Does Your Diet Lower Inflammation?

How can foods impact inflammation? Discover which foods work best for YOU!

Inflammation, (while part of a healthy immune response), is increasingly thought to play a leading role in encouraging a number of major killers, such as:   cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. Dangerous chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system stays turned on and starts attacking healthy cells and tissues, or causing cancer genetic mutations, or the bursting of artery plaque.

What you eat, though, helps determine how much inflammation you produce. It is critical to realize the importance that Omega-3’s play in keeping at bay certain disease or in healing the body.  Doctor’s will also promote a diet rich in Omega-3’s after surgery or to reduce swelling after the body has undergone any type of trauma. Certain foods are inflammation-fighting and should be consumed in abundance (mainly plant or seafood) while other foods can promote and prolong inflammation (animal fats and white flour). Some recommendations:


Omega-3 fats. These are among the BEST and most potent anti-inflammatory foods. Best sources: fatty fish like Salmon, Sardine, Anchovies and Tuna; Dark Leafy Greens: Broccoli, Kale, Chard, Spinach, Seaweed. Walnuts and other nuts; Flaxseed, Pumpkin Seeds; and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Herbs and Spices: Basil, Oregano, Cloves, Marjoram, Tarrogan, SPearmint, Capers, Prepared Yellow Mustard, Peppermint, Thyme, Saffron, Bay Leaf, Chili Powder, Turmeric, Rosemary, Curry.

Colorful produce. Red Onions, Tomatoes, Prunes, Red Grapes, ALL Berries, Pomegranates, and Oranges all are packed with  flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties.

Herbs and spices. Ginger and Turmeric, Cinnamon either dried or fresh, are among the most healthful spices. For herbs, sprinkle on some freshly chopped Sage, Rosemary and minced Garlic.

Peanuts, Chocolate, Red wine. Red wine has anti-inflammatory chemicals like resveratrol. Dark chocolate,  at 70% or higher cacao which protects against inflammation. Great News for the research suggests that hot cocoa will also benefit the body’s health. Eat the peanuts right out of the shell in order to maximize reseveratrol intake.


Animal fats. Foods high in whole milk dairy are:  cheese, butter, margarine, ice cream.  Additionally:  egg yolks,  red meat, poultry skin,   All which contain high amounts of arachidonic acid, a molecule used by the body to create inflammation.

Omega-6 fats. While Omega 3 fats make a healthy impact on your body, it’s been found that Omega 6’s  trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. Oils rich in omega-6 fats include corn, safflower, and vegetable oils; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings.

Trans fats. Thanks to much research and the FDA getting behind the 8-Ball, trans-fats are all but gone from packaged foods as research shows they drive inflammation. Now they’re on nutrition labels, so they’re easier to avoid.

Rancid fats. CRITICAL to anyone who leaves the kitchen “to check on something” only to return and find that they have heated oil to the point that it’s smoking.  Besides the fact that smoking oil changes the flavor of a dish, it oxidizes fats and turns them into inflammation boosters. Also, avoid old peanut butter and any old chocolate stashed away for years in your pantry.

White starches. Flour, sugar, white rice, and instant mashed potatoes, for example, all cause quick spikes in blood sugar levels, causing the production of advanced glycation end products that spur inflammation.

Excess alcohol. Avoid drinking more than one or two alcoholic beverages a day; too much alcohol can cause changes in the intestinal lining, allowing bacteria to pass through into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation.