Food to Soothe: Your Anti-Inflammatory Diet Shopping List

Most things are beneficial to a certain extent. So is inflammation! On the one hand, the body causes inflammation as a part of the immune system response. Without it, wounds, injuries, and infections would not heal. On the other hand, excessive inflammation may put the body at risk of a lot of chronic diseases. This can cause issues with your nervous system, joints, foot, liver, bowel, and heart. To prevent this, see how the anti-inflammatory diet can be effective for keeping you healthy, and what should be included on your anti-inflammatory diet shopping list.

Table of Contents

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listUndertaking the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The anti-inflammatory diet is an eating plan intended to reduce inflammation, with the aim of preventing chronic diseases and promoting good health. This diet can also help prevent allergies, diabetes, irritable bowel disease, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and many types of cancer.

If you are considering embarking on this diet, then you’ll need to know which food is best against inflammation. Therefore, you’ll need a shopping list to get you started on this diet, as well as answers to some questions you may have. Regardless, you can skip straight to your free anti-inflammatory diet shopping list template if you wish.
Go to Anti-Inflammatory Diet Shopping List Template

What Should I Eat on the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

You’ll need to be picky while being on the anti-inflammation diet. The key point behind this diet is to prevent inflammation. Therefore, you’ll need to only add healthy food to your eating plan.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listFruit

Tasty and healthy, you should make a habit of eating fruit very often in your fight against inflammation.

Especially berries.

Why?

Because they are a good source of the antioxidant called anthocyanins that have an anti-inflammatory effect. They can reduce inflammation, strengthen immunity, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listVegetables

Leafy greens should make up the bulk of your plate for any given meal. So, eat plenty of spinach, kale, and broccoli. All of these contain the antioxidant “glucosinolates” which has anti-inflammatory effects. It’s also claimed to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Tomatoes are also effective thanks to its content of lycopene which may soothe inflammation and defend the body against cancer.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listMeat and Fish

Instead of red meat, opt for skinless chicken or turkey. They are good sources of anti-inflammatory Omega-3s.

What’s more, eat Omega-3-rich fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, 3 times a week.

Dairy and Eggs

Eggs and yogurt are also essential to consume on the anti-inflammatory diet. Yogurt, for example, contains probiotics that reduce gut inflammation.

Given their content of protein, vitamins A and B, eggs can also help reduce inflammation.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listGrains and Seeds

Whole grains, including oatmeal and brown rice are plentiful sources of fiber which is an effective element in preventing inflammation levels in the body.

Seeds, such as chia, sesame, and linseed, are also excellent anti-inflammatory foods as these contain Omega-3 fatty acids.

Legumes

Beans should make up a large part of your eating plan on the diet. That’s because eating plenty of beans will boost your fiber intake and fill you up with inflammation-reducing antioxidants and phytonutrients. Among them, lentils, kidney beans, white, and black beans are the best anti-inflammatories.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listFats and Oils

Olive oil contains antioxidants that fight inflammation. These include the oleocanthal and oleic acid.

As for other healthy fats, consume monounsaturated fats, including sunflower and avocado oils. These are high in monounsaturated fatty acids that help fight inflammation. By reducing inflammation, these acids also help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, and heart disease.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listDrinks

Drinking a lot of water on the anti-inflammatory diet is a good idea because it flushes out toxins in the body and helps soothe inflammation. If you don’t know how much water you should be drinking, try downloading a water drinking reminder app.

Black and green tea are arguably the best anti-inflammatories as they are packed with antioxidants, theaflavins, and catechins.

Red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol that prevents an enzyme “COX-2” from causing pain and swelling in the body. It may also prevent fungal infections.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listSnacks

Dark chocolate and cocoa have anti-inflammatory effects due to the high content of flavanol. This antioxidant helps reduce inflammation, along with reducing risks of some chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, brain, and immune system disorders.

You should snack on nuts, as well. Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, are natural anti-inflammatories as they are full of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Which food causes inflammation?

Knowing what to eat on the anti-inflammatory diet is only the first step. The second step is knowing what food you should exclude from your eating plan.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listProcessed Meat

Processed meat includes bacon, ham, sausage, and smoked meat. They contain advanced glycation end products that, when cooked at high temperatures, causes inflammation. What’s more, they are linked with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stomach, and colon cancer.

