One of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the kitchen. Choose the right anti inflammatory foods, and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. So here is an anti inflammatory foods list and for quick reference, I've also included a free printable pdf.
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Anti inflammatory diet
In addition to lowering inflammation, a more natural, less processed diet can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health.
To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet: avoid inflammatory foods and increase your anti inflammatory food intake.
Inflammatory foods to avoid
Inflammatory foods to avoid: refined carbohydrates, excessive alcohol, processed foods (soda, burgers, chips, etc), trans fats, artificial food additives, sugars... And last but not least: any foods that you may be sensitive / intolerant / allergic to.
“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't. ” (Michael Pollan)
Anti inflammatory foods
Anti inflammatory foods are those that are well known to reduce inflammation in the body.
What those foods all have in common is that they are all single ingredients that are unprocessed and unadulterated in any way. Or, in other words, they are all part of what is generally called "whole foods".
Why should you eat anti-inflammatory foods?
Because one of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but from the farmers' market (or grocery store). Yes. Food is medicine!
Choose the right anti inflammatory foods for you, and you may be able to reduce inflammation in your body fast.
I'm the living proof of that! After many years of taking strong painkillers for my autoimmune disease, I have been medication free for more than 3 years thanks to my new diet and some lifestyle changes. If you want to know more about my own story, you can read how I've been Healing Naturally My Autoimmune Disease.
Are all anti inflammatory foods good for me?
Whether or not you suffer from an autoimmune disease, diabetes, heart disease, gut disorders or any other inflammatory condition, incorporating more of these simple foods into your diet might be a good idea.
Wait! Why "might be" a good idea? Why am I not saying "is a good idea for sure"?
Because even though most doctors and nutritionists agree that we need to eat more of these anti inflammatory foods, keep in mind that we are all different. Someone's food is another person's poison.
Each person is unique and no one diet works for everyone. For example, you will see that nuts are included in this anti inflammatory foods list. But many people are allergic to nuts. It doesn't mean that they are bad for everyone no more than it means that they are good for everyone.
Start with healthy whole foods, then adapt as needed. What you have to do is listen to your intuition and to your body.
If you have a craving for one of the ingredients listed on this anti inflammatory foods list, there's a good chance that your body needs the nutrients in it.
On the other hand, if the thought of eating one of these ingredients just disgusts you, you're probably better staying away from it. Do not eat food you don't like!
Anti inflammatory foods list
You might want to include these foods in your diet:
While all fruits are generally high in antioxidants, those are superstars:
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, blackcurrants, red currants, Goji berries…)
Vegetables and legumes
I'm pretty sure everyone knows that vegetables are good for health. But the following vegetables are more than that : they are rich in antioxidants. Moreover, they contribute to alkalizing the body and they’re packed with vitamins and nutrients.
- Black beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Kidney beans
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, dandelion greens, watercress…)
- Red bell pepper
- Sweet potatoes
Nuts and seeds
Studies have also associated nuts with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Chia seeds, along with flax seeds, are loaded with antioxidants and omega-3.
- Brazil nuts
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Macadamia nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
Fatty fish are high in essential omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), which have significant anti-inflammatory properties.
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Ghee (clarified butter)
Herbs and spices
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
Printable list of anti inflammatory foods
Fill out the form below to download the free anti inflammatory foods list pdf.
Anti inflammatory recipes to enjoy
- Mashed sweet potatoes (AIP, paleo, whole30)
- Golden Milk Ayurveda Latte
- Basil Pesto Without Pine Nuts
- 4 Ingredient Guacamole recipe
Medical Disclaimer: The information in this article is meant for general information only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation and for any questions.
- Health benefits of fruits and vegetables Joanne L Slavin, Beate Lloyd
- Let food be your medicine: nutraceutical properties of lycopene Małgorzata Grabowska, Dariusz Wawrzyniak, Katarzyna Rolle, Piotr Chomczyński, Stefan Oziewicz, Stefan Jurga, Jan Barciszewski
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