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Ask the Expert Archive

What foods help with inflammation?

Q: What foods help ease or rid the body of aches and pains inflammation soreness and stiffness, thanks in advance.

A: Several foods can help ease inflammation, stiffness, and muscle soreness.   Here are a few examples:  

  • Olive oil:  Polyunsaturated fats have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.  Try using olive oil instead of butter (or other animal fat-based products) which is loaded with saturated fats.  Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may also help to reduce inflammation.
  • Potassium:  Foods high in potassium are excellent for recovery after a period of activity.  When we exert ourselves we perspire and lose electrolytes in our sweat.  This loss of electrolytes can cause muscle cramps, soreness, and stiffness.  A few foods high in potassium include:  vegetable juice, tomato/tomato products, potatoes (sweet and white), peanut butter, milk, prunes, mangoes, bananas, and oranges.  Remember to stay hydrated, and aim to drink 64 fluid ounces of water per day.
  • Increase all fruits & veggies:  Fruits and vegetables are packed with anti-inflammatory agents.  Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.  Check out our weekly Healthy Menu Idea for a sample menu highlighting delicious recipes featuring fruits and vegetables.
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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