Best Anti Inflammatory Foods -Making the healthiest food choices

anti inflammatory diet
The USDA food pyramid

Many of us believe, because we’ve been told that a healthy diet includes a certain number of servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein, that these foods are all healthy for us. Research is coming up every day with new findings that debunk previous research. Have you noticed more recently that you hear more about food allergies, gluten or dairy intolerance for example?

anti inflammatory diet

You may have noticed that certain foods you used to eat without any trouble just reap havoc on your body now, sometimes even making your body feel inflamed (pain, feeling bloated, gas, tired…) Even foods considered healthy can be problematic.  Some healthy foods that are recommended by doctors , nutritionists, and the USDA may not be the Best Anti Inflammatory Foods. New evidence has shown that there’s a reason why some of these “healthy foods” are causing us so much trouble.

anti inflammatory diet

I used to always think that if it is a vegetable then of course its healthy. If its whole grain then it is absolutely healthy. Read on to find out the truth.

anti inflammatory dietWhat is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a process that occurs in response to irritants, harmful stimuli, pathogens and damaged cells (such as in an injury). Inflammation tries to protect tissues by triggering the immune system, blood vessels and other chemical processes in the body.  When inflammation has gone on too long then it can cause damage to the body’s tissues.   Usually we think of inflammation occurring in response to an injury, but there are other things that can trigger inflammation and one of those is food.

Not all vegetables are created equal

For one thing, farm lands have been over used for growing food, so soil is no longer nutrient rich. The vegetables of today no longer have the same nutrient value they once had, so supplementation is imperative in order for us to get the nutrition that our body requires to enable it to perform all of its physiological functions. This lack of nutrition often leads to over eating which of course can lead to obesity, an epidemic here in the states.

anti inflammatory diet
GMO Corn, food or toxin

Then there is the topic of genetically modified food. This is a subject of great concern especially in an age where neurological disease and cancers have become more prevalent. These are foods, plants, animals, and microbes that have been genetically and artificially altered in a lab. Most food, if it isn’t labeled otherwise, is genetically modified.  Evidence shows that GMO’s are harmful to health, the environment and violate farmer’s and consumer’s rights. Please check out this link to get the full scoop.

Some of the most recent research

In my constant search for finding that perfect diet to serve whatever purpose I need it to at the time, I came across a very informative book by Dr. Steven R. Gundry, a medical physician, cardiologist and cardiac surgeon called “The Plant Paradox.” It’s a great read whether you’re interested in the topic or not because Dr. Gundry is humorous, entertaining and definitely brilliant as he explains, in very user-friendly language the subject of food. He talks about the history of food and that food basically has an intelligence all its own that has existed since the beginning of time. He does not leave a stone un-turned as he helps his readers understand the true relationship between food and health.

He talks about things that are contrary to what we hold to be true about fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes. He explains what gluten free really is and how there are many other plant based foods that have the same type of properties that our bodies are resistant to and that have an inflammatory effect.  These resistant plant proteins are called lectins.  They are a defense mechanism of plants.

When you’re asked sometimes by your doctor or a friend, “How’s your diet?” You’ll say, “Oh its very healthy.” And you truly do believe that you are eating healthy because you eat your organic fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, and unprocessed foods and yet you don’t feel as good as you could. Dr. Gundry explains the reason behind this.

Another wonderful thing about his book that I really like is that he explains what Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories do to the body as well as antibiotics, acid blockers aka antacids, artificial sweeteners, endocrine (hormone) disruptors, and many more .

My Experience

What I noticed while on my quest for eating healthy compared with times when I was not, is that without eating healthy, supplements alone did not fix my health issues. Also, eating healthy alone does not solve all of my health issues. I found it necessary to eat healthy and supplement to complete my nutrition.

The supplements work best when coupled with good food. For example, when I took salmon oil 4 times per day with meals, but ate too many of the wrong carbohydrates, sugary or starchy foods, and not enough protein, the Salmon oil didn’t seem to do much.

anti inflammatory diet
Salmon and Asparagus

When I ate real clean, including veggies, the right kind and amount of carbohydrates, protein and good fats, the salmon oil supplement worked way better. How do I know this? Because when I’d go without the supplement while I was eating right, I could tell that it was lacking this nutrient (didn’t have the same benefits as with the supplement).

