The Right Way to Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

October 7, 2014 Updated: April 27, 2016

In my Chicago acupuncture practice I often recommend that my patients include anti-inflammatory foods in their diet. Anti-inflammatory foods help reduce stress,pain and of course inflammation in the body.

This post is from The World’s Healthiest Foods a great resource for information about healthy food choices.Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are considered anti-inflammatory. That is because this class of nutrients serves as precursors for compounds in the body (such as certain prostaglandins and leukotrienes) that have anti-inflammatory activity.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include: fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna and other cold water fish; nuts and seeds, notably flaxseeds, hemp seeds and walnuts; and other foods, including soybeans and winter squash.

Extra virgin olive oil is another food that contains healthy fats (monounsaturated fats), and one that has been found to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Some of these benefits seem to come through its unique antioxidant phytonutrients, such as oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. It’s important to note that these phytonutrients are more concentrated in extra virgin olive than other types of olive oil.

Flavonoid and carotenoid phytonutrients also have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and therefore deep colored fruits and vegetables would be a great inclusion in an diet geared towards controlling inflammation.

Great choices here would be berries, cherries, beets, leafy greens and other richly colored foods. Pineapple also contains a proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzyme called bromelain that has anti-inflammatory activity.

Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at
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*Image of “anti-inflammatory foods” via Shutterstock