Red Meat

In red meat, such as beef, there are high levels of C-reactive proteins and amino acids that promote inflammation and aging.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery list

Saturated Fat

Food high in saturated fat, like full-fat cheese, red meat, fries, and pizza, cause fat tissue inflammation. They contributed to heart disease and worsen arthritis inflammation.

Canned Soup

As for canned soup, get rid of them. They are full of processed free glutamic acid such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) that correlates with weight gain and liver inflammation.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listSugary Food

Are you a fan of sugary cookies and sweeteners? Well, you’re in for some bad news!

Sugar may be hard to avoid, but it triggers inflammation. It causes the body to release cytokines that are inflammatory proteins.

Processed Grains

Consuming white flour and white rice lead to the production of advanced glycation end products, the same as processed meat. Sadly, this triggers inflammation in the body.

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listDrinks

When it comes to drinks, consuming high levels of alcohol may lead to severe problems. For instance, those who drink heavily may develop a “leaky gut”, where damage to the small intestine causes toxins to leak through the intestine and flood the bloodstream. This, in turn, triggers the immune system and leads to inflammation in the body.

But even if you’re not a heavy drinker, you still need to be cautious of some soft drinks. Sodas often contain artificial sweeteners that cannot be processed well in the body. Substances, like aspartame, are neurotoxins to which trigger inflammation.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet FAQ

What can I eat for breakfast on the anti-inflammatory diet?

Any food from the anti-inflammatory above can be eaten for breakfast while you are on this diet. However, a good breakfast can look like this.

  • Porridge with red berries and chia seeds
  • Whole grain toast with almond butter
  • Coffee or green tea

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listWhat are the 5 signs of inflammation?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have high levels of inflammation in your body.

Pain – chemicals released by inflammation stimulate the nerve endings, causing the inflamed area to be painful

Inability to move – people with acute inflammation may have trouble with moving

Redness – as the capillaries are filled in more blood in the inflamed area, the skin becomes redder

Read more  Nutritionists vs. Dietitians: How Are They Different?

Swelling – this happens as due to a fluid buildup in the inflamed area

Heat – as more blood flows to the inflamed area, it will feel warm when touched

Along with the above-mentioned, there are also additional signs that could signal high levels of inflammation:

  • Abdominal pains
  • Chest pains
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Mouth sores
  • Rashes
  • Tiredness

Anti inflammatory diet grocery listWhat is the link between weight gain and inflammation?

Overeating triggers an immune system response which causes inflammation. People who tend to overeat also tend to develop weight gain because they’re ingesting more calories than they burn. Therefore, while one doesn’t cause the other, they are linked as overeating affects inflammation.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Shopping list

What food do you think is the best anti-inflammatory? Have you ever experienced any of the inflammation signs yourself? What does you anti-inflammatory breakfast look like? Let us know in the comments! Anti inflammatory diet grocery list

— Update: 01-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article The Ultimate Anti-inflammatory Food List (PDF included) from the website jackiesilvernutrition.com for the keyword anti inflammatory diet grocery list.

Anti-inflammatory Food List (pdf included) was written by Jenn Zubair of Nutrition by Jenn and reviewed/edited by Jackie Silver MHSc, RD
Medical Disclaimer: The information in this article is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be personalized medical or nutrition advice. For a plan tailored to your needs, please consult with a Registered Dietitian or qualified healthcare professional.

Are you curious about what foods are anti-inflammatory? Perhaps you’re wondering if they fit into your lifestyle or if they can help with your medical condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, or Parkinson’s. Join us in this post as we highlight what inflammation is, what foods may relieve inflammation, and most importantly provide an anti-inflammatory food list (pdf).

Anti-inflammatory Food List (PDF included)

I am sure you have heard of the anti-inflammatory “diet” or perhaps seen an anti-inflammatory food list. But, do you find yourself wondering what the benefits are? I will start by saying that I am not interested in pushing anyone towards one specific diet. However, I am interested in teaching you about the benefits of anti-inflammatory foods, how they play a role in helping you feel good, and how you can incorporate them into your life!

