Inflammation is the most common cause of numerous diseases, such as hypertension, arthritis, asthma, heart diseases, diabetes and many other health disorders.

It is defined as body’s response to infection-causing invaders and it is characterized by soreness, pain, redness and swelling of the affected area.

Inflammation can be either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation dies down quickly, whereas chronic inflammation is a more serious health problem.

In order to treat this condition and prevent its severe consequences we should include anti-inflammatory foods in our daily diet.

These foods contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that strengthen the immune system and help the body to combat the inflammation.

Here is a list of the best anti-inflammatory foods:

1. Salmon

This food is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids and it has very strong anti-inflammatory effects. According to a study conducted at the National Institute of Health, participants diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis soothed their joint pain by including omega-3 supplements in their daily diet. Consequently, they lowered the dosage of the anti-inflammatory drugs.

2. Celery

Celery is mostly composed of water and it effectively eliminates inflammation and infections. It is loaded with antioxidants and polysaccharides which prevent damage caused by free-radicals, such as oxidative stress and inflammation.

3. Pineapple

Pineapples are rich in bromelain – an enzyme that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It also prevents formation of kinin receptors which are responsible for the pain and inflammation.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is high in magnesium and potassium which are strong antioxidants. This food also contains sulforaphane – a compound that inhibits inflammation and blocks the enzymes responsible for joint destruction.

5. Beets

Beets are abundant in antioxidants and they can repair the cell damage triggered by inflammation. They contain magnesium which is a highly important anti-inflammatory agent, since its deficiency may lead to inflammatory conditions as well.

6. Turmeric

The main active compound of turmeric is curcumin – an anti-inflammatory component. Due to its potent healing properties, turmeric is highly beneficial in the treatment of numerous inflammatory ailments, especially rheumatoid arthritis.

7. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are abundant in minerals such as magnesium, iron, manganese, iodine, niacin and sulphur. They also contain antioxidants and vitamins like D, E, B and A.

Chia seeds reduce inflammation and regulate the levels of cholesterol and blood sugar. They can reverse the oxidative stress and protect the cardiovascular system.

Other foods that combat inflammation:

• Olive oil
• Tomatoes
• Nuts (walnuts and almonds)
• Green leafy veggies (collards, kale and spinach)
• Fruits such as cherries, strawberries, oranges and blueberries
• Sardines, tuna and mackerel

However, in order to treat inflammation successfully you should avoid or limit the intake of the following types of food:

• Vegetable and seed oils
• Processed meats
• Artificial trans fats
• Excessive alcohol consumption
• Sugar and corn syrup
• Red meat
• Refined carbohydrates (pastries and bread)
• Sugar-sweetened drinks and soda
• Fried foods
• Margarine, lard and shortening