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10 Foods That Fight Inflammation

09/03/2015 03:47 EDT | Updated 09/10/2015 11:59 EDT

Before we even get into a conversation about anti-inflammatory food, it's important to know when inflammation actually occurs.

Inflammation is the body's reaction when it comes face-to-face with an outside predator (which can be anything from a chemical to a physical injury to a virus). Basically, it is our immune system acting as our protective shield.

"Acute inflammation is our body’s natural response to injury or infection, releasing a cascade of chemicals to kill a threatening invader," says registered dietitian Pamela Fergusson. But in some instances, inflammation can be ongoing and can lead to long-term health conditions and diseases, WebMD notes.

"This can lead to increased risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer," she adds.

Diet is quite important when it comes to inflammation as well, and research shows fighting it means looking in your kitchen. One Harvard study notes, certain food and drinks have anti-inflammatory effects. "Unhealthy foods also contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation," the research notes.

In fact, foods that can cause inflammation are typically foods that are bad for you in general.

"If you have a diet high in processed foods, added sugar, red meat, fried foods, trans and saturated fats, you could be contributing to inflammation," she says.

Below, Fergusson goes through 10 foods that have been proven to fight inflammation and still provide your body nutritional benefits:

10 Foods That Help Inflmmation