Calm the Fire Within: Foods that Reduce Inflammation

One word I want every patient to know is – INFLAMMATION!  The more we learn about inflammation, the more we recognize that inflammation is the root of some of the most chronic diseases. Need proof? The Department of Health and Human Services and the American Heart Association both show that chronic inflammation is linked to diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, fibromyalgia, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Those are serious diseases coming from one seemingly small issue.

So, what exactly is this dangerous type of inflammation and how can we incorporate everyday foods that fight inflammation into our lifestyle?

In simple terms, inflammation is your body’s response to real or perceived threats. When my children get splinters, I notice the area around it is a little red and puffy. This is a normal, healthy inflammatory response that all of our bodies make.

However, what happens when our body perceives too many of these threats and inflammation becomes chronic? It leads to a host of other health problems, oftentimes leaving those with chronic inflammation feeling ill but unaware of the cause.

As many of my patients know, I believe food is the ultimate healing power. So, load up on these healthy foods that fight inflammation with their anti-inflammatory properties and start living a healthier life.

Foods that Reduce Inflammation

The best way to heal inflammation in your body is by starting from within. When you incorporate delicious foods that reduce inflammation into your daily diet you can reduce bloating, ease swollen and painful joints, and even reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Some tasty foods that reduce inflammation you want to add to your grocery list include:


  1. Olive oil: The ingredient oleocanthal found in olive oil is a major inflammation buster. So, add this healthy oil on top of salads for a healthy anti-inflammatory kick that’s also good for your heart and brain too!
  2. Fish: Omega-3’s are not only great for your skin but are especially effective at reducing swelling! Choose fish such as salmon, snapper, tuna, halibut, and bass for healthy high omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
  3. Papaya: This yummy tropical fruit contains protein-digesting enzymes papain and chymopapain, which makes it one of the powerful foods that fight inflammation.
  4. Spices: While adding some flavor to your dishes, spices such as ginger, curry, black cumin, clove, and cinnamon help avoid inflammatory agents.
  5. Avocados: Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat more of this delicious superfood? Avocados are the holy grail of anti-inflammatory nutrients, containing lutein, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  6. Turmeric: The active ingredient, curcumin, has excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits making turmeric not only a delicious spice but an incredibly healthy one as well.

Learn More About Foods that Reduce Inflammation

There’s truth to that old saying “you are what you eat”. Visit Dr. Taz’s website today and check her book “What Doctors Eat” to learn more about foods that fight inflammation and what other superfoods can do to help you live a healthy long life.


Dr. Taz Bhatia M.D.