Inflammation is linked with nearly every major disease, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
In fact, chronic inflammatory diseases are the most significant cause of death in the world.
We would therefore be smart to keep inflammation in check. But the Standard American Diet (SAD) — full of refined sugars and carbs, unhealthy oils, and processed food —promotes the excessive inflammation we’re trying to avoid.
It is hard to stay away from the toxic food that is all around us, but our health depends on it. This article is intended as a guide to the foods you should avoid — and more importantly to the great foods you can eat — to reduce inflammation in the body.
Although it can be very challenging, here are a few key principles for foods to avoid:
- Avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup and trans fats
- Avoid foods with added sugar and flour
- Minimize high heat cooking (above 375 degrees F) and avoid fried foods
- Stay away from unhealthy vegetable and seed oils, including corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, and sesame seed oil.
And now here is a list of 30 anti-inflammatory foods, herbs & spices, and supplements to enjoy:
- Fatty fish (including salmon, sardines, herring, tuna, and mackeral)
- Leafy greens (including spinach, kale, arugula, and collards)
- Berries (including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries)
- Tea (including green tea, white tea, and herbal teas)
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Dark chocolate
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Flax seeds
- Nuts (including walnuts and almonds)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Fermented foods (including sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and miso)
Herbs & Spices
- Omega-3 EPA/DHA (from fish, krill, or algae oil)
- Vitamin D3
- Green Tea Extract
If you focus your diet around these foods and still experience pain and inflammation, consider removing gluten and/or dairy to see if that helps. Additionally, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, white potatoes) have been reported to cause inflammation in some people, and could be eliminated if all else fails (but otherwise should be eaten for their nutrition benefits).
I hope this list help you navigate your dietary choices to keep inflammation at bay.