Healthy Food to Reduce Inflammation


Joint pain can result from inflammation and there are various foods that can help relieve it. Here are five things to consider if you experience the pain.

  1. Eat more Omega-3’s. Fatty fish, avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds for healthy fats.
    1. For fish – salmon, anchovies, mackerel, trout, sardines are great choices. Aim to eat fish at least twice/week
    2. Nuts: walnuts have the best evidence for reducing inflammation. Almonds are also very good
    3. Olive oil – a key part of the Mediterranean diet is high in antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated fats
    4. Seeds: pepitas are excellent for protein, fibre and help reduce inflammation
  2. Eat more fruits and non-starchy vegetables for fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
    1. Aim to fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables (any vegetable that is not a potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, pea or corn). The brighter the colour, the more phytonutrients they contain. My favourites are: kale, spinach, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and capsicum. Aim to have 5 serves/day
    2. Garlic and onions have antioxidant properties
    3. Fruit: The brighter colour the better. Strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges. Aim to have 2 serves/day
    4. Foods rich in lycopene (grapefruit and tomatoes) have direct anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties
  3. Eat more whole grains, seeds, beans and lentils for fibre and nutrients.
    1. Choose whole grains such as oats, quinoa, brown rice and pasta. Choose whole grain bread and high fibre cereals and crackers
    2. Lentils, beans (kidney or red beans) are high in fibre and magnesium. Magnesium has been shown to reduce inflammation
    3. Seeds: spice up a salad with seeds. Add some pumpkin seeds to your next salad
  4. Eat less sugars, refined grains and processed foods.
    1. They are high in sugars and often have a high glycaemic index. They can increase blood sugars quickly leading to inflammation
    2. Eat less processed foods. They are high in saturated fat (eg animal fats, biscuits, processed meats) leading to inflammation. Some fried foods contain advanced glycosylation end products which lead to inflammation
    3. Some people find excessive intake of wheat or gluten rich foods can cause joint swelling and inflammation. If you get joint pain, windy, bloated or regular reflux after wheat based foods consider minimizing these in your diet
  5. Look after your overall health.
    1. Reduce stress in your life. Stress can irritate your GUT and can lead to weight gain over time. Consider relaxing activities like yoga or meditation. Drinking peppermint tea has been shown to have relaxing properties
    2. Regular exercise has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It can also help improve sleeping which further reduces inflammation
    3. Eat a wide variety of nutritious foods and drink plenty of water. It’s the old chestnut but most of the aches, pains and ills you experience can be improved with a healthier diet