Anti-inflammatory foods: The top 3 that fight inflammation

Inflammation, whether in your joints, gut, or brain, quickly ages the body and is the core mechanism behind many disorders. If you’re looking for ways to curb inflammation, you may not need to look any further than your kitchen.

Spirulina may reduce arthritis, an inflammatory condition that affects the joints.

Got wasabi? 3 power-foods that can calm inflammation


Wasabi is one of three top anti-inflammatory foods that pack a powerful punch. Wasabi contains isothiocyanates that can ease inflammation and even help block related cancer growth.14,15 Get a concentrated dose in every LivAmend capsule.

Here’s what to add to your plate:

1. Turmeric

This golden root contains a plant chemical called curcumin.1 Research shows that curcumin reduces inflammation by lowering histamine levels. Histamine is a chemical that triggers an inflammatory response in the body.

Curcumin also naturally increases your production of anti-inflammatory compounds, like cortisol.2,3 Studies show that curcumin can be as effective as synthetic cortisone in its ability to control inflammation.4

Turmeric is not only profoundly anti-inflammatory.5 It also helps:

  • Battle infection with antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties.6
  • Guard against atherosclerosis and fatty liver.7
  • Improve circulation and “sticky” blood.8
  • Potentially control tumor growth and the uncontrolled spread of cancer.9
  • Protect the liver.7,10
  • Relieve dental pain.11

It can even soothe skin irritation, ranging from bug bites to shingles.12

2. Wasabi

Wasabi japonica is spicy and pungent. It is a member of the brassica family, and its relatives are horseradish, cabbage, and mustard. It grows along streambeds in Japan, and its root is used to make wasabi paste — a green condiment often served with sushi.

Many brassicas — including wasabi — are rich in a group of plant chemicals called isothiocyanates (eye-so-thee-oh-sigh-an-ates).13 Isothiocyanates have been found to help inhibit inflammation and the growth of cancers associated with inflammation.14,15

Isothiocyanates also control inflammation associated with obesity and excess abdominal fat — or “beer belly.”16

Still other studies show that the isothiocyanates derived from Wasabi japonica interfere with several inflammatory pathways in the body.17 In other words: Even though many roads lead to inflammation, isothiocyanate-rich wasabi puts a roadblock in nearly all of them.

Real wasabi paste can be tough to find. In the United States, it’s common to see substitutes made with horseradish, mustard, starch, and green food coloring. Since wasabi also stimulates bile flow and assists with cellular detoxification pathways in the liver, Body Ecology’s LivAmend formula includes genuine Wasabi japonica.

Using turmeric with wasabi: Studies show that the active anti-inflammatory chemicals in turmeric and wasabi work synergistically with one another.18

The Body Ecology Diet book is your complete guide to health — and to beating inflammation.

3. Spirulina

Spirulina is blue-green algae and the world’s richest source of vitamin B12. This superfood is roughly 62 percent amino acids (building blocks for protein) and loaded with antioxidants.19,20

Spirulina acts on inflammatory pathways in the body.21 Other research shows that Spirulina may reduce arthritis, which is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints.22

Research also confirms that the proteins in Spirulina inhibit the production and release of histamine, which is one chemical that ignites an inflammatory response in the body. In this study, researchers concluded that Spirulina has “potent anti-inflammatory benefits.”23 In another study, the same group of researchers found Spirulina to “contribute to the prevention of early atherosclerosis.”24

Unfortunately, Spirulina is very difficult to digest and, for those who have digestive issues, incapable of being properly assimilated into the body.

Research shows that fermented Spirulina contains plant chemicals that have already undergone a conversion process that usually takes place in the body.25 This means that fermented Spirulina is the most efficient and potent form of Spirulina available.

How often should you eat foods to fight inflammation?

Naturally, the focus lately with what’s going on in our world has been on building immunity and reducing inflammation. The short answer is: It’s a great idea to eat foods to fight inflammation at every meal.

But don’t stop with our top three picks. Fermented foods can also be enjoyed with each meal — they’re another simple menu item with major health benefits.

Rich in probiotic microbes, fermented foods help displace the bad guys in the intestinal tract, and they also produce natural antibiotics that kill any stray disease-causing organisms.26 They work with your immune system, helping to quench inflammation and give your body the buffer it needs during times of stress. Cultured veggies, coconut water kefir, and probiotic drinks are some of our go-to favorites.