Here I will give a brief list of anti-inflammatory foods to get you started, and I highly recommend that you pick up Dr. Gundry’s book, “The Plant Paradox.” He has lists of the Best Anti Inflammatory Foods and the ones that are not. He has a truck load of research and experience as a doctor to back up everything he discusses in his book.                              

Say Yes To:

Olive Oil  *  Coconut Oil  *  Stevia  *  Walnuts  *  Pecans  *  Coconut flour  *  Almond flour  *  Onions  *  Leeks  *  Most Leafy greens  *  Avocado  *  Broccoli  *  Cauliflower  *  Brussels Sprouts  *  Asparagus  *  4 oz Goat Milk Yogurt  *               1 oz Goat Milk cheese  *   Pastured Poultry  *  Pastured Eggs  *  Grass Fed and Finished Meats  *  Any   Wild Caught Fish  *  Plant Based Meats  such as  Quorn:  Chik’n Tenders  *  Tempeh (grain free only)  *  Bread and Bagels made by Barely Bread  *  Wraps made with coconut flour  *  And Many More

Say No To:

Pasta  *  Rice  *  Potatoes  *  Bread  *  Wheat  *  Cereal  *  Peanuts  *  Sunflower Seeds  *  Soy Oil  *  Canola Oil  *  Vegetable Oil  *  Partially Hydrogenated Oil  *   Melon (any kind)  *  Goji Berries  *  Squash (any kind)  *  Tomato  *  Eggplant  *  All Peppers  *  All Legumes (including humus)  *  Peas  *  Green Beans  *  Milk  *  Yogurt  *  Cottage Cheese  *  Corn * Soy * And Many More                                                   

Please know that these are abbreviated lists of the “yes” and “no” foods. Check out Dr. Gundry’s book “The Plant Paradox,”for the full list of foods and prepare to have your mind blown, in a good way.


Bottom line is you are what you eat. If you are interested in restoring your health and feeling good with the time you have left here on this planet so that you can enjoy the beauty that’s around you, your family, your animals, or whatever it is you enjoy, then its important to make this change. If you put bad fuel in a car and don’t take care of it, it doesn’t run well and eventually breaks down. The human body is the same. What you put in is what you get out of it.

I wish you the best as you begin or continue your quest in eating the Best Anti-inflammatory foods.  I would love to hear from you  should you have any questions or comments in the comments section below.

In good health,


The Benefits of Turmeric Curcumin -Alternative pain relief

The use of turmeric dates back 4,000 years. It was found to be used in the Vedic culture of India as a spice and for religious ceremonies. It was used medicinally as far back as 250 BC (Susrutas Ayurvedic Compendium). In the last 30 some years, it began to gain recognition by modern medicine for its medicinal properties, indicated by the over 3000 publications discussing turmeric in the last 3 decades.1


benefits turmeric curcumin
Region where turmeric comes from and is primarily used

Most turmeric is cultivated in India and 80% of it is used in India. It is a spice widely used in cooking in South Asian and Middle Eastern cultures as well as in Ethiopia and South Africa. The part of turmeric that is used for cooking and medicinally comes from the root of the plant.1

Botanical supplements have been used in traditional medicine such as Ayurveda (India), Chinese medicine, Japanese and Egyptian medicine for centuries. Many traditional medicines have anti-inflammatory properties and turmeric is one of those.

How Much we Spend on Natural Remedies

Here in America, we definitely like our natural remedies. Studies have shown that over $10 billion USD is spent every year on alternative therapies and over $650 million is spent on supplements used for chronic inflammatory diseases such as COPD, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.1

benefits turmeric curcumin
Turmeric/curcumin supplement

Benefits Turmeric Curcumin

Turmeric has many medicinal uses. Extensive research in the last 20 years suggests that Turmeric Curcumin is a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It has anti-microbial properties, helps to alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and other digestive disorders, pancreatitis, chronic anterior uveitis and arthritis. Other benefits are: strengthening overall energy of the body, relieving gastrointestinal discomfort, dispelling worms, improving digestion, regulating menstruation, dissolving gall stones. It benefits bacterial infections, burns, and has antiseptic properties.3