At the end of this article, you can download a FREE anti-inflammatory food list PDF to refer to.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s reaction to things it does not like or in instances where you’re hurt.1 Your body’s immune system tells its cells (including its white blood cells) to fight off what it doesn’t like or recognize, such as bacteria, allergies, infections, injuries, or wounds with inflammatory cells.1 This response causes pain, swelling, redness, heat, and loss of function.1

Chronic inflammation occurs when your immune system releases inflammatory cells when you’re not injured or sick.2 It is common to have chronic inflammation in many chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or rheumatoid arthritis.2

There are many different levels of inflammation. Inflammation from surgery is much different than inflammation from food intake. Although you may not feel all of these signs from food, just think of a time when your stomach felt bloated: this is a form of inflammation. As we go through this post, we will learn how some foods may reduce inflammation and thus are called anti-inflammatory foods.2

Anti inflammatory diet grocery list

What is an Anti-inflammatory Diet?

The anti-inflammatory diet is not like other diets on the internet; there are no set amounts of what you can and can’t eat. It really is just a collection of recommended foods that have been shown to reduce inflammation.3

What Populations Can The Anti-inflammatory Diet Help and How?

An anti-inflammatory diet can help people who have chronic inflammation from a variety of medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, Parkinsons, and diabetes.2 As you can probably guess, people with these conditions have increased inflammation in their bodies. Although these conditions are medically different, the presence of inflammation causes similar symptoms such as swelling, fatigue, body tenderness, and increased body temperature. 

There is exciting research showing that anti-inflammatory diets may play a role in reducing symptoms related to inflammation such as improving fatigue and body tenderness.4 

Anti inflammatory diet grocery list

Keep reading to download a full list of anti-inflammatory food list (PDF). 

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease that causes swelling around the joints.5 This leads to pain, discomfort, and lack of mobility.5 Research highlights that lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise do play a role in reducing swelling and thus relieving pain.5 Research highlights that within three months of following an anti-inflammatory diet, patients experience some symptom relief, including improved mobility, decreased swelling, and experience less body tenderness.5

So, we might be wondering how anti-inflammatory foods support people with chronic inflammation, such as RA. The answer is rather complex, but it boils down to how certain foods have an impact on what is happening inside your body!  

Let’s use fiber, a food listed in the anti-inflammatory food list (PDF) as an example. As a quick recap, fiber is an essential component of food that acts as a broom; it sweeps out remnants of food in the intestines and creates room for new food! Adding fiber to your diet increases acids that decrease a particle known as pro-inflammatory cytokines. This particle allows your gut to change its composition, making it less inflammatory.5

Heart Disease

Anti-inflammatory diets provide benefits to individuals with cardiovascular disease.6 As we just discussed, an increase in fiber is associated with anti-inflammatory diets. Fiber has many roles within the body. In the case of heart disease, an increase in fiber decreases cholesterol and thus, improves heart health.6

How? Cholesterol is strongly related to heart disease. If consumed too much, it causes a buildup of plaque around arteries and can lead to heart disease. Our friend, fiber, allows cholesterol to adhere to it and excrete it from the body.6

This means that instead of building plaque on arteries, cholesterol is actually exiting your body! Research highlights individuals who consume anti-inflammatory foods for onward of 3 months will see a difference in cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and its inflammatory side effects.6

Anti inflammatory diet grocery list

Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes uncontrollable movements in the body, such as difficulty with balance and coordination, increased shaking and stiffness. One of the most common side effects of Parkinson’s is inflammation of the brain. 

Parkinson’s is a complex condition that requires medical care from your physician. However, there are studies that suggest consuming anti-inflammatory food can play a role in reducing inflammation in the brain. Specifically, fruits and vegetables can help reduce inflammation because of the high content of polyphenols. 

Polyphenols are a component of food that helps fight inflammation. Studies have shown that polyphenols can penetrate through the brain barrier and the presence of polyphenols reduces oxidation and most importantly, inhibits the expression of inflammatory genes, therefore resulting in a reduction of inflammation in the brain. 

A small Canadian study of 167 participants showed that following the MIND diet (a type of anti-inflammatory diet) was associated with a Parkinson’s diagnosis at a later age, while people who did not adhere to the diet were diagnosed with PD at a younger age.8

Higher adherence to the MIND diet is also associated with lower rates of PD and slower progression of Parkinson symptoms.8

There is not a lot of research on the anti-inflammatory diet and PD, so we can’t draw firm conclusions yet. More studies are needed to garner more conclusive results.

Types of Anti-Inflammatory Diets: Mediterranean & DASH 

There are specific types of diets that are considered anti-inflammatory. Let’s explore the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. 

Anti inflammatory diet grocery list

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a type of anti-inflammatory diet that is more specific as it focuses on three sections: what to eat in large amounts, what to eat in moderation, and what to avoid. The diet consists of most of the foods in the anti-inflammatory food list (PDF), with the addition of dairy products. 

