory recipe?
This recipe for trail mix is the perfect snack to have on-hand. It's packed with a variety of nuts, which have been proven to soothe inflammation. Make it today for the next time you need a quick, easy snack.
Foods that inflame
Avoid or limit these foods if you’re experiencing inflammation:
- Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
- French fries and other fried foods
- Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- Red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- Margarine, shortening, and lard
Source: health.harvard.edu Extrnal Site