Eat these 7 healthy Mediterranean foods to fight inflammation

  • 3 Minutes Read
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Have you heard that inflammation is at the root of many health woes? Take charge by adding these healthy Mediterranean foods to fight inflammation.

Foods to fight inflammation

Foods to fight inflammation: How the Mediterranean diet helps

You've heard that inflammation is the enemy. While inflammation helps to defend your body in the short term, it can be damaging over time. Chronic inflammation can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.

The good news? There are many tasty and easily accessible foods that fight inflammation and the Mediterranean diet is a great place to start.

The Mediterranean diet is based on traditional diets in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While there is no one "anti-inflammatory diet," the Mediterranean diet is the best way to load up on foods to fight inflammation and is rated a top healthy eating pattern.

The Mediterranean diet includes protective:

The Mediterranean diet is low in inflammation-promoting:

While the overall eating pattern is responsible for the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, you can start eating these foods to fight inflammation now.

Here are the top healthy Mediterranean foods that help fight inflammation:

1. Leafy greens

How they can help:

Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, chard, and collards are nutrition powerhouses. These greens are high in magnesium, a mineral that may lower inflammation. Leafy greens are high in protective vitamins A and K, and carotenoids, which give many fruits and veggies their color. Pair leafy greens with olive oil to get the full benefit of nutrients that require fat to be absorbed.

How to eat leafy greens more often:

2. Extra virgin olive oil

How it can help:

A symbol of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Extra virgin olive oil (made from the first pressing of the olives) is higher in protective polyphenols than more refined olive oil, and is the main source of added fat in the Mediterranean diet.

Olive oil can bring more benefits when you use it as a substitute for less healthy fats and oils.

How to eat olive oil more often:

3. Fish

How it can help:

Fish is an important part of the Mediterranean diet. Fish is a unique source of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats DHA and EPA. Fattier fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring provide the highest levels of omega-3s.

How to eat fish more often:

4. Beans

How they can help:

Beans are one of the most overlooked healthy Mediterranean foods. High fiber foods such as beans may help inflammation by supporting healthy gut bacteria.

The carbs in beans are slow to turn into blood sugar. Diets focusing on these types of slow-burning carbs may lower inflammation. Beans are also high in magnesium.

How to eat beans more often:

5. Berries

How they can help:

These sweet and colorful treats contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins and are good sources of fiber.

How to eat berries more often:

6. Tomatoes

How they can help:

Tomatoes rate highly as an anti-inflammatory and heart-protective food. Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene as well as vitamin C.

Don't like raw tomatoes? The lycopene in cooked tomatoes is actually absorbed better.

How to eat tomatoes more often:

7. Nuts

How they can help:

Nuts are a reliable source of healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E. Nuts are linked with many health benefits including heart health and lower diabetes risk, and can help with satiety (the sense of feeling full).

How to eat nuts more often:

The Mediterranean Diet - best foods to fight inflammation

The Mediterranean diet is the best way to include foods to fight inflammation. Enjoy one or more of these healthy Mediterranean foods today.

MyNetDiary Premium Members: We have over 200 Premium Mediterranean recipes for you to enjoy! Simply choose the Mediterranean tag.

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Meal Planning & Diets->Mediterranean Style
Jun 1, 2020
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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