One of the reasons why inflammation occurs in your body is because your immune system attacks what it recognizes as a foreign substance such as a pathogen, chemical or a food that your body simply can’t process. Imagine swallowing a penny. Your body doesn’t know what to do with it. For many people, the food they eat are like pennies that can lead to inflammation.
There are actually many diseases that are linked to chronic inflammation including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis to name a few. I have a client with rheumatoid arthritis and we have put them on an anti-inflammatory diet to help and it’s incredible to see how the inflammation had decreased and their health has improved dramatically just by changing the food they eat.
If you are struggling with a disease that is linked to chronic inflammation or simply struggle with inflammation, then I have put together a list of some foods that are known to be anti-inflammatory. Before I share my short list of anti-inflammatory foods, I think it’s important to share the foods that can sometimes result in inflammation. Not surprisingly, the foods that cause inflammation are often junk foods and foods that we should try to avoid anyway.
Foods that Typically Cause Inflammation:
- Refined grains
- Soda/sweetened drinks
- Bad fats (vegetable oil, margarine, corn soy, etc.)
- Grain-fed meat/processed meats
- Nightshades (eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, and white potatoes)
You might be wondering why grain-fed/processed meats is on this list. Most grain-fed animals are fed corn and soy and those are known inflammatory-causing foods. Furthermore processed meat contains hormones and antibiotics that can further contribute to inflammation.
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, cabbage, etc.
- Nuts like walnuts and almonds
- Healthy fats found in olive oil and fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel
- Fermented foods like kimchi
- Inflammation-fighting fruits such as pineapple, blueberries and papaya
It’s estimated that nearly 70-80% of your immune system in in your gut. That’s why a healthy gut is so vital for fighting inflammation since it involves your immune system. That is why fermented foods like kimchi is a great anti-inflammatory food! Fruits like pineapples and papaya contain an enzyme called bromelian that aids in digestion and fights inflammation.
Of course, this is just a short list of foods that fight inflammation and every person is unique, so there is no cookie cutter solution here. These are just general guidelines. If you’d like to learn more about food intolerances and tests you can take to help you discover which foods are causing YOU inflammation, explore our page here.