Eating to Help Reduce Inflammation Following an Injury

26 February 2023Physical Therapy

Injuries can often be a frustrating thing with pain levels varying in intensity, and often we want to expedite the process of recovery as much as possible. While making appointments to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for your injury is the common first step there are some things that you can do at home to aid in the recovery process.

In addition to your recommended home regiment a proper diet can be the key to quick recovery.

One of the most notable symptoms associated with any injury to the body is inflammation.

When we talk about inflammation, typically we are actually talking about your body’s immune system's responding to an injury or infection. When we're injured, inflammation is actually a good thing for a short span of time. The area you injured will become red and swell as an army of beneficial white blood cells flow in to help you heal and recover. If inflammation stays in the site of injury for an extended period of time, we can develop chronic symptoms that persist over time. According to the Harvard school of medicine “it is thought that this chronic state of inflammation can lead to numerous health problems, including heart disease, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer's disease, and even cancer.”[6]

So although initial inflammation isn't a bad thing, you want to make sure are fueling your body to help reduce your chances of developing chronic inflammation.

What are some food options that help reduce inflammation?

Good sources of food to help reduce and fight off inflammation are berries, fish, avocados, and peppers.

Berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. These compounds have anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce your risk of disease. They also help boost your body’s production of Natural Killer cells whose job is to kill tumors of infected cells. [1]

Fish is a great source of protein and the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your body metabolizes these fatty acids into compounds called resolvins and protectins, which have anti-inflammatory effects. [3]

Avocados are packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. [4] A study looked at 51 adults with excess weight found that the adults who ate avocado for 12 weeks had a reduction of inflammatory markers interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) and CRP. [2]

Peppers are loaded with sinapic acid, ferulic acid, vitamin C and antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Bell peppers also provide the antioxidant quercetin, which may reduce inflammation associated with chronic diseases, like diabetes. [5]

As you heal from an injury, be sure to eat to fuel that healing!



[1] BM;, J. S. V. E. I. B.-F. (n.d.). Berries: Anti-inflammatory effects in humans. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from

[2] Henning SM;Yang J;Woo SL;Lee RP;Huang J;Rasmusen A;Carpenter CL;Thames G;Gilbuena I;Tseng CH;Heber D;Li Z; (n.d.). Hass avocado inclusion in a weight-loss diet supported weight loss and altered gut microbiota: A 12-week randomized, parallel-controlled trial. Current developments in nutrition. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from

[3] Omega-3 fatty acids - StatPearls - NCBI BOOKSHELF. (n.d.). Retrieved January 27, 2023, from

[4] Rosenblat G;Meretski S;Segal J;Tarshis M;Schroeder A;Zanin-Zhorov A;Lion G;Ingber A;Hochberg M; (n.d.). Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells. Archives of dermatological research. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from,to%20reduce%20UVB-induced%20damage%20and%20inflammation%20in%20skin.

[5] Spiller F;Alves MK;Vieira SM;Carvalho TA;Leite CE;Lunardelli A;Poloni JA;Cunha FQ;de Oliveira JR; (n.d.). Anti-inflammatory effects of red pepper (capsicum baccatum) on carrageenan- and antigen-induced inflammation. The Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from

[6] What is inflammation, and why is it dangerous? Harvard Health. (2020, March 1). Retrieved January 27, 2023, from