To make it simple for everyone, the Mediterranean diet is depicted by a pyramid! The top of the pyramid is foods that should be eaten in moderation, while the bottom has foods that should be consumed in high amounts. 

Check out the pyramid below! 

Anti inflammatory diet grocery list

There has been a lot of research on the Mediterranean diet; it may reduce one’s risk of depression, diabetes, cancer, and reduce blood sugar levels in type II diabetes.9

Adherence to a Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce overall mortality rates, incidence of or death from cancer, as well as decrease the rates of heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s. It may also delay the onset of Parkinson’s disease, although the research is still early in this area.8

Read more  A Plant-Based Diet, Atherogenesis, and Coronary Artery Disease Prevention

DASH Diet

The DASH diet and Mediterranean diet are similar in their specificity but differ in fat intake. The DASH diet focuses on low-fat dairy consumption and less sodium than the Mediterranean diet. Both of these diets aim to protect heart health. 

The DASH diet was originally developed to help prevent and manage high blood pressure.

There is another anti-inflammatory diet called the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) which is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets.8 It’s been researched on cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, and general cognitive decline.8

Keep in mind that the research shows an association between anti-inflammatory foods and these medical conditions, but that does not mean that eating this way is guaranteed to prevent the above conditions. There are many other factors involved in developing diseases that are beyond our control, such as genetics, environment, stress, financial status, and more.

Explanation of Anti-inflammatory Food List (PDF below):

  • Fruits. They have powerful phytonutrients, antioxidants, high amounts of fiber, and vitamin C that reduce inflammation. 
  • Vegetables. No surprise here, right? Vegetables contain high amounts of antioxidants and polyphenols, which are protective compounds within the plant cell. 
  • High fiber grains and starches. Whole grain bread, pasta, quinoa, and oats are all excellent sources! These foods are packed with fiber, which helps improve bowel movements, bloating, blood sugars, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. 
  • Proteins. Fatty fish, such as  salmon, tuna, and trout, as well as plant-based sources of protein, including beans, lentils, and tofu. The trend here is foods high in omega fatty acids and fiber! Fatty fish are high in omega-3 fats which have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Fats. They have a bad reputation but believe me, they’re not bad at all! Things like nuts, seeds, chia seed, flaxseed, avocados, and olive oil. 

For more fiber ideas, check out this “High Fiber Swaps” resource in my online shop. 

I know this is a lot to remember, so I have put together an anti-inflammatory food list (PDF) for you to download.

Summary of Anti-Inflammatory Food List (PDF above)

  • Berries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Oats
  • Whole grain bread, pasta, and crackers
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Bok choy
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flaxmeal
  • Beans and legumes
  • Omega-3 rich fish (salmon, sardines, trout)
  • Onion
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon

Click here for a complete list that you can download. 

Tips for Incorporating Anti-inflammatory Foods To Your Diet 

  • Add berries (frozen or fresh) to your yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal
  • Make a berry smoothie (such as this chocolate berry smoothie or strawberry banana smoothie bowl)
  • Roast a tray of sweet potatoes to have with your dinners or lunches
  • Have oatmeal for breakfast a few times per week 
  • Add 1-2 tbsp of chia seeds or flaxmeal to your smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt
  • Make overnight oats
  • Add oats and/or flaxmeal to your banana bread or muffins (such as this oatmeal banana bread)
  • Make sweet potato lentil chili
  • Spice your dishes (such as soups, stews, curries, and veggies) with turmeric, cinnamon, and a range of dried or fresh herbs and spices 
  • Make a hot turmeric latte or iced turmeric latte 
  • Add cinnamon to your coffee
  • Throw canned beans or legumes (such as kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, black beans, etc.) into your salads, pasta dishes, soups, and casseroles 
  • Make a vegetarian bean chili
  • Make your own salad dressings using olive oil
  • Add avocados to your salads, toast, or sandwiches
  • Sprinkle nuts and seeds onto your cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt
  • Enjoy apple slices with peanut butter
  • Use onion and garlic to flavour your dishes
  • Throw canned tuna or salmon onto your salads, make a tuna casserole, or bake some omega-3 fatty fish twice per week
Anti inflammatory diet grocery list

Anti-Inflammatory Recipes

Let’s explore some of my favorite snack and meal ideas that include ingredients from the anti-inflammatory food list (pdf)!

