1. Using Food to Reduce Inflammation
Special Thanks to Janice Davidson, MPH, RD for her contributions to this
Although most people understand the general importance of eating a healthy
diet to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, many people are
unaware that the foods they eat can also affect joint health and inflammation.
Specifically, some foods can increase inflammation in the body and decrease
healing, while others can have an anti-inflammatory effect and promote healing.
The ability of a food to either increase or decrease inflammation is
dependent on its nutrient makeup. A significant amount of research has been done
in the last decade examining the anti-inflammatory benefits of nutrients such as
omega-3 fatty acids, lycopenes, bioflavanoids and anti-oxidants. Eating foods
that supply these nutrients can decrease inflammation, support the immune system
and promote healing.
This seems simple enough, but the general public doesn't necessarily know
which foods contain these healing, anti-inflammatory nutrients. To assist you in
determining which foods help decrease inflammation and which increase
inflammation, we have prepared a list of foods to include and foods to avoid.
The foods in the “Foods to Include” list are high in anti-inflammatory
nutrients. Those in the “Foods to Avoid” list have components, such as saturated
fats which increase the inflammation in the body.
Foods to Include in the Diet
- dark leafy greens (Swiss chard, collard greens, kale, spinach, beet tops,
- green drinks: fresh vegetable juice, green superfood concentrates)
- fish (anchovies, bluefish, halibut, herring, lake trout, mackerel, salmon,
sardines, shark, sturgeon, albacore and blue fin tuna)
- fruit (limit citrus), especially fresh pineapple a natural
- vegetables, (especially tomatoes, which are high in lycopenes - a natural
anti-inflammatory) high in antioxidants for healing.
Foods to Avoid in the Diet
- aspartame (NutraSweet)
- carbonated beverages
- citrus (limit to 2 / day)
- dairy products
- meat (especially red meats)
- monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- nuts (except almonds and walnuts)
- parmesan cheese
- sugar, (white, brown)
- tea (caffeinated)
- white flours (English muffins, enriched white flour, French bread, bagels,
Oils to Include in the Diet
- black current
Oils to Avoid in the Diet
- hydrogenated oils (mostly found in processed and baked goods)
- corn oil
- shortening and lard
Consult your health practitioner on all medications, herbs and supplements
you are taking. Consult your health professional before beginning The Enzyme
Diet or any other diet or exercise program. Some herbs can react with
medications, both prescribed and over the counter, and some herbal combinations
can cause serious side effects.