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Anti Inflammatory Foods List: How I Lost 8 lb in 1 Week

Last week, I lost 8.4 pounds by eliminating just one type of food from my diet. In seven days.

I also lost my fatigue and achy joints and decreased my risks of developing rheumatoid arthritis, PCOS, Alzheimer’s disease, and several cancers!

What the heck did I eliminate from my diet?! Inflammatory foods.

Take a seat and I’ll explain why inflammation matters, plus provide you with an inflammatory and anti inflammatory foods list so you can try it for yourself!

What is inflammation?

First things first, what is inflammation? When something stresses your body, your body will inflame, or swell, in an effort to protect and heal itself.

So when you sprain your ankle, you’ll experience swelling as your body works to heal the injury. When you lift heavy weights at the gym, you’ll notice swelling and soreness the next day around the muscles that you used. Yes, exercise is a very positive stressor but the body’s reaction to heal is the same.

In the same way, certain foods, called inflammatory foods, can cause swelling in your body. Foods introduced in the last 70 years or so, like fast food and artificial sweeteners, cause inflammation because our bodies don’t recognize them.

Other foods, like whole grains and conventionally raised animals, should, in theory, be healthy and good for us. But due to genetic modifications, like unnatural additives and processing, our bodies no longer recognize them.

And when the body doesn’t recognize something that we eat as food, it produces inflammation to protect us from it.

Understanding Inflammation and Dietary Impact

Inflammation is a very necessary response of your body’s immune system. However, it can also pose health challenges.

The foods you choose to eat can have a profound impact on both acute and chronic inflammation, influencing your overall health.

Exploring Chronic vs Acute Inflammation

Acute inflammation is your body’s immediate response to an injury or infection, typically a short-term process. We welcome that inflammation!

However, chronic inflammation can linger for months or years and may contribute to diseases such as heart disease and other chronic conditions.

The Role of Diet in Managing Inflammation

An anti-inflammatory diet involves eating certain foods that help lower inflammation and reduce your risk of chronic diseases. By focusing on foods known for their health benefits, you can positively influence your overall health and potentially manage conditions related to chronic inflammation.

Inflammatory Foods List

Some of the most common inflammatory foods include:

  • Sugar
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Gluten
  • Grains
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol
  • Soy
  • Sodas
  • Fast food
  • Fried foods
  • Vegetable oils
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Artificial colors and dyes
  • Smoked or processed meats
  • Conventionally raised animals

Why does inflammation matter?

I know what you’re thinking. I really do! Because I thought it too.

So what? I love soda and don’t mind a little inflammation.

Here’s why you should care!

When you’re eating inflammatory foods every day, your body is in a constant state of inflammation. This is called chronic inflammation.

And chronic inflammation leads to disease because it’s just too much of a good thing.

Think of it this way: I lived in Philadelphia when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008.

And when they first won, it was epic. We ran out of our house and down the street to yell with bar and restaurant patrons.

We screamed and shook our fists at passing cars. They honked back at us, passengers hanging out the windows to give us high fives.

And for about 30 minutes, every Philadelphian was high on life, hugging every stranger within a half-mile radius.

And then things got crazy because…well…Philly. Soon people were joining together with those same strangers to flip cars over.

City workers hurried out to grease down light posts to stop fans from climbing them. Passions continued to rise and fights ensued.

In the same way, your immune system was designed to heal and protect your body. Good stuff!

But if it’s constantly inflamed, it gets overzealous. It will eventually begin to flood the body with defense cells and hormones that damage tissues and lead to disease.

In fact, chronic inflammation is at the root of a whole slew of health issues, including:

  • Rashes
  • Chronic bloating
  • Increased belly fat
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Digestive issues
  • Hormone disruption
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Heart disease
  • Some cancers

Sure, I love soda. In fact I used to drink upwards of six cans of Diet Coke a day!

But do you know what I love even more? Not feeling bloated, fatigued, and depressed all the time.

I love balanced hormones and the reassuring knowledge that I’ve decreased my chances of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, which all run in my family.

The Anti Inflammatory Foods List I Used to Lose 8 Pounds in 1 Week

Reducing Inflammation Through Diet

The next issue – I can see you thinking now – is that…this is a huge list of things to try cutting out of your diet, especially all at once! And if you’re anything like me, the foods on this list might comprise half of your diet.

This is why I tried to focus on just a few of the biggest offenders – sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbs, fast food, and soda. By cutting out these bigger categories, a few smaller ones (like fried foods and vegetable oils) were naturally eliminated by the larger groups.

You can also battle inflammation by incorporating anti inflammatory foods into your diet.  These foods attack inflammation by turning off inflammatory genes, reducing damage caused by inflammation, and pumping up the concentration of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Key Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Nutrients

In your journey toward a healthier diet, incorporating foods with anti-inflammatory properties is a smart move. They not only help reduce inflammation in your body but also support overall well-being.

Let’s dive into the specifics of which foods to include.

Fatty Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, are exceptional for their high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are stellar at fighting inflammation. Aim to have a serving of fatty fish a couple of times a week to make the most of these benefits.

Whole Grains and Fiber

Switching to whole grains can provide you with ample fiber which helps lower inflammation markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). Foods like oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread are not just filling; they also help in your anti-inflammatory efforts.

