14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

Some of the best healing remedies to overcome inflammation also taste fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods won’t cause the nasty side effects common to most pain medications.

1. Blueberries: Blueberries are also excellent anti-inflammatory foods. They increase the amounts of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age.  When heat-shock proteins are in short supply inflammation, pain and tissue damage is the result.

2. Cayenne Pepper: Ironically, cayenne pepper turns DOWN the heat on inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compound capsaicin.

3. Celery and 4. Celery Seeds: James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and celery seeds in his research, including a substance called apigenin, which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action.  Add celery seeds to soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.

5. Cherries: While many people opt for aspirin as their first course of action when they feel pain, Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving inflammation.

6. Dark Green Veggies: Veggies like kale and spinach contain high amounts of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.  Both minerals help balance body chemistry to alleviate inflammation.

7. Fish: According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil acts directly on the immune system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines – compounds known to destroy joints and cause inflammation.

8. Flax seeds and Flax Oil: Flax seeds are high in natural oils that convert into hormone-like substances in the body to reduce inflammatory substances. Add ground flax seeds to smoothies, atop pancakes or French toast, and many other foods.  Do not heat.

9. Ginger: Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava at Odense University in Denmark found that ginger was superior to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Tylenol or Advil at alleviating inflammation.

10. Raspberries, 11. Blackberries, and 12. Strawberries: In Dr. Muraleedharan Nair’s later research she discovered that these berries have similar anti-inflammatory effects as cherries.

13. Turmeric: Research shows that the Indian spice frequently used in curries suppresses pain and inflammation through a similar mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side effects).

14. Walnuts: Like flax seeds, raw, unsalted walnuts contain plentiful amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids that decrease pain and inflammation.

Adapted from Arthritis-Proof:  The Drug-Free Way to Beat Pain and Inflammation by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhDSubscribe to my free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow me on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen4 days ago

Thank you

Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney5 days ago

Love all those products. Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney5 days ago

Very informative. Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney5 days ago

Great article. Thank you for caring and sharing

Pablo B.
Pablo B.9 days ago


Veronica Danie
Veronica Danie10 days ago


Antony M.
Antony M.about a month ago


Gerald L.
Gerald L.2 months ago

Conventionally grown celery with Nitrate fertilizer could promote inflammation; Ref: The biological effects of nitric oxide are caused by the initiation of cyclic GMP (cGMP)–mediated intracellular signals in the vascular wall. Two other members of the NOS family have neuronal functions (nNOS) and inflammatory immune functions (inducible NOS or iNOS) (25). In neuronal tissue, nNOS provides nitric oxide for normal neuron function. The function of iNOS is an essential signaling mechanism in the innate immune response (26). In tissues experiencing chronic inflammation, such as inflamed bowel tissue in ulcerative colitis, iNOS can generate high concentrations of nitric oxide that promote carcinogenesis by inhibiting apoptosis, enhance prostaglandin formation, and promote angiogenesis in the early stage of carcinogenesis (27–29). In atherosclerosis, hypoxic conditions combined with an oxidative environment can limit eNOS-derived nitric oxide production; nitrite can directly induce vasodilation in hypoxic endothelium (30). Indeed, the Bryan laboratory has shown that nitrite can restore vascular tone after ischemia/reperfusion and substitutes for loss of eNOS-derived nitric oxide in eNOS-deficient mice (31, 32). Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for ...
13 May 2009 ... As such, the dietary provision of nitrates and nitrites from vegetables and fruit ... blood pressure regulation, inhibition of endoth

Janet B.
Janet B.2 months ago


Florence Baribeau
Florence Baribeau3 months ago

Fantastic article, I've done studies years ago and the foods you mentioned is what I learned... thanks!