Snacks 

  1. Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins 
  2. Raspberry Oatmeal Muffin Recipe 
  3. ​​Protein Chia Pudding – 3 Ways 
  4. Whole-grain crackers and nut butter 
  5. Fruit and or veggies and nuts 
  6. Tuna and whole-grain crackers

For more easy snack ideas containing anti-inflammatory foods, check out the “Five Minute Snack Ideas” resource from my online shop.

Meals

  1. Roasted Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup
  2. Feta Spinach Lentil Salad with Sunflower Seeds 
  3. Tofu Crumble Bowl 
  4. Lemon Chickpea Vegetable Orzo Soup (One Pot & Meal Prep)

For more easy meals containing anti-inflammatory foods, check out the “Ten Minute Meal Ideas” resource from my online shop.

These are just a few of my favorites! Make sure you download the anti-inflammatory food list (PDF) so you can make your own! 

Will Nightshades Worsen My Symptoms?

Have you heard that tomatoes can worsen arthritis symptoms? Maybe you know of people who avoid nightshade vegetables for this reason.

The nightshades are a family of vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, and eggplants. Nightshade vegetables contain high amounts of a chemical compound called alkaloids. If consumed in high amounts, alkaloids can increase inflammation. 

However, there are not enough alkaloids in food to raise inflammation. There is research that attempts to convey they increase inflammation; however, the evidence is weak. Nightshade vegetables should not increase inflammation or worsen your symptoms. 

Having said that, every person is unique, and if you have personally found a connection between arthritis symptoms and specific foods, then it may be the best choice for you to avoid them. The point is that across large studies there isn’t enough evidence to make this recommendation to the general public. 

Conclusion

Thank you for joining us with our discussion about inflammation! We hope you learned some valuable information. Don’t forget to download the anti-inflammatory food list (PDF).

References 

  1. Kato, H. (2020). Inflammatory disease (1) what is inflammation? Journal of Tokyo Women’s Medical University, 90(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.24488/jtwmu.90.1_1
  2. Inflammation: What is it, causes, symptoms & treatment. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/21660-inflammation  
  3. Chen, L., Deng, H., Cui, H., Fang, J., Zuo, Z., Deng, J., Li, Y., Wang, X., & Zhao, L. (2017). Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs. Oncotarget, 9(6), 7204–7218. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23208
  4. Haß, U., Herpich, C., & Norman, K. (2019). Anti-inflammatory diets and fatigue. Nutrients, 11(10), 2315. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102315 
  5. Schönenberger, K. A., Schüpfer, A. C., Gloy, V. L., Hasler, P., Stanga, Z., Kaegi-Braun, N., & Reber, E. (2021). Effect of Anti-Inflammatory Diets on Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 13(12), 4221. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124221
  6. Grosso, G., Marventano, S., Yang, J., Micek, A., Pajak, A., Scalfi, L., Galvano, F., & Kales, S. N. (2017). A comprehensive meta-analysis on evidence of mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease: Are individual components equal? Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57(15), 3218-3232. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2015.1107021
  7. Yuan, B., Byrnes, D., Giurleo, D., Villani, T., Simon, J. E., & Wu, Q. (2018). Rapid screening of toxic glycoalkaloids and micronutrients in edible nightshades (solanum spp.). Yàowu shi͡p︡in Fenxi, 26(2), 751-760. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfda.2017.10.005
  8. Metcalfe‐Roach, A., Yu, A. C., Golz, E., Cirstea, M., Sundvick, K., Kliger, D., Foulger, L. H., Mackenzie, M., Finlay, B. B., & Appel‐Cresswell, S. (2021). mind and Mediterranean diets associated with later onset of parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders, 36(4), 977–984. https://doi.org/10.1002/mds.28464 
  9. Esposito, K., & Giugliano, D. (2014). Mediterranean diet and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, 30(S1), 34–40. https://doi.org/10.1002/dmrr.2516 
  10. Aquilano, K., Baldelli, S., Rotilio, G., & Ciriolo, M. R. (2008). Role of nitric oxide synthases in Parkinson’s disease: A review on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of polyphenols. Neurochemical Research, 33(12), 2416-2426. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11064-008-9697-6
  11. Chen, L., Deng, H., Cui, H., Fang, J., Zuo, Z., Deng, J., Li, Y., Wang, X., & Zhao, L. (2017). Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs. Oncotarget, 9(6), 7204–7218. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23208
  12. Schönenberger, K. A., Schüpfer, A. C., Gloy, V. L., Hasler, P., Stanga, Z., Kaegi-Braun, N., & Reber, E. (2021). Effect of Anti-Inflammatory Diets on Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 13(12), 4221. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124221
  13. Kato, H. (2020). Inflammatory disease (1) what is inflammation? Journal of Tokyo Women’s Medical University, 90(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.24488/jtwmu.90.1_1
  14. Yuan, B., Byrnes, D., Giurleo, D., Villani, T., Simon, J. E., & Wu, Q. (2018). Rapid screening of toxic glycoalkaloids and micronutrients in edible nightshades (solanum spp.). Yàowu shi͡p︡in Fenxi, 26(2), 751-760. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfda.2017.10.005
  15. Grosso, G., Marventano, S., Yang, J., Micek, A., Pajak, A., Scalfi, L., Galvano, F., & Kales, S. N. (2017). A comprehensive meta-analysis on evidence of mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease: Are individual components equal? Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57(15), 3218-3232. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2015.1107021
  16. Aquilano, K., Baldelli, S., Rotilio, G., & Ciriolo, M. R. (2008). Role of nitric oxide synthases in Parkinson’s disease: A review on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of polyphenols. Neurochemical Research, 33(12), 2416-2426. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11064-008-9697-6

