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Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tip: Salmon

When it comes to tasty ways to put a lid on inflammation, there might be nothing better than wild salmon.

Medically reviewed in November 2020

When it comes to tasty ways to put a lid on inflammation, there might be nothing better than wild salmon. This cold-water fish is a top source of EPA and DHA. These omega-3 fatty acids help curb chronic pain, prevent heart disease and some cancers, and may ease symptoms of autoimmune diseases, like MS. Plus, salmon is rich in vitamin D, which emerging research suggests may help fight pain.

What Do Experts Say?
"Salmon is arguably the best food source of omega-3 fatty acids. And omega-3s are one of the most researched food components in terms of anti-inflammatory benefits," says dietitian Lona Sandon, MEd, RDN, LD, assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at UTSW.

"Some studies have shown omega-3s help ease symptoms, such as morning stiffness and pain, in people with rheumatoid arthritis. It may even help reduce your need for anti-inflammatory medications. Foods high in omega-3s may also help lower the risk of heart disease in people with inflammatory conditions like RA."

How Should You Eat It?
Making salmon a regular part of your diet is the key to gaining all the benefits, Sandon explains. Baked, broiled, grilled or even raw at your local sushi bar -- any style is delicious! You can also poach salmon and then chill it for a summery brunch option. If you're on a budget or in a hurry (who isn't?), add canned salmon to pastas and green salads.

If you follow a plant-based diet, you can get your fill of omega-3s with flaxseed, hemp and chia seeds.

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