You've likely heard that it's important for overall health to eat a diet full of anti-inflammatory foods, but did you know that these foods also benefit your skin as well? Anti-inflammatory foods are known to be rich in antioxidants, which function like armor against damaging UV rays and environmental pollution and help protect your skin against the free radicals that damage its cells—yet another example of how beauty comes from the inside-out.
Throughout my travels, I’ve been reminded time and time again how our food choices impact our skin. And between my personal battle with eczema and the invaluable information I’ve learned from the world’s leading scientists, I know first-hand how eating anti-inflammatory foods can help you achieve the glow of your dreams.
But where do you begin, and how do you know which are the best anti-inflammatory foods versus those that cause inflammation? Keep reading to learn all about how you can support your health from the inside-out by following an anti-inflammatory diet and get my list of the 15 best anti-inflammatory foods and even some suggestions for supplements that may help to cool inflammation!
Why It’s Important to Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Many of us are familiar with the term inflammation either in its acute form as a beneficial function that promotes wound healing or its more dangerous chronic form, which is known to cause damage to the heart, brain, skin, and overall health in general. We know that widespread inflammation throughout our bodies is bad, but there tends to be some confusion around how it happened and lingering questions about what reduces inflammation fast once we realize we’re at risk.
In short, we live in a world where toxins are hidden all around us—in the foods we eat, the products we use, and even in the air we breathe. Between this toxic exposure and the stress of our everyday busy lives, our cells are fielding free-radical attacks left and right, creating mini inflammation storms in various areas of our bodies.
Preventing this type of inflammation is critical to our wel-lbeing because it goes much deeper than minor aches and pains, skin irritation, or curbing the premature aging of our skin. Researchers now know that body-wide inflammation is a common link and risk factor for many of our most common health problems. And much of the inflammation that threatens our short- and long-term health occurs at the cellular level.
Chronic inflammation, also known as silent or low-grade inflammation, is thought to be at the root of many of today’s most prevalent diseases, causing blood sugar imbalances, heart problems, respiratory issues, skin issues from eczema to premature aging, and even age-related cognitive decline.
Now, as you likely know, I’m a big fan of following a high fiber keto diet for many reasons. But one of the primary benefits of this diet is that it’s packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients that arm our cells with powerful antioxidants. These anti-inflammatory nutrients save our cells from more DNA-damaging assault than we know because their antioxidants help to ward off the inflammation-induced cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Given this information, let’s step back to the original topic at hand: How do anti-inflammatory foods benefit your skin, specifically? Keep in mind that your skin is your largest organ, and it primarily serves as a barrier between the outside world and your internal organs and tissues while also playing a role in your immune responses. That means it’s exposed to toxins and stresses each and every day—both from inside your body and from outside factors. But by focusing on supporting your health from an inside-out approach, you can help to counteract and even prevent the skin damage that inevitably begins to appear when you look in the mirror.
So, want to save your skin—and your entire body—from further damage? Eat a diet full of anti-inflammatory foods containing powerful antioxidants such as resveratrol, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), berberine, turmeric, and more! How? Keep reading to get my list of the 20 best anti-inflammatory foods to include in your diet.
Top 15 Anti-Inflammatory Foods
If you’re wondering what are the top anti-inflammatory foods, you’re going to love this list. Here are 20 of the best foods that fight inflammation, from anti-inflammatory vegetables and fruits to animal-based proteins and sources from the sea.
Because avocados are rich in oleic acid, they’re known to help cool inflammation by fighting the free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Plus, they’re rich in filling fiber!
Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are some of the most antioxidant-rich foods in the world, making them great anti-inflammatory fruits. Some studies have even shown that blueberries may help to protect the skin from UV ray-induced damage.
High in fiber and antioxidants, broccoli is one of the best anti-inflammatory vegetables you can eat. Plus, you can consume it raw or cooked, making it highly versatile and easy to incorporate in almost any diet.
Believe it or not, cabbage leaves compresses were commonly used in folk medicine to help relieve inflammation-related swelling and pain. Today, research has shown that cabbage leaves contain inflammation-cooling compounds that can help calm inflammation proteins in the body.
Research has confirmed that celery contains the antioxidants apigenin and luteolin, which are known to fight inflammation and even help curb allergy symptoms.