Read more  The Candida Diet: Top Five Foods to Eat and to Avoid


— Update: 01-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Create an Anti-inflammatory Diet Meal Plan and Shopping List from the website sadiewellshealth.com for the keyword anti inflammatory diet grocery list.

Inflammation is believed to be the underlying cause of almost every chronic illness from heart disease to diabetes. Therefore, creating an anti-inflammatory diet meal plan and shopping list with anti-inflammatory foods can help. Even if you do not have a chronic disease, feeling always exhausted and holding onto a few extra pounds around your midsection, can also be a sign of inflammation. In order to feel and look your best, you must manage the inflammation. 

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a natural process that the body uses to fight physical injury and disease. When it is used in a controlled manner, it is actually quite helpful. When you have an injury, the body initiates the inflammatory response. Blood rushes in bringing with it immune cells and nutrients to help heal the wound. The area becomes swollen, red, and stiff while immune system does its job. Within a few days, the inflammatory process is complete and the area and the immune system are back to normal.

The problem is that in our modern environments that include less than ideal diets, toxin overload, and excessive stress, the inflammatory response is always turned on. Most of us experience a low-grade constant inflammation that never goes away. 

The inflammatory process is always active, but there is no real threat to fight. But, since the body believes there is a threat it increases stress hormones, holds on to excess weight “just in case”, and utilizes a ton of excessive energy making you feel exhausted. In addition, when the immune system has no actual enemy, it starts to attack the body. This is when it can cause damage to the body’s organs leading to disease.

Uncontrolled inflammation has been linked to:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • Elevated cholesterol 
  • Diabetes (types 1 and 2) 
  • Asthma
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Diseases of the central nervous system
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Gum disease
  • Obesity 
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure

As you can see, almost every organ can be negatively impacted by inflammation. Additionally, inflammation doesn’t usually just stay in one part of the body, it usually impacts multiple systems. For example, if you have gum disease you are also more likely to have heart disease, due to the system-wide inflammatory response. Stopping inflammation in its tracks is the only way to manage all of these different conditions.

Food and Inflammation

There is a lot you can do to help reduce inflammation. A great place to start is with what you eat. The foods you choose can either exacerbate inflammation or reduce it. 

Below I will discuss the general guidelines for an anti-inflammatory diet, but it is important to note that certain foods may or may not work for you as an individual in terms of how your body reacts. Only you can determine which foods work best for you.

First, let’s start with foods that worsen inflammation. Eliminating these foods is how I like to start working with my clients in my private coaching and in the Body Revive Program. Cutting back on inflammatory foods, while filling your plate with anti-inflammatory foods can help you start to feel better right away.

