Chronic inflammation is scary stuff. There are no real symptoms or warning signs; you can't tell that it's happening, even if it's been festering inside of your body for decades. That sounds dramatic, but inflammation is thought to be the culprit behind insulin resistance, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer. Plus, it's triggered by eating too much of the best stuff, including sugary and deep-fried foods, and who can resist a sugary, deep-fried, glazed donut?
Luckily, you can help undo some of that inflammation damage. Foods that are rich in antioxidants, including polyphenols, are found to help fight chronic inflammation. You should also probably do things like exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep, but eating the antioxidant and vitamin-rich foods listed below is a good start.
Coffee can scientifically do things like help your memory and fight strokes. It can also help fight off inflammation, according to a long-term study out of Athens. The people who drank coffee regularly had lower amyloid levels, an inflammation marker, and were less likely to develop diabetes. Enjoy it black for the best health benefits.
Virgin olive oil
Olive oil is like the pizza of culinary oils; it's great for any occasion. As a cooking oil, drizzling over veggies, or a dip for (healthy, whole-grain) bread. Another bonus is its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the concentration of oleocanthal. Oleocanthal has been proven to fight not only inflammatory responses like arthritis, but also chronic inflammation. Another reason to stock up on EVOO.
Turmeric is one of those spices you always have in your cabinet, but don't really know what to do with. Here's some incentive to start sprinkling it on everything: turmeric is composed of curcumin, which studies have shown can fight inflammation. People even take curcumin supplements to reap the benefits, which is a great idea in case turmeric-covered sweet potato fries sound gross to you. It's in the ginger family, and ginger, which is slightly more tolerable, has been touted as a powerful anti-inflammatory, especially in people with arthritis.