6. Chia seeds
High in the healthy fats omega-3 and omega-6 along with protein and fiber, chia seeds contain alpha-linoleic acid, which has been shown to lower pro-inflammation protein markers and support insulin sensitivity.
7. Coconut oil
A rich source of MCT oil [🡨 will link to upcoming MCT oil cornerstone], coconut oil has been shown to help promote a healthy gut microbiome, thereby supporting decreased intestinal inflammation. It’s also an amazing skin moisturizer when used topically.
8. Egg yolks
Despite their bad rap for being high in cholesterol, egg yolks are actually rich in vitamin B12 and help to activate autophagy, meaning it helps to clear out toxins that are known to cause inflammation.
Grapes are rich in the polyphenol resveratrol, which contains antioxidants and inflammation-fighting properties. In fact, it’s been shown in studies to help cool skin inflammation.
10. Green tea
You may have heard that green tea is one of the top anti-inflammatory foods you can consume, but did you know that it’s because green tea contains high amounts of the catechin EGCG? Catechins are antioxidants, and EGCG is believed to be one of the most potent catechins available for consumption, making it a great free radical-fighter.
Named as the world’s best “superfood,” kale contains dozens of polyphenols—antioxidant compounds known for their inflammation-cooling effects. Additionally, this leafy green contains certain molecules known to promote detoxification.
Another one of the top anti-inflammatory foods to consider eating on a regular basis is spinach. It’s rich in numerous nutrients, most notably vitamin E and lutein, both of which have been linked to lowered levels of inflammation in scientific studies. Plus it’s a great source of vitamin C, which is known to be a building block for collagen.
The active compound in this bright orange anti-inflammatory spice is known to concentrate in your gut and GI tract and also cross the blood-brain barrier. As a result, turmeric has been found to help fight inflammation in the gut, brain, and throughout the entire body.
One of the top anti-inflammatory foods you can eat is walnuts, and here’s why: First, walnuts contain more polyphenols than any other nut. Second, they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, which are known to promote skin hydration.
15. Wild-caught salmon
Finally, the last in the list of top anti-inflammatory foods is wild-caught salmon because it’s yet another rich source of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids as well as astaxanthin. Just make sure to avoid farmed salmon, as research has shown that it contains significantly fewer fatty acids and astaxanthin content, and it can even promote internal inflammation!
Supplementing Your Anti-Inflammatory Diet
While a healthy lifestyle almost always begins with your diet, there’s also incredible power in supplementing with some of the world’s best nutrients. So, if you’re really looking to help fight inflammation and support whole-body health, you may want to consider including one of the following supplements in your health routine.
A powerful antioxidant sourced primarily from grape skin and seeds as well as some berries, resveratrol is known to help cool the inflammation linked to premature aging. It can be tough to get the amount of resveratrol you need from diet alone, though, which is why I recommend supplementing with at least 250 mg of organic trans-resveratrol, the amount shown in studies to have the best effect.
While regularly drinking green tea is a great way to consume antioxidants, the NAOMI PowerPhenol provides 90 mg of green tea extract (EGCG) as well as a proprietary PowerPhenol blend that contains organic turmeric, berberine, and resveratrol, making it a great way to ensure you’re targeting inflammation on a regular basis.
Known for its inflammation-cooling properties, berberine also supports your good gut bacteria. But this compound can be difficult (and quite costly) to source from its whole-food form, barberry, which is why I recommend taking 1,000 mg of berberine HCl daily.
If you’re looking to help fight inflammation but also want to support healthy blood sugar levels and liver health, you may find that Advanced Turmeric Gold could be the perfect turmeric supplement for you. Not only does it remain bioavailable for up to 24 hours (a first of its kind, as most turmeric supplements stay in the blood for only one hour), but it’s also free of black pepper, making it easier on your stomach.
Finally, astaxanthin is an extremely potent antioxidant that fights inflammation, containing 6,000 times more antioxidant properties than vitamin C! Plus, it’s known to induce autophagy, thereby promoting natural detoxification of your cells and fighting harmful free radicals.
- Anti-inflammatory foods are known to be rich in antioxidants, which function like armor against damaging UV rays and environmental pollution and help protect your skin against the free radicals that damage its cells.
- Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods include: avocados, berries, coconut oil, egg yolks, grapes, turmeric, wild-caught salmon, and more.
- Consider supplementing your anti-inflammatory diet with antioxidant-rich supplements such as resveratrol, berberine, astaxanthin, and more.