Updated: Jun 12, 2021
Inflammation is a complex process involving a variety of cell and signaling proteins that protect the body from infection and foreign substances, such as bacteria and viruses. Inflammation is at the root of most diseases, and the average American adult is dealing with some sort of systemic inflammation issue. Sometimes, the immune system triggers an inflammatory response inappropriately. This is the case with autoimmune disorders. The body compensates by attacking its own healthy tissues, acting as if they are infected or abnormal.
A cardinal sign is a major symptom that doctors utilize to make a diagnosis. In regards to inflammation, there are five cardinal signs that characterize the condition: pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. However, it is important to note that not all five cardinal signs are present in every instance of inflammation. Moreover, the inflammatory process could be silent and not cause noticeable symptoms. Other than the five cardinal signs associated with inflammation, it can also manifest as aches and pains, arthritis, weight gain, skin issues – especially rashes and itchy skin, fatigue, bloating, digestive issues, constipation, migraines, allergies, bags under the eyes, high blood sugar, mental health and mood disorders, and more. Some of the better-known inflammatory diseases or health conditions include arthritis, diabetes, dermatitis, bursitis, gout, conjunctivitis, eczema, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Chron’s Disease.
For anyone wanting to eliminate or reduce inflammation in the body, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet is a great place to start. The food we eat has the potential to help us thrive in wellness, and it also has the ability to deplete our health. There are foods that contribute to inflammation and there are foods that help reduce it. By adjusting the diet to support keeping inflammation at bay, all other treatments and therapies will also become more effective. “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Inflammatory Foods The following is a list of the foods known to contribute to inflammation. These are foods to eliminate from your diet if you are experiencing inflammation of any kind.
Gluten (wheat, barley, rye)
Dairy (cow, goat, and sheep’s milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, sour cream, ice cream)
Corn (cornmeal, polenta, corn starch, masa, sweet corn, popcorn)
High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn Syrup
Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, acesulfame k, neotame)
Refined Vegetable Oils (soy, canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, etc.)
Trans Fats and Hydrogenated Oils
Processed Meats (bacon, breakfast sausage, hot dogs, lunch meats, chicken nuggets)
Artificial Colors & Flavorings
Common “Table Salt”
GMO’s (genetically modified foods)
Soy that is not fermented (TVP, soy protein, soy crisps, “mock duck”, etc.)
Peanuts and Peanut Butter
All Processed Foods
Anti-Inflammatory Foods The following is a list of the foods known to reduce or eliminate inflammation. These are foods to include in your diet frequently if you are experiencing inflammation. Be sure to choose organic whenever possible.
Omega 3 Fats (avocado, chia, flax, and hemp seeds and oils, pumpkin seeds, wild-caught salmon and sardines, walnuts)
Cruciferous Vegetables (kale, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, Brussel sprouts)
Coconut Oil and Milk
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Raw Fermented Foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, plant-based yogurt, coconut kefir, kvass)
Sprouts (especially radish and broccoli sprouts)
Fresh Herbs (rosemary, basil, cilantro, fennel, oregano, thyme, parsley)
Organic Bone Broth
Lemons and Limes
Seaweeds (nori, dulse, kelp, hijiki, wakame, kombu)
Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Supplements The following is a list of several herbs and supplements that can help reduce inflammation. You can find these herbs in many forms, including tinctures, capsules, teas, and topicals.
Proteolytic Enzymes (Serrapeptase, Nattokinase)
Medicinal Mushrooms (reishi, chaga, lion’s mane, turkey tails, cordyceps, fomitopisis)
Alpha Lipoic Acid
St. John’s Wort
Proteolytic Systemic Enzymes
Irish Sea Moss
If you have been struggling with discomfort due to inflammation, or you have been diagnosed with an inflammatory disease or disorder, in addition to adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, scheduling a Health Consultation is a good idea.