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Anti-inflammatory diet: What to know

Inflammation aids the body’s ability to fight illness and protect itself from harm. It is usually a necessary part of the healing process. However, some people have a medical condition that causes their immune system to malfunction. This malfunction can result in chronic or recurring low-level inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is associated with a variety of diseases, including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma. There is evidence that dietary choices may aid in symptom management.

An anti-inflammatory diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and spices. It discourages or restricts the consumption of processed foods, red meats, and alcoholic beverages.

The diet is an eating plan designed to help you lose weight while preventing or reducing low-grade chronic inflammation, a key risk factor in a host of health problems and several major diseases. This diet emphasizes certain vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy proteins and fats.

What is an anti-inflammatory diet?

Some foods contain ingredients that can cause or worsen inflammation. Sugary or processed foods may cause this, whereas fresh, whole foods are less likely to do so.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the foundation of an anti-inflammatory diet. Many plant-based foods are high in antioxidants. Some foods, on the other hand, can cause the formation of free radicals. Foods fried in repeatedly heated cooking oil are examples.

Antioxidants in the diet are food molecules that aid in the removal of free radicals from the body. Free radicals are natural byproducts of certain bodily processes, such as metabolism. External factors, such as stress and smoking, can, on the other hand, increase the number of free radicals in the body.

Cell damage can be caused by free radicals. This damage raises the likelihood of inflammation and can contribute to a variety of diseases.

The body produces some antioxidants that aid in the removal of these noxious substances, but dietary antioxidants are also beneficial.

An anti-inflammatory diet prioritizes antioxidant-rich foods over those that increase free radical production.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, may help lower inflammatory protein levels in the body.


Our Anti-Inflammatory diet is based on Dr. Steven Gundry’s (author of “the Plant Paradox”) theory that plants are smarter than we give them credit for and like animals, they have defense mechanisms they use for survival. One of the primary forms of chemical and “biological warfare” that plants use on the human body to defend themselves is lectins – a group of proteins that can leak through intestinal walls (leaky gut) into the bloodstream, where they disrupt neural and hormonal communication between cells and trigger confusion within the immune system to cause inflammation.

Who can it help?

An anti-inflammatory diet may serve as a complementary therapy for many conditions that become worse with chronic inflammation.

The following conditions involve inflammation:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • psoriasis
  • asthma
  • eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • colitis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • lupus
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • metabolic syndrome

The term “metabolic syndrome” describes a group of diseases such type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease that frequently co-occur. Scientists believe that inflammation plays a role in all of these. An anti-inflammatory diet may, therefore, help improve the health of a person with metabolic syndrome. A diet high in antioxidants may also help lower the chance of developing some cancers.

Foods to eat

A diet that reduces inflammation should include a range of foods that:

  • are rich in nutrients
  • offer a variety of antioxidants
  • contains healthy fats

Foods that may help manage inflammation include:

  • oily fish, such as tuna and salmon
  • fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries
  • vegetables, including kale, spinach, and broccoli
  • beans
  • nuts and seeds
  • olives and olive oil
  • fiber
  • raw or moderately cooked vegetables
  • legumes, such as lentils
  • spices, such as ginger and turmeric
  • probiotics and prebiotics
  • tea
  • some herbs

There is no single food that will improve a person’s health. It is critical to include a variety of healthy ingredients in one’s diet.

The best ingredients are those that are fresh and simple. The nutritional content of foods can be altered during processing.

People should read the labels on prepackaged foods. While cocoa can be a good choice, cocoa-containing products frequently contain sugar and fat.

A colorful plate contains a variety of antioxidants and other nutrients. Make an effort to vary the colors of your fruits and vegetables.

Foods to avoid

People on an anti-inflammatory diet should avoid or limit their consumption of:

  • processed foods
  • foods with added sugar or salt
  • unhealthful oils
  • processed carbs, which are present in white bread, white pasta, and many baked goods
  • processed snack foods, such as chips and crackers
  • premade desserts, such as cookies, candy, and ice cream
  • excess alcohol
  • In addition, people may find it beneficial to limit their intake of the following:

Gluten: Gluten can cause an inflammatory reaction in some people. Gluten-free diets can be restrictive, and they are not for everyone. If a person suspects that gluten is causing their symptoms, they may want to try eliminating it for a while to see if their symptoms improve.

Carbohydrates: There is some evidence that a high carbohydrate diet, even if the carbs are healthy, may cause inflammation in some people. However, some carbohydrate-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes and whole grains, are high in antioxidants and other nutrients.

Nightshades: Plants from the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes, appear to cause flares in some people with inflammatory diseases. Although there is limited evidence to support this claim, a person can try eliminating nightshades from their diet for 2-3 weeks to see if their symptoms improve.

Try a diet proven to reduce inflammation

Again, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all anti-inflammatory diet. However, two eating styles have been shown to be beneficial: the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet.

Mediterranean Diet:

The Mediterranean Diet is a common eating pattern among those who reside along the Mediterranean Sea since it is thought to be the heart-healthiest of all diets. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower inflammation, forms the basis of this diet.

Because of its emphasis on whole foods and omega-3 fatty acids, the Mediterranean Diet has been demonstrated to be anti-inflammatory  Additionally, processed oils like cottonseed and soybean oil that are included in a lot of ultra-processed meals are eliminated.

The DASH Diet:

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, is a plan of eating intended to lower high blood pressure. This diet has been demonstrated to lessen inflammation, possibly because it lowers blood pressure and encourages weight loss. Remember that inflammation is linked to both obesity and high blood pressure.

The DASH Diet emphasizes whole foods and restricts protein, sugars, and processed foods, similar to the Mediterranean Diet. However, DASH has a little more dairy than other diets, and it doesn’t emphasize seafood or extra virgin olive oil.

Is a vegetarian diet anti-inflammatory?

Although cutting out animal products doesn’t always equate to eating healthfully, meat can be inflammatory.
 Eating a plant-based diet can reduce inflammation, but vegetarian, pescetarian, and even vegan diets can still contain things like cookies, fries, and potato chips. You must consume only whole foods if you want to experience anti-inflammatory effects.

Do anti-inflammatory diets have any effect?

If you start feeling better, your anti-inflammatory diet is working, so keep an eye on your symptoms and look for positive changes in your health.
  • Clearer skin.
  • Decreased muscle or joint pain.
  • Decreased swelling in your hands and feet.
  • Fewer headaches.
  • Improved gastrointestinal
  • symptoms (diarrhea, gas, nausea, stomach pain).
  • Improved sleep.
  • Less anxiety, stress and/or brain fog.
  • Less bloating.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Lower blood sugar.
  • More energy.
  • Weight loss.

When can you expect to see results?

An anti-inflammatory diet cannot be a quick fix. Depending on the degree of your inflammation and intolerance, your outcomes may differ.

Give yourself three to six months to make dietary modifications and start noticing effects before making drastic alterations .  Start with little adjustments you know will have an impact, and then gradually add on.

When you severely respond to a meal, you could start to feel better as soon as two to three weeks after removing it from your diet.

Anti-inflammatory diet tips

Making the switch to a new dietary regimen might be difficult, but the following advice may be helpful:
  • While doing your weekly shopping, stock up on a variety of fruits, veggies, and healthy snacks.
  • Replace fast food dinners with wholesome, homemade lunches over time.
  • Stick to still or sparkling mineral water in place of soda and other sweet drinks.
Other tips include:
  • Discussing dietary supplements with a medical expert, such as cod liver oil or a multivitamin.
  • Adding 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise to the schedule.
  • Having good sleep habits since insufficient sleep can get worse irritation, a reliable source.