Here are the top foods that worsen inflammation:

  • Processed meats, beef, and pork: bacon, sausage, deli meat, hot dogs. High in advanced glycation end products that worsen inflammation.
  • Gluten-containing grains. Wheat, barley, and rye are all a source of a protein called gluten, which can be a trigger for inflammation.
  • Dairy products. There is inconsistent evidence about the impact of dairy on inflammation. That being said, lactose intolerance is the most common food intolerance in the world. Eating dairy if you are intolerant to it can be a trigger for the inflammatory response. 
  • Fats high in omega-6s. Vegetable oils and margarine are high in omega-6s, which have been linked to increased inflammation. 
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners. Foods high in sugar should be avoided as processed sugar is a trigger for inflammation. Foods and beverages that contain sugar, such as pastries, candy,soda, and cakes should be eliminated to reduce inflammation. Artificial sweeteners may also be a trigger for inflammation and should be avoided as well.
  • Alcohol. Alcohol, being a toxin, is highly inflammatory. If you truly want to stop inflammation in its tracks you will have to cut back on your intake. 

Don’t be discouraged by this list of foods to avoid. There are many delicious foods you can enjoy on an anti-inflammatory diet meal plan. Here are a few general categories or you can check out my detailed shopping list and sample menu below:

  • Fresh, unprocessed fish, poultry, lamb, and wild game. Many of these are high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.  
  • Whole grains. Grains that do not contain gluten can still be enjoyed, they are an important source of fiber and B-vitamins. 
  • All fruits and vegetables. Plants are an incredible source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that play a role in reducing inflammation. These should make up the majority of your diet. 
  • Anti-inflammatory fats and oils. Monounsaturated and omega-3 fats can all help reduce inflammation.
  • Nuts and seeds. A great source of monounsaturated fats, nuts and seeds make a delicious, healthy snack. 
  • Beans and legumes. High in fiber and low in fat, beans or legumes are a great source of protein. 
  • Herbs and spices. Most herbs and spices are a source of anti-inflammatory compounds. 
  • Fermented foods. These foods support gut health, which may help improve inflammation.

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet Shopping List

Here is a sample anti-inflammatory shopping list you can use as a guide on your next grocery trip. 

Grains

Gluten-free oats

Buckwheat

Millet

Quinoa

Brown or white rice

Rice pasta 

Rice cakes

Produce

All fresh or frozen vegetables. Aim to choose a variety of colors; green, white, red, purple, and orange/yellow.

Unsweetened vegetable or fruit juice

All fresh or frozen fruit. 

Canned fruit in its own juice

Protein

Legumes and beans

Hummus

Wild caught fish

Free-range, organic poultry

Lamb

Wild game

Dairy and Alternatives

Unsweetened non-dairy milk- almond, coconut, or hemp

Fats and Oils

Nuts and seeds 

Nut butters

Tahini

Cold-expeller pressed olive oil

Flaxseed oil

Canola oil

Sunflower oil

Sesame oil

Almond oil

Anti-inflammatory herbs, spices, and other

Turmeric

Cinnamon

Ginger

Dried and fresh herbs

Green tea

Honey or maple syrup

Kombucha

Creating an Anti-inflammatory Meal Plan

Looking at this list may be a bit overwhelming at first. Do you really need to buy all of these foods to eat an anti-inflammatory diet? Not at all!

A great way to start is by building balanced meals from the list above. Pick one protein choice, a grain, a vegetable, and a fat source. A quarter of your plate should be protein, a quarter should be grains, half should be vegetables, and fats are used for cooking or seasoning. 

For example, a complete meal would be, black beans (protein) + brown rice (grain) + cooked spinach (vegetable) in olive oil. Learning to build simple meals in this manner is a great way to get started with meal planning and eating an anti-inflammatory diet.

Do you need more ideas for how to combine your shopping list into actual meals? 

Download the sample anti-inflammatory diet meal plan here! The plan comes with three days of healthy meals as well as recipes to get you started with anti-inflammatory eating.

Final Thoughts on Inflammation

Managing inflammation is the key to losing weight and feeling better. Diet is an incredible place to start, as most of us eat three meals a day. Therefore, changing your diet can give you a quick way to help you feel better right away. 

But, in order to truly reduce inflammation you must target your health holistically. Your diet won’t help reduce inflammation if your stress is out of control, you are only sleeping 5 hours a night, or you are over exercising. You have to take other lifestyle factors that influence your health into account as well. 

An anti-inflammatory lifestyle must attack inflammation from all angles. This anti-inflammatory diet meal plan and shopping list is a great place to start. In the Body Revive Program, we begin with an anti-inflammatory diet, but I also walk you through the other aspects of health that may be impacting how you feel and look. 

References

Recommended For You

About the Author: Tung Chi