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Reduce Inflammation with Diet

Inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases. The good news is that your diet can play an important role when it comes to perpetuating or dissipating inflammation in the body.  You have control over what you eat!  Recent research finds that eating an anti-inflammatory diet not only helps protect against certain diseases, but it also slows the aging process by stabilizing blood sugar and increasing metabolism.[1,2] Another study completed in 2014 found all of the patients with Inflammatory  Bowel Disease who participated and consumed anti-inflammatory foods found enough relief that they were able to discontinue at least one of their medications.[3]

What is an anti-inflammatory diet?

An anti-inflammatory diet consists of foods that reduce inflammatory responses and is widely regarded as healthy. An important step in moving to an anti-inflammatory diet is the removal of foods that perpetuate inflammation including heavily-processed, greasy, sugary, refined foods with whole, nutrient-rich foods. If you can’t recognize what food the product you’re eating was made from, don’t eat it.  At the same time, you start adding better food choices.  The key is not to try to make sudden, drastic shifts.

Here are 10 tips to get you started on your path to reduced inflammation:

  • Aim for a wide variety of colours in your diet: from dark brown, through all other colours, with emphasis on vegetables of all kinds but also antioxidant–rich berries. Three-quarters of the space on your plate should be taken up with vegetables.
  • Eat “Three greens, three different colours, three sulphurs” per day.  Sulphur-containing foods include garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, mushrooms, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts)
  • Eat as much fresh whole food as possible while reducing the amount of fast food eaten
  • Eliminate soda and other sugary beverages; water should be your primary drink of choice. Avoid artificial sweeteners; they are no better than real sugar.
  • Drink more clean water! Add fresh fruit or cucumber slices to your water to give it added flavor.
  • Get a water filtration system: removal of environmental pollutants from your drinking water can lower inflammation.
  • Prepare for the week ahead by making a shopping list to ensure healthful meals and snacks are on hand.
  • Try to eat 40 grams of fiber a day. You can accomplish this by snacking on fruits and veggies throughout the day.
  • Use herbs and spices to add flavor to foods.
  • Consume foods rich in omega-9 fatty acids such as avocado, olives, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts.
  • Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (cold water fish, big and small) and omega-3 precursor foods such as flax seeds and walnuts.
  • Drink tea instead of coffee and drink alcohol in moderation, especially distilled alcohol.
  • Enjoy plain dark chocolate in moderation (with a minimum cocoa content of 70 percent) to satisfy your sweet tooth.


1. C. Franceschi et al. Inflammaging and anti-inflammaging: A systemic perspective on aging and longevity emerged from studies in humans. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development. January 2007. 128:1; 92-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2006.11.016

2. Harvard Health. Foods that fight inflammation. Updated: August 13, 2017Published: June, 2014. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

3. B. Olendzki et al. An Anti-inflammatory diet as treatment for inflammatory bowel disease: a case series report. Nutr J. 2014; 13:5 doi:  10.1186/1475-2891-13-5