Inflammation is said to be the ‘root cause of all illness.’ It’s the body’s mechanism to send a message. It is the source of swelling, pain, heat, and redness in the body. Inflammation is a crucial and necessary step in healing process, because inflammation draws attention, blood flow and all of the healing aspects of our bodies on a cellular level to kick into gear to support the inflamed area. When recovering from injury, the inflammation process should be short-term and acute. When inflammation does not go away, it’s the bodies way of saying something is not right. This is called chronic or systematic inflammation, and this type of inflammation is no longer working to heal the body – to the contrary, it is doing just the opposite.

More and more, we are seeing that inflammation is a major root cause of chronic lifestyle diseases. Many names of diseases contain the suffix “-itis,” which interestingly enough is defined as “inflammation of something specified,” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). So, it is safe to say that preventing and reducing inflammation can help prevent and reduce disease.

Here are some examples to put this into perspective:

Appendicitis: inflammation of the appendix
Arthritis: inflammation of the joints
Bronchitis: inflammation of the bronchial tubes (which carry air to your lungs)
Laryngitis: inflammation of the larynx (throat)

Inflammation that does not go away is an indication that something is wrong systemically in the body, and it must be addressed from the root cause. From the inside out, we can prevent and reduce chronic inflammation and its affects by improving your diet.

Here are my favorite basic tips to reduce inflammation:

1) Choose organic produce- fruits, vegetables, meats, and eggs.
2) Learn what foods are alkalizing to the body
3) Consume a large variety of organic fresh fruits and vegetables.
4) Drink herbal tea instead of coffee.
5) Eat foods to boost energy and reduce stress.
6) Avoid refined and processed foods.
7) Avoid GMO foods
8) Upgrade sugar to natural sweeteners and use sparingly.


Additional dietary suggestions

40-50% Carbohydrates

Carbs to reduce inflammation

Carbs to avoid

Low glycemic index Refined or processed
Whole and cracked grains (brown rice, bulgur wheat) High glycemic index
Beans, squash, potatoes (and other vegetables) White flour, wheat flour and sugar
Fruits High fructose corn syrup
Packaged (crackers, chips, pretzels, bagels, etc.)

30% Fat

Fats to reduce inflammation

Fats to avoid

1 part saturated, 2 parts monounsaturated, 1 part polyunsaturated Partially hydrogenated oils/ trans fats
Expeller pressed, organic oils (evoo, grapeseed) General processed safflower, sunflower, corn, vegetable oils
Avocados Margarine, vegetable shortening
Nuts or nut butter (cashews, walnuts, almonds – consider soaking) Sugar
Wild Pacific or Alaskan salmon
Wild Alaskan black cod
Sardines, anchovies, shellfish
Hemp seeds, flax seeds

20-30% Protein

Proteins to reduce inflammation

Proteins to avoid

Fish (see “fats” chart) Reduce most animal proteins (eggs, dairy)
Raw cheese, yogurt Remove ALL soy that has not been fermented
Plant sources (beans, lentils, quinoa)

Herbs and Spices



(3-4x daily)

Fermented foods

(1x daily)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

(3-6x daily)


Vitamins and Minerals

Garlic Broccoli Berries (blue-berries) Yogurt Wild caught salmon (Pacific or Alaskan) Cod liver oil Vitamin C
Turmeric Mushrooms

(cooked Asian mushrooms)CitrusRaw sauerkrautCanned sockeye salmonGinger Vitamin E (of natural mixed tocopherols)GingerOnionsPine-appleKefirCod fishTurmericSelenium (of organic yeast-bound form)CinnamonSpinach Kim chiHemp seeds/oilGlucosamineMixed carotenoidsOreganoKale KombuchaFlax seeds/oil Folic acidIndian frankin-censeParsley  Walnuts Vitamin D