Inflammatory Foods List PDF: Should You Avoid Them?

Image showing strands of DNA in bright blue representing inflammatory foods.

Do you have chronic inflammation in your body?

Have you been told to avoid inflammatory foods or eat an anti inflammatory diet?

Maybe you just want to know more about inflammation? What is it anyway and are there foods that can make it worse?

Can you in fact lower inflammation fast or is that a myth?

We get it, it can be confusing, after all, there are so many unanswered questions.

In this article, we will cover what inflammation is, what foods to avoid, which ones to eat, and what else can help lower inflammation.

To learn more, keep reading!

Inflammation, What Is That?

Inflammation can happen naturally from diseases, injuries, and things like bacterial or viral infections.

It can also happen because of stress from sitting too much, eating processed foods, and being overweight.

Above all, your body uses inflammation as a way of dealing with that stress, and it’s an important developmental aspect for survival.

The purpose of inflammation is to remove bad cells and heal broken parts of the body

How Do I Know if I Have Inflammation in My Body?

Typically, you would know that there’s inflammation if, for example, your arm hurts and it’s:

  • Red
  • Warm
  • Swollen
  • Stiff

It gets this way because your body sends little helpers to that arm whose job it is to clean up and help heal whatever is broken.

As it gets busy and a little crowded in that arm, it gets red, warm, swollen and stiff.

In other cases, you may not have any signs at all that there’s inflammation and may not have any pain or swelling.

Although there are blood tests that can measure inflammation, they may be normal early on and it can be hard to say if you are inflamed or not.

In those cases, neither your healthcare provider nor you will be able to tell if you’re inflamed.

What Are the Types of Inflammation?

Inflammation comes in two forms, acute (or short-lived) and chronic (or long-lived).

The acute form usually gets better quickly, whereas the chronic form can last a long time and even cause other diseases. 

Just to clarify, inflammation in this article refers to chronic inflammation.

Why Is It Bad?

To not beat around the bush, two main problems with inflammation are:

  1. Chronic diseases like cancer or diabetes can keep inflammation going without an end in sight.
  2. Those diseases tend to get worse when inflammation is present.

Because of this, inflammation can be difficult to get rid of, and as a result, it might not get better until that underlying disease gets better.

Above all, because inflammation is constantly causing stress, at some point, chronic diseases like heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancers may develop.

What Are Inflammatory Foods?

Inflammatory foods are foods that can cause inflammation in the body.

They are for the most part processed and generally contain refined sugars and grains, red and processed meats, and bad fatty acids.

Furthermore, inflammatory foods are also generally lower in fiber, vitamins, minerals, important fatty acids, and other nutrients