benefits turmeric curcumin
Turmeric Root and Powder

In a recent study numerous plant extracts including Curcumin and Boswelia Extract have shown a significant effect for reducing pain and functional disability, larger that those observed with analgesics and products such as glucosamine and chondroitin. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) was also considered to have a significant effect on osteoarthritis.2

benefits turmeric curcumin
Turmeric Plant and Root

In another study of 367 knee osteoarthritis patients with a pain level of 5/10 or more were randomized to use either 1200 mg/day of Ibuprofen or 1500 mg/day of Curcumin for 4 weeks. There was improvement in both groups for pain, stiffness,  and function, however the group that  took the Ibuprofen experienced significantly higher gastrointestinal                      discomfort.4                                                                                                                                            Newer research shows turmeric to impact cognitive health. It enhances cognitive function, benefits cardiovascular health, bolsters immune system defenses, and fights free radicals in the body. More benefits Turmeric Curcumin:   promotes mobility and flexibility, and increases overall body comfort and positive overall well-being.5

My Experience with Turmeric

After many years of being an intense athlete, my body has developed arthritis, especially in my knees, low back and hands. I experienced pain and swelling daily in these areas of my body that were intensified by activity or standing for long periods of time.

benefits turmeric curcumin
turmeric powder

I tried using over the counter analgesics, but in no time started to feel the stomach upset associated with using these medications. I found that I needed something that would give me the benefits of pain relievers without the side effects and the potential harm it could do to my stomach, liver and kidneys.

Having tried many supplements over the years, not to mention diets, I found that eating a reasonable anti-inflammatory diet is very important to help reduce inflammation as well as utilizing a regimen of turmeric supplementation and additionally taking an omega 3 oil supplement.

I tried the Terry Naturally Curamin supplement for a brief period and found it to be effective, but then found out about another supplement that contians curcumin, boswellia extract and other herbs in it as well that were supposed to be beneficial. I’d been on that supplement for a couple of years, took a pretty large dose every day, but I didn’t feel as good as I thought I should for as much as I was taking. Without it I definitely felt worse with regard to joint pain and overall inflammation

I recently went back to using the Terry Naturally Curamin and WOW!! what a difference. I have a lot less inflammation in my joints. I especially have very swollen, degenerated knees and the swelling has gone down significantly. I’m not even taking the Terry Naturally Curamin extra strength formula.

What I discovered in my recent search for Terry Naturally Curamin is that he also puts out formulas that target athletes, migraines and low back pain by adding various nutrients that zero in on these specific needs.

Side Effects

Turmeric is likely safe for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding when taken in the amount that is used in food preparations, however is likely unsafe in amounts used medicinally.

It could make gall bladder problems worse such as gallstones or bile duct obstruction. Might increase bruising or bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. In diabetic patients it can cause low blood sugar. It can worsen symptoms of GERD. Might be problematic for people with hormone sensitive conditions. To be used with caution in iron deficient people. Could slow blood clotting post surgery. Stop taking 2 weeks prior to surgery.

*Note: Clinical studies showed that curcumin is well tolerated by cancer patients, however it can interfere with certain chemotherapy medications used to treat breast cancer and pancreatic cancer, so it’s best to check with one’s oncologist before using turmeric curcumin if they are in treatment for one of these cancers.5

In conclusion, in order to combat pain and inflammation in the joints, you have to do a quick review of your life style, what you eat, drink, what is your activity level, your health history. I recommend that you make changes if they are needed because as the years go by our bodies become less tolerant of bad eating and drinking, especially in excess as well as to a sedentary lifestyle. And make sure to get those 6 to 8 8 oz glasses of water a day. You’ll be doing your body a big favor.

I hope you found this post about the Benefits of Turmeric Curcumin helpful.  I would love to hear from you if you have any questions or any comments on your experience with Turmeric.  I look forward to hearing from you in the comment section below.

Be Well,


Stay tuned for my next blog discussing the anti-inflammatory diet.





5) Web M.D.