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Stressing the body with frequent bouts of intense exercise can lead to a build-up of inflammation.

Inflammation is part of the body’s protective response to injury or infection, but high levels of it can occur if excessive stress is not balanced by adequate rest. This can increase the risk of injury, fatigue, illness or muscle damage.

Luckily, there are some steps we can take to help keep inflammation levels in check, like consuming antioxidants that fight inflammation through our diet.

Here are six of the best anti-inflammatory foods.

Fatty Fish

The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or sardines are great for fighting inflammation. That’s because your body metabolises the fatty acids into antioxidants.

Adding at least one or two meals a week that contain fatty fish into your diet could help keep your inflammation levels under control.

Broccoli

Eating leafy greens has been shown to reduce levels of inflammation as well as protect the body from chronic diseases like cancer.

Broccoli works against inflammation because it contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant that reduces levels of cytokines and NF-kB, two types of protein that drive inflammation.

Olive Oil

The Mediterranean diet seems to let people live extremely healthy, long lives, and nutritionists believe olive oil is a key reason.

Extra virgin olive oil has the best anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in an antioxidant called oleocanthal.

Berries

Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are some of the best fruits to get into your diet due to their vitamin and antioxidant content. Some studies have shown that men who eat blueberries every day produced more natural killer cells which help keep the immune system functioning properly.

Avocado

Avocados have been shown to have a number of health benefits. One study found that people who ate a burger with a slice of avocado had significantly less inflammation than those who ate the hamburger alone.

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