Top 16 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

Some of the best healing remedies to overcome inflammation also taste fabulous (I canít say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods wonít cause the nasty side effects common to most pain medications.

Top 16 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Leafy vegetable

1. Blackberries

Often overlooked, blackberries offer impressive health benefits in addition to their delicious taste. According to research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, blackberries and their components, known as anthocyanins, help to prevent inflammatory disorders.

2. Blueberries

Blueberries are also excellent anti-inflammatory foods. They regulate the amounts of compounds called heat-shock proteins in the brain, thereby reducing inflammation linked to neurodegenerative disorders, according to a study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

3. Cayenne Pepper

Ironically, cayenne pepper turns DOWN the heat on inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compound capsaicin. According to a study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, researchers found that eating cayenne peppers is beneficial for low back pain. Extensive research, including a different one in the same journal, shows that the use of capsaicin-based creams or ointments are also helpful for pain.

4. Celery and 5) Celery Seeds

James Duke, Ph.D., the now deceased botanist and 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. According to a study published in Progress in Drug Research found that an extract of celery seeds was at least as effective as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen in the treatment of arthritis. Add celery seeds to soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes. Follow package directions if using a celery seed extract.

6. Cherries

In a study published in the Spanish medical journal Nutricion Hospitalaria, researchers found that eating tart cherries was effective in the treatment of exercise-induced muscle damage and the inflammation accompanying it.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Flax seeds and 10. 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.

11. Ginger

Research published in the medical journal Arthritis compared cortisone and ibuprofen, both drugs that are used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, and found that ginger was superior to ibuprofen at reducing inflammatory compounds known as cytokines and was equally effective as cortisone. Unlike cortisone, however, ginger does not have the lengthy list of nasty side-effects.

12. Olive Oil

The inclusion of olive oil is one of the reasons for the Mediterranean Dietís many health benefits. Thatís because olive oil is rich in oleic acid, an Omega-9 fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. Research in the journal Nutrients found that olive oil consumption reduced the markers of inflammation.

13. Pomegranates

Pomegranates help to alleviate joint pain and inflammation according to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers measured a beneficial effect of pomegranate fruit extract on markers of inflammation and cartilage degradation in arthritic joints, known as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).

14. Strawberries

Strawberries arenít just delicious, they also offer pain and inflammation relief. In a study published in the medical journal Nutrients, researchers found that eating strawberries regularly helped alleviate the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis in the knees.

15. Turmeric

In a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry researchers found that curcumin improved the healing of tendonitis, which involves inflammation of the tendons that help maintain our structural integrity.

16. Walnuts

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

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter Worldís Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.† Follow her work.


Jeramie D
Jeramie D2 months ago


Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago


Teresa A
Teresa Antela2 months ago

All used at home.

Kathy G
Kathy G2 months ago

Thank you

Kathy G
Kathy G2 months ago

Thank you

Amanda McConnell
Amanda M2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Amanda McConnell
Amanda M2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Michael F
Michael Friedmann2 months ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

Leo C
Leo C2 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

heather g
heather g2 months ago

Seems to slip my mind about taking ginger and also turmeric.