All About the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

All About the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The anti-inflammatory diet is precisely what it sounds like, a diet that helps to reduce inflammation in the body.

Diet feature

Inflammation is a natural process of the body. It is essentially the immune system’s response to an irritant. Under normal conditions, inflammation is a beneficial process, but chronic inflammation can lead to many problems. Conditions like arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, IBS and metabolic syndrome all involve excess inflammation. Foods high in nutrients, antioxidants, and healthy fats are essential when it comes to reducing inflammation in the body.


Foods to Eat in Abundance:

Veggies: green leafy vegetables contain vitamin K, which can support a normal inflammatory response.

Fruits: fruits high in antioxidants and deep in colour (e.g. blackberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, raspberries) help combat free radicals that can otherwise lead to inflammation.

Avocados: a great source of healthy fats and contain vitamin E, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.

Olive oil, Nuts, Seeds, Oily Fish: all of these fat sources contain omega fatty acids that are essential to reducing inflammation.

Turmeric and Ginger: both herbs exert a multitude of anti-inflammatory effects.

Beans and legumes: their high fibre content helps support a normal inflammatory response.


Foods to Limit:

Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners: these highly processed foods will deplete the body more than support healing.

Trans-fats: trans-fats are a type of fat that the body cannot use. These fats can displace beneficial fats like omega fatty acids, adding to inflammation.

Refined carbohydrates: foods that highly processed carbohydrates can cause a spike in insulin which, over time, can lead to inflammation.

Processed vegetable oils: corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, peanut and canola oil all contain fats that displace beneficial fats, adding to inflammation.

Tips for Cooking and Shopping on an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

When cooking for an anti-inflammatory diet, try and include many vegetables, especially cruciferous veggies. Filling half of your plate with vegetables is a great place to start. The remainder of the plate should be filled with a combination of complex carbohydrates as well as a source of protein and fat.

Try and load up with the following staples when shopping:

  • Vegetables and fruits (green leafy vegetables, berries and avocados)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Ginger and Turmeric
  • Nuts and seeds

Substitutions for Common Ingredients

Here are some swaps to consider when shopping for common ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil: try avocado oil which is better for high heat cooking.
  • Refined sugars: swap this out for natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, date sugar, stevia and monk fruit.
  • Refined carbohydrates: opt for whole grains such as wild rice, quinoa, amaranth, spelt, buckwheat and oat flour.
  • Margarine: swap this out for grass-fed butter, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
  • The bulk of an anti-inflammatory diet should consist of whole and unprocessed foods.
  • Eat a wide variety of plants.
  • Foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, and foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as ginger and turmeric, will really take the diet up a notch.
  • It is important to limit heavily processed foods, especially oils and sugars.
  • Fish should make up the bulk of meats in this diet, limiting poultry and pork.
Jaclyn IrwinToronto based Holistic Nutritionist, Jaclyn Irwin, aims to encourage women to end years of yo-yo dieting and develop a healthier relationship with food. As founder of Holistic Foodie, a food and lifestyle blog filled with delicious recipes, wellness tips and green beauty, she is blending her love of food with gentle nutrition and showing you how to enjoy both kale and cocktails.
Subscribe for updates

By clicking "submit", you’re consenting to our email newsletter with cooking content and information on products. You may withdraw your consent at any time.