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  2. 2. Ammon, H. P. T., Safayhi, H., Mack, T., & Sabieraj, J. (1993). Mechanism of antiinflammatory actions of curcumine and boswellic acids. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 38(2), 105-112.
  3. 3. Enyeart, J. A., Liu, H., & Enyeart, J. J. (2008). Curcumin inhibits bTREK-1 K+ channels and stimulates cortisol secretion from adrenocortical cells. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 370(4), 623-628.
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  10. 10. Anna Baghdasaryan, Thierry Claudel, Astrid Kosters, Judith Gumhold, Dagmar Silbert, Andrea Thüringer, Katharina Leski, Peter Fickert, Saul J Karpen, Michael Trauner. Curcumin improves sclerosing cholangitis in Mdr2-/- mice by inhibition of cholangiocyte inflammatory response and portal myofibroblast proliferation. Gut, 2010; 59: 521-530 DOI: 10.1136/gut.2009.186528.
  11. 11. Nagpal M, Sood S. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013;4(1):3-7. doi:10.4103/0976-9668.107253.
  12. 12. Madalene Heng. Phosphorylase Kinase Inhibition Therapy in Burns and Scalds. BioDiscovery, 2017; 20: e11207 DOI: 10.3897/biodiscovery.20.e11207.
  13. 13. Morimitsu, Y., Hayashi, K., Nakagawa, Y., Fujii, H., Horio, F., Uchida, K., & Osawa, T. (2000). Antiplatelet and anticancer isothiocyanates in Japanese domestic horseradish, Wasabi. Mechanisms of ageing and development, 116(2), 125-134.
  14. 14. Cross, J., Rady, J., Foss, F., Lyons, C., Macdonald, T., & Templeton, D. (2009). Nutrient isothiocyanates covalently modify and inhibit the inflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). Biochem. J, 423, 315-321.
  15. 15. Khor, T. O., Yu, S., & Kong, A. N. (2008). Dietary cancer chemopreventive agents-targeting inflammation and Nrf2 signaling pathway. Planta medica, 74(13), 1540-1547.
  16. 16. Woo, H. M., Kang, J. H., Kawada, T., Yoo, H., Sung, M. K., & Yu, R. (2007). Active spice-derived components can inhibit inflammatory responses of adipose tissue in obesity by suppressing inflammatory actions of macrophages and release of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 from adipocytes. Life sciences, 80(10), 926-931.
  17. 17. Uto, T., Hou, D. X., Morinaga, O., & Shoyama, Y. (2012). Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Anti-Inflammatory Actions of 6-(Methylsulfinyl) hexyl Isothiocyanate Derived from Wasabi (Wasabia japonica). Advances in Pharmacological Sciences, 2012.
  18. 18. Cheung, K. L., Khor, T. O., & Kong, A. N. (2009). Synergistic effect of combination of phenethyl isothiocyanate and sulforaphane or curcumin and sulforaphane in the inhibition of inflammation. Pharmaceutical research, 26(1), 224-231.
  19. 19. Piñero Estrada JE, Bermejo Bescós P, Villar del Fresno AM. Antioxidant activity of different fractions of Spirulina platensis protean extract. Farmaco. 2001;56:497–500.
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  21. 21. Pak, W., Takayama, F., Mine, M., Nakamoto, K., Kodo, Y., Mankura, M., … & Mori, A. (2012). Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of Spirulina on rat model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 51(3), 227.
  22. 22. Remirez, D., Gonzalez, R., Merino, N., Rodriguez, S. and Ancheta, O. (2002) Inhibitory effects of Spirulina in zymosan- induced arthritis in mice. Mediators of Inflammation, 11: 75-79.
  23. 23. Vo, T. S., Ryu, B., & Kim, S. K. (2013). Purification of novel anti-inflammatory peptides from enzymatic hydrolysate of the edible microalgal Spirulina maxima. Journal of Functional Foods.
  24. 24. Vo, T. S., & Kim, S. K. (2013). Down-regulation of histamine-induced endothelial cell activation as potential anti-atherosclerotic activity of peptides from Spirulina maxima. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  25. 25. Liu, J-G., Hou, C-W., Lee, S-Y., Chuang, Y. and Lin, C-C. (2011) Antioxidant effects and UVB protective activity of Spirulina >(Arthrospira platensis) products fermented with lactic acid bacteria. Process Biochemistry, 46: 1405-1410.
  26. 26. S Biradar, S Bahagvati, B Shegunshi. Probiotics And Antibiotics: A Brief Overview. The Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness. 2004 Volume 2 Number 1.


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