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The #1 Best Food to Eat to Reduce Inflammation, Says Dietitian

You’ll want to stock up on this food ASAP.

Is it really possible to pick one food to eat to reduce inflammation? Not exactly, according to Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES, FAND, Diabetes Lifestyle Expert with DiabetesEveryDay and author of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies.

"It is hard to pick just one food as the best food to reduce inflammation," says Smithson. "Reducing inflammation is an overall diet approach which follows the Mediterranean Diet guidelines. To be more specific, that is an eating plan that is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils."

According to a study published by Cambridge University Press in the journal Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, the Mediterranean Diet can reduce chronic inflammation which can help with decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Not only that, but research shows that the Mediterranean diet is also linked to living a longer life, and is also consistently ranked the best diet for weight loss.

However, while many of the foods in the Mediterranean diet are helpful in reducing inflammation, there is one food in particular that is particularly high in helping to reduce inflammation, and that's cherries.

"Cherries rank high on the list for reducing inflammation," says Smithson. "They receive an A+ for their antioxidant (anthocyanins, beta carotene and vitamin C) content as well as polyphenols that act as antioxidants which can halt damage to your cells. Studies have shown cherries to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress."

Thanks to these antioxidants, cherries can help reduce inflammation for joint pain and even in reducing swelling from arthritis. Studies also show that tart cherry juice is helpful in reducing inflammation as well.

Now that you're aware of all the amazing anti-inflammatory benefits of eating cherries, you might as well start incorporating them into your diet! Here are a few healthy recipes featuring this sweet fruit that you can easily make at home. Then, be sure to check out our list of the 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.

1

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Smoothie Bowl

chocolate covered cherry smoothie bowl
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Enjoy this sweet fruit in a creamy smoothie bowl in the morning, topped with coconut chips, cacao nibs, and cherries, of course.

Get our recipe for Chocolate-Covered Cherry Smoothie Bowl

2

Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding With Pistachios

chocolate cherry bread pudding with pistachios in baking tray with spoon
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Use up a leftover loaf of bread and whip up this cherry bread pudding for dessert one night! This bread pudding uses two whole cups of cherries, giving you that cherry goodness in every bite.

Get our recipe for Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding With Pistachios

3

Honey-Pecan-Cherry Granola

Honey pecan cherry granola
Jason Donnelly/Eat This, Not That!

Use up your bag of dried cherries and prep this granola for easy yogurt parfaits on busy mornings!

Get our recipe for Honey-Pecan-Cherry Granola.

4

Pressure Cooker Molten Lava Chocolate-Cherry Cake

molten lava cherry chocolate cake with frozen yogurt and spoon on black plate
Jason Donnelly

Molten lava cake with cherries for dessert? Doesn't get much better than that. Unless, of course, a scoop of vanilla ice cream is involved.

Get our recipe for Pressure Cooker Molten Lava Chocolate-Cherry Cake.

5

Easy Paleo Fruit Smoothie

paleo fruit smoothie in glass on wooden surface
Rebecca Firkser/Eat This, Not That!

This two-layered fruit smoothie combines a peach smoothie bottom swirled with a cherry smoothie top. It's paleo, meaning there isn't any dairy or added sugars to worry about!

Get our recipe for Easy Paleo Fruit Smoothie

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, with a main focus on food coverage, nutrition, and recipe development. Read more