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Food Choices and Inflammation?

June 5, 2017

Yes – it’s true – the food we consume can make a large difference in whether our bodies ache or not! Pro-inflammatory foods will increase inflammation, thereby accelerating the aging process, contributing to aches and pains in joints and other degenerative disorders, whereas anti-inflammatory foods will have a protective and healing effect. The typical diet in America has too few fruits and vegetables, too many refined grains and sugar, preservatives (of a chemical nature), and we tend to load up on carbohydrates.


Who doesn’t like a delicious pizza, burger on a bun, and brownies?! Inflammation has now been found to be associated with nearly every health condition. While the inflammatory response in and of itself is protective and healing, when it goes above and beyond and becomes chronic, it causes and contributes to innumerable problems.


Some examples are cardiac issues, metabolic syndrome, and cancer. Here are some examples of both kinds of foods (this is not an exhaustive list):


Examples of Anti-Inflammatory Foods

  • Most non-starchy vegetables

  • Omega-3 fatty acids 

  • Fatty fish and seafood

  • Raw or minimally processed dairy

  • Olive oil

  • Coconut oil

  • Most nuts and seeds

  • Turmeric/curcumin

  • Ginger

  • Berries

  • Black/green tea

  • Fermented Foods

  • Dark chocolate (over 70% cacao)


Examples of Pro-Inflammatory Foods

  • Refined carbs

  • Grains, especially wheat

  • Trans fats

  • Omega-6 oils

  • High fructose corn syrup

  • High sugar fruits

  • Starchy vegetables

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Sweets made with wheat and sugar

  • Sugar (refined especially)

  • Vegetable oil

  • Fried foods

  • Artificial sweeteners


Eating more anti-inflammatory foods will help you feel good, and continuing to eat a diet consisting mostly of pro-inflammatory foods will take you down. Take stock of how you feel physically and emotionally (yes, it’s connected to that, too), and learn how to eat in a way that leaves you feeling young, in a great mood, with clarity of thought. Guess what?


This leads to much better behavioral choices, improved relationships with others, reduced panic and anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behavior, rage and anger, and more. So, what’s more important to you – your life or your food choices?!  


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