If you are thinking of including more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, then this article will help you learn what to eat and what to avoid.
Learn what an anti-inflammatory diet is, and how an anti-inflammatory diet can help you achieve optimum health to feel your absolute best.
Get tips on how to stick with an anti-inflammatory diet long term. Plus, download a handy printable anti-inflammatory foods list so you can easily reference the best anti-inflammatory foods anytime.
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Whether you are curious about anti-inflammatory foods for weight loss or better health, what exactly to eat can feel like a mystery. No worries! It’s actually not complicated to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. You can get your free pdf printable anti-inflammation food list at the end of this post. Simply download, print, and reference as needed.
What’s on an anti-inflammatory foods list?
An anti-inflammatory diet means a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods. When eating anti-inflammatory foods, it’s best to choose organic as often as possible.
An anti-inflammatory foods list includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and potatoes galore. You can enjoy foods like squash, beans, quality meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, fats, and small amounts of cheese if tolerated.
I recommend eating no grains on this diet. Also eating low sugar foods, and little to no dairy (except possibly cheese.) And no alcohol.
Benefits of eating anti-inflammatory foods
There are many benefits of an anti-inflammation diet, including weight loss, healing of chronic pain, increased energy, and better mental health.
I can personally attest to how an anti-inflammatory diet helped me lose 40 lbs. and keep it off for good.
It has been over 3 years since I started this lifestyle and I have never felt better. Anti-inflammatory foods gave me my life back- they healed me from chronic back pain. Pain which was downright ruining my life. Please read my full story here:
You may experience any of the following positive results of eating mainly anti-inflammatory foods:
Less inflammatory foods in your diet will mean less work for your body to process what you eat, and quite often an increase in energy as a result.
Many inflammatory foods, such as wheat, are quite addictive. When you stop eating these foods, you will likely begin to crave them less. You may find you end up eating smaller portions and fewer calories overall naturally. Your body will adjust to eating less bulk, and you will feel less hungry throughout the day.
For example, if you typically eat cereal, oatmeal, or toast for breakfast around 7 or 8 am, do you end up needing a snack mid-morning? I was always starving by 10 am. Now, when I start my day with grain-free anti-inflammatory foods, I can go much longer without feeling hungry.
Decreased pain and improved health
Inflammation can cause pain in the body. Chronic inflammation can cause all kinds of problems and is thought to be a root cause of many diseases. When you stick to eating anti-inflammatory foods, you very well may see an improvement in your chronic pain or health issues.
Improved mental health
As you lose weight, feel physically better, and gain energy, you will likely feel better mentally as a result.
What else to know before you start an anti-inflammatory diet
An anti-inflammatory diet is not necessarily low calorie, low carb, or low fat. It’s about eating plenty of delicious, nourishing, satisfying whole foods so you never feel hungry.
You may be surprised to find this way of eating to be easy to stick with, compared to counting calories or any type of dieting to lose weight.
You will likely have to experiment with the recommendations given in this article and adjust as needed. Some of us have certain allergies or sensitivities. We are all different. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for the healthiest way to eat for all people.
If you can leave some wiggle room and not be overly strict with yourself, that will help. I personally eat 95% anti-inflammatory foods but will make exceptions.
Additionally, try eating as much organic as possible. I cannot emphasize enough how important I feel it is to avoid pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, GMO’s, antibiotics, growth hormones, artificial additives, and preservatives in your diet.
Best anti-inflammatory foods to eat
Here are the best anti-inflammatory foods to help you feel your absolute best. (Scroll down to the end of this post for a PDF printable anti-inflammatory foods list.)
- All fresh fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, berries, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, banana, apricots, mango, plums, and kiwi. If it is fresh fruit, then it’s a go!
- Unsweetened canned fruit is Ok. Unsweetened applesauce is a good option.
- Juice, though high in sugar, is fine in moderation.
- Dried fruits should be eaten in moderation due to high sugar.
- Eat all leafy green veggies such as lettuce, kale, bok choy, watercress, etc. Include all low starch veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, radish, avocado, and onion.
- Eat high starch veggies such as carrots, beets, parsnips, and peas.
- Potatoes including sweet potatoes and yams are a thumbs up.
- Cassava flour and arrowroot flour.
- Eat plenty of fresh herbs.
- Nightshade veggies such as tomatoes, spinach, eggplants, and peppers are fine for most people, though some people do have sensitivities to nightshade veggies.
- Eat nuts & seeds including almonds, walnuts, macadamia, cashews, sunflower seeds, flax, chia & pumpkin seeds.
- Grain-free pasta made from beans.
- Nut flours such as almond or coconut flour.
- Eat meats, including high-fat meats. But be mindful to avoid or minimize your intake of processed meats, such as deli meats.
- Eat most seafood, such as most fish, scallops, shrimp, clams, and lobster. I would stay away from fish know to have high mercury content, such as Tuna or Swordfish. Additionally, I chose wild-caught over farm-raised.
- All beans including garbanzo beans, black, white, pinto, kidney, etc.
- Unrefined coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butter, lard, sesame seed oil.
- High-fat meats.
- Nuts, and seeds.
- Nut and seed butters.
I do not recommend eating grains on an anti-inflammatory diet. But you must experiment with what works for you.
For example, if you are vegan or vegetarian, you cannot avoid grains because then you will not have enough to eat. Perhaps in that case you simply swap potatoes for grains more often. Or eat only gluten-free grains. Please make sure to eat enough calories and feel what works for you.
- Vinegars, mustards, ketchup, dried herbs, and spices.
- Mayo and creamy salad dressing such as Ranch in small amounts if tolerated.
- Organic sugar, honey, and maple syrup in small amounts.
- Tea, coffee, unsweetened seltzer water.
What to avoid on an anti-inflammation diet
- Inflammatory oils such as soybean, canola, peanut, safflower, and sunflower.
- Grains including rice, wheat, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, oatmeal, rye, & barley.
- Corn and processed corn products except in moderation if tolerated. (For example, a small serving of tortilla chips.)
- Excessive sugar, such as soda, candy, or chocolate.
- Excessive natural sugars such as dried fruits, honey, or maple syrup. Small amounts of sugar may be tolerated; see what works for you.
- Dairy. Except for cheese in moderation as tolerated. Again, experiment with what works for you.
Eating to feel your best while being flexible
Ultimately, you will want to use your own senses and intuition to determine what foods feel right for you.
We all must live our lives, and so dietary flexibility is helpful if we can have it. Popcorn at the movies, wine with friends, a dish of ice cream- these foods can bring some of us happiness in small doses. Get to know yourself and know what works for you.
Grab your free PDF printable anti-inflammatory foods list below
Anti-inflammatory books and resources
Against All Grains by Danielle Walker
Green Smoothies For Life by JJ Smith
I hope you enjoyed learning about the best anti-inflammatory foods to eat for optimum health, along with my personal take on having success sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet long term.
I have been eating mainly anti-inflammatory foods for over 3 years. Because of avoiding grains and inflammatory foods, I have maintained my initial 40-pound weight loss. And chronic back pain is a thing of the past. Praise God.
I have had days where I did eat too much ice cream or fell off the wagon with my eating in one way or another. But overall, I am consistent and stick with the foods list I have shared with you today.
Eating this way has done wonders for my body and mind. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have discovered this way of eating, and that’s why it’s so important for me to share it with you.
I hope you find this anti-inflammation foods list and PDF printable helpful, and maybe even life-changing. Please let me know what you think in the comments.
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