Your body has a natural defense system, and when there is a foreign object or an irritant that’s affecting it in a negative way, your body’s natural reaction is to fight. Inflammation is a self-protecting response, where white blood cells and chemicals fight off foreign substances. However, sometimes the body responds when there is no threat or attack, causing damage to its own tissues.

The results can manifest in allergies, autoimmune disorders, and immunodeficiency disorders. Other research has shown that chronic inflammation can lead to certain cancers. Now that the link between inflammation and cancer is being researched more, doctors and researchers are now looking for ways to help combat the effects of inflammation. And while there might be external factors contributing to increased inflammation, there are also foods that you can eat to combat it as well.

1. Fish Oil

The compound DHA, which is found in fish oil, has been known to have anti-inflammatory properties. According to researchers from Harvard and the University of Southern California, macrophages, which are a type of white blood cell, use DHA to produce maresin, which acts like a “switch” that turns off inflammation.

2. Dark, Leafy Greens

Dark green vegetables like kale and spinach help to fight inflammation and cancer because of the phytochemicals that they produce. Phytochemicals may inhibit inflammation and cancer, according to research from Journal of Food Composition and Analysis.

3. Peppers

All peppers contain capsaicinoids, especially chilli pepper. Not only are they anti-inflammatory, but they also have heart-healthy effects and are powerful antioxidants.

4. Turmeric

This ancient Indian spice has a number of different health and beauty benefits — one being anti-inflammatory disorders. Researchers from the University of Maryland Medical Center found that curcumin, which is a major component in turmeric, has a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that helps to lower the levels of enzymes in the body responsible for inflammation.

5. Garlic

This pungent spice is known for its immune-boosting properties. According to the National Institutes of Health, garlic has a variety of biological activities, including anti-inflammatory properties. However, the research has also shown that heating garlic reduces its anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Nuts

They are rich in fiber, calcium, and vitamin E — all great ingredients for fighting inflammation. Walnuts especially have alpha-linoleic acid, which help your body fight damage caused by inflammation.