It’s the Absolute Best Food for Fighting Inflammation, According to Registered Dietitians

Plus, easy ways to incorporate it into your diet.

Although inflammation is not inherently bad and plays an important role in the body’s natural defense system, high levels of chronic inflammation can cause all kinds of health problems. “Chronic low-grade inflammation can cause a host of symptoms throughout the body. Digestive issues, brain fog, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and autoimmune diseases are all signs that the body is struggling to manage inflammation,” says nutritionist in functional medicine. Barbara Sobel, MS, CNS, LND. She adds that what we eat is one of the biggest modifiers of inflammation.

There is a lot of, a lot anti-inflammatory foods and drinks, helping to prevent chronic inflammation. Coffee, tea, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish and herbs are all anti-inflammatory and it is best to eat a wide variety of these foods to get a wide range of benefits. nutritional benefits. But if you want to focus on adding one amazing anti-inflammatory food to your diet, there’s one in particular that healthy eating experts recommend: berries.

Related: How to reduce inflammation in the body, according to doctors

Why Berries Are So Beneficial for Preventing Chronic Inflammation

Whether you prefer blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or cranberries, there are specific properties that berries have in common that are linked to the prevention of chronic inflammation. According to Sobel, this includes antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols (a specific type of antioxidant).

Kristen Yarker, MSc, RD, a registered dietitian who leads a team of dietitians in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, says that since most scientific studies on berries and health have been done on animals and in the lab, it’s hard to know exactly why they are so powerful in protecting against inflammation, but there is a lot of research supporting the benefits of antioxidants, including polyphenols. Scientific studies show that antioxidants protect body tissues against damage caused by free radicals, which in turn prevent an inflammatory response.

Related: It’s the Absolute Worst Habit for Inflammation, According to a Cardiologist

Yarker also says that the fiber, which the berries contain, is also linked to preventing chronic inflammation. One of the reasons this is particularly notable is that 90% of Americans don’t eat the recommended daily amount, which is 25 grams per day. Incorporating berries into your diet is an easy (and delicious!) way to up your intake. “A diet high in fiber, especially soluble fiber, has been shown to dampen this inflammatory process,” says Sobel. She adds that blackberries and raspberries each contain eight grams of fiber per cup, while strawberries and blueberries contain nearly three or 3.5 grams of fiber per cup.

Along with antioxidants and fiber, both experts say berries contain other vitamins and minerals linked to preventing chronic inflammation. The types and amounts of these vitamins and minerals vary slightly depending on the type of berry. Their advice is to change the ones you eat. This way you get a wide range of nutrients.

Related: Dietitians agree it’s the worst inflammation-fighting snack

How to incorporate berries into your diet

If you want to incorporate more berries into your diet, Sobel says buying fresh or frozen berries is equally beneficial. The key, she says, is to avoid anything that’s overly processed and contains added sugar, which can be found in some fruit cups, pre-made smoothies or fruit juices. Also, it’s important to know that fruit juice doesn’t contain the beneficial fiber that makes berries so effective at preventing inflammation.

There’s certainly no shortage of ways to incorporate berries into your diet. They can, of course, be eaten as is. Some breakfast ideas that include berries along with other anti-inflammatory foods include oatmeal, smoothies, or Greek yogurt parfait. For lunch and dinner, berries can add an unexpected sweetness to salads and cereal bowls. And of course, there are many dessert recipes that incorporate berries; just be aware of how much sugar is used to keep it healthy.

Although eating berries regularly can help prevent inflammation, the two experts point out that it is not the only food to go for and that eating berries cannot cancel a diet mainly composed of foods that cause inflammation, such as refined simple carbohydrates, sugar and fried foods.

“Regularly including a variety of different berries in our diet along with a variety of other colorful plant foods, getting enough sleep, moving our bodies, managing stress, having strong supportive bonds with others, and addressing any microbiome imbalances all help reduce inflammation,” says Sobel.

At this point, consider increasing your berry intake as a starting point, not an end. Through your diet and lifestyle, you can work to prevent chronic inflammation, one healthy habit at a time.

Next, learn more about the anti-inflammatory diet, including what it is and what you can eat while following it.


  • Barbara Sobel, MS, CNS, LND, functional medicine nutritionist specializing in digestive, cognitive and hormonal health

  • Kristen Yarker, MSc, RD, registered dietitian who leads a team of dietitians in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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