The inflammation can cause a variety of physical ailments and symptoms. Most people believe that a diet rich in vegetables is all that is needed to prevent or reduce inflammation, but the truth is much more than that. In fact, certain vegetables could actually contribute to inflammation. And that is true. They are not just processed foods. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to eat can make a big difference to your overall well-being.

What is inflammation and why is it a problem?

Inflammation is a very popular topic these days, but do you know the real effects it can have on your health? Yes, there is such a thing as a positive inflammatory response, which acts as part of the healing process and helps the body fight external invaders. However, when it gets out of control, various symptoms and ailments can appear.

One of the biggest consequences of inflammation is arthritis, which occurs when the joints are inflamed. It is estimated that in the United States alone, approximately 54.4 million adults have some form of arthritis.

When arthritis becomes severe, it can be difficult to walk or complete basic tasks. Some people can even develop deformed and twisted joints.

Problems with excessive inflammation

Gut Damage: A large number of your immune cells that fight to stay healthy are in your intestines. In fact, approximately 70 percent of your immune system is found in gut-associated lymphoid tissue.

These immune cells, under normal circumstances, ignore healthy bacteria so they can thrive. However, when inflamed, immune cells can start attacking your digestive tract. Inflammatory bowel disease is an example of this.

Heart disease: a state of chronic inflammation can be triggered by a fatty plaque in the arteries. White blood cells are attracted to these plaques, which can result in clots.

A heart attack can occur in these cases. Another factor at play is interleukin-6, which is a type of protein.

Increased risk of cancer: Cancer cells have an ideal environment for growth when there is a state of inflammation because immune regulation is impaired. In fact,  a study in 2014 that looked at obese adolescents and their risk of colorectal cancer in adulthood.

When these teens had high levels of inflammation, their risk of this cancer was 63 percent higher than their slimmer peers.

Bad sleep: According to a 2009 study, proteins related to inflammation were found at higher levels in the blood among people who had less than 7.6 hours of sleep per night.

Reduced lung health: Most major lung conditions, such as COPD and asthma, are attributed to a state of inflammation. When present, breathing can be difficult due to narrowing of the airways and fluid build-up.

More complicated weight loss: Obesity can cause a state of inflammation and, once it is present, it can reduce your metabolism and increase your appetite. Insulin resistance can also be triggered by it, increasing a person’s risk of diabetes.

Bone damage: When inflammation is present, it can potentially trigger bone loss and interfere with bone growth.

Skin conditions: when there is inflammation, it can be reflected in your skin. When you are in a state of inflammation, your immune system can cause your skin cells to grow rapidly and this could contribute to conditions such as psoriasis. A state of inflammation could also contribute to premature aging.

15 vegetables to avoid if you suffer from inflammation

The main vegetarian options that are associated with inflammation are those of the nightshade family. Vegetables in this family contain alkaloids, which are a type of compound. One of the main alkaloids is selinene. In large quantities, it can be toxic.


A number of integrative health specialists and nutritionists claim that joint and arthritic pain can be made worse by eating bay leaf vegetables.

They believe that if you completely eliminate these plant-based options from your diet, you will experience relief from joint pain due to reduced inflammation in the body.

The 15 nightshade vegetables to avoid include:

  1. Banana pepper.
  2. Chili.
  3. Eggplant.
  4. Jalapeno pepper.
  5. Pepper.
  6. Sweet pepper.
  7. Tomatillo.
  8. Hungarian pepper.
  9. Peppers.
  10. Habanero.
  11. White potato (sweet potatoes / sweet potatoes / sweet potato can be consumed).
  12. Tomato (technically a fruit, but part of the nightshade family).
  13. Hungarian pepper.
  14. Thai pepper.
  15. Artichoke (not a nightshade vegetable, but contains similar alkaloids).

6 vegetables that eliminate and relieve inflammation in the body

Now that you know which veggies to avoid, it’s time to look at the ones that actually fight inflammation. There are a number of viable healthy food options that are easy to incorporate into your daily diet. It’s a good idea to eat at least one of the following vegetables per day for anti-inflammatory and other benefits.

Green leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are packed with antioxidants, especially polyphenols. Polyphenols are compounds and have anti-inflammatory properties. They work to alleviate the state of inflammation by fighting oxidative stress due to free radicals. There are five green leafy vegetables that are superior to most healthy food options in reducing a state of inflammation and these include:

  • Spinach.
  • Kale.
  • Broccoli.
  • Brussels sprouts.
  • Cauliflower.

Garlic and onion

Both vegetable options are rich in anti-inflammatory substances. One of the most active is known as the garlic organo-sulfide compound. For centuries, these compounds have been used for the prevention and treatment of numerous health conditions, from cancer to heart disease.

Some emerging research shows that the anti-inflammatory properties of these compounds can provide an antitumor response.

Bok choy

This is a type of Chinese cabbage and it is rich in minerals and vitamins that work as antioxidants. In this vegetable, there are hydroxycinnamic acids, as well as approximately 70 additional phenolic substances, all of which act as antioxidants.

They work hard to scavenge free radicals and alleviate the oxidative damage they can do to the body, including reducing the risk of free radicals causing a state of inflammation.


Celery is often mentioned when talking about vegetables that have positive anti-inflammatory properties. This is mainly due to its polyphenolic and flavonoid antioxidants.

Flavonoids, such as quercetin and other antioxidants, such as caffeic acid, phenolic acid, and ferulic acid, can help benefit various inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, liver and kidney infections, urinary tract infections, gout, bowel syndrome irritable and certain skin disorders.


This is one of the most nutritionally diverse vegetables out there, as well as a primary source of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. One of these, known as betalain, is responsible for the strong tone in beets, but it also possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

This vegetable is also rich in magnesium. Research shows that inflammation status and magnesium deficiency are related to each other.


Although it is not a vegetable, its anti-inflammatory properties are well documented. One of the main uses for this spice is to fight inflammation associated with arthritis.

In a small study from 2012, it was shown that turmeric has the ability to prevent the inflammatory process in the joints. It is best to use the fresh version of this spice to ensure the most benefit.


If you suffer from inflammation and your favorite vegetables are on the high inflammatory response list, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat any at all. Everything is different, consider this list and experience how each food reacts in your body. You know your body better, and if you don’t, it’s time to start.


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