Fruits, Vegetables, and Essential Vitamins

Incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet ensures you receive a host of essential vitamins, especially vitamin C and vitamin E, known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Leafy greens, for instance, are rich in these vitamins and also contribute to your intake of healthy fats.

Here’s a quick list for reference:

  • Leafy Greens: Spinach and kale are excellent for vitamin E.
  • Berries: Such as strawberries and blueberries, packed with vitamin C.

Remember to also consider green tea for a soothing cup filled with anti-inflammatory benefits. For a sweet treat, a bit of dark chocolate can go a long way, offering both flavor and health perks.

Anti Inflammatory Foods List

To sum it up (and add a few more!), some of the most common anti inflammatory foods include:

  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Whole eggs
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • MCT oil
  • Grass-fed, grass-finished beef
  • Bone broth
  • Raw nuts and seeds
Anti Inflammatory Foods List Reference Guide

To help you keep all of these food suggestions on hand, we’ve created a one-page reference guide to print and keep in your kitchen! It includes both an inflammatory and anti inflammatory foods list. Download it HERE.

Dietary Options For Reducing Inflammation

You have three options for incorporating this list into your diet. And as you might have guessed, the more effort you put into it, the more dramatic results you’ll see.

All in!

This is how I managed to lose over eight pounds of bloat in just seven days. I cut out nearly every inflammatory food on the list and tried to incorporate at least 2-3 anti inflammatory foods into my diet every day.

This approach takes the most effort, especially if you’re a sugar and carb junky like I was. But as Susan Elizabeth Phillips said, “Anything worth having is worth fighting for.”

Cut inflammatory foods out of your diet.

This option requires slightly less work than the first.

It offers a little more room for your personal preferences since what you do eat doesn’t come from a list of suggested foods. And leaving room for personal preferences usually ups your chances of sticking with a plan.

Use our anti inflammatory foods list to incorporate an anti inflammatory food into every meal.

The last option is a lot easier and might even feel a little fun!

Leave the inflammatory foods in your diet if you must. But then substitute grass-finished beef for your regular 80/20, bone broth for chicken broth, or whole eggs for egg whites.

And you know throwing an avocado on top of anything makes it three times more delicious! This approach likely won’t eliminate all inflammation from your body but should help to reduce it.

Dietary Patterns for Reducing Inflammation

When you’re looking to reduce inflammation, adopting certain diets can also make a significant difference. Dive into the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, explore the benefits of vegetarian eating styles, and consider the DASH diet, which is celebrated for its positive impact on high blood pressure.

Mediterranean Dietary Insights

The Mediterranean diet isn’t just about enjoying delicious food—it’s a heart-friendly eating pattern that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil. It also includes moderate amounts of fish and poultry.

The diet is known for being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are powerful inflammation-fighting nutrients.

By following the principles of the Mediterranean diet, you can potentially lower your risk of heart disease and improve your weight loss journey. Studies endorsed by the American Heart Association have shown that this diet can even help manage and prevent metabolic syndrome.

Considering Vegetarian and DASH Diet

On the other hand, a vegetarian diet is based on plant-derived foods, which naturally contain a variety of anti-inflammatory compounds. If you’re looking at weight loss or general health improvement, going vegetarian—even for a few meals a week—can contribute to lower inflammation levels.

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is recommended by experts, including the American Heart Association, for its effectiveness in lowering high blood pressure. It focuses on foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are key nutrients for heart health.

By selecting whole grains, lean proteins, and plenty of fruits and vegetables, a DASH eating plan may also support weight loss and combat metabolic syndrome—factors closely linked with reducing inflammation in your body.

Lifestyle and Nutritional Tips for Optimal Health

Adopting a lifestyle that supports your immune system and reduces the risk of health conditions is as simple as incorporating these anti-inflammatory foods into your diet.

Chronic inflammation can lead to diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and even Alzheimer’s disease, so what you eat matters!

Start by reducing oxidative stress and neutralizing free radicals with a diet rich in antioxidants. Consuming foods like berries and nuts can help balance out these harmful molecules. 

Aim to lower your levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation often associated with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, by limiting intake of red meat and processed foods to decrease inflammation. 

Instead, include these foods in your diet:

  • Extra virgin olive oil: Just a tablespoon in your salad can have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Whole foods: Embrace vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Focus on maintaining an overall eating pattern that supports managing inflammatory conditions. 

Here’s a simple table to guide your choices:

Food TypeExamplesBenefits
FruitsBlueberries, orangesAntioxidants, Vitamins
VegetablesKale, spinachVitamins, Minerals
Healthy FatsAvocados, nutsReduce inflammation
ProteinsFatty fish like salmonOmega-3 fatty acids

Keep your meals colorful with a variety of fruits and vegetables, and choose your fats wisely to support your health journey.Remember, even small changes can make a big difference!

Use your new anti inflammatory foods list to conquer inflammation once and for all!

Inflammation in your body is no bueno and is at the root of hundreds of negative symptoms and diseases. You can combat these symptoms by cutting inflammatory foods from your diet, incorporating anti inflammatory foods, or trying a combination of both.

Ann Wigmore once said, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” What are you feeding your body today?

Anti Inflammatory Foods List Reference Guide

P.S. Want to remember this for later? We’ve created a one-page reference guide that you can print and keep in your kitchen! It includes both an inflammatory and anti inflammatory foods list. Download it HERE!

Disclosure: While all opinions are our own, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs, designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites, at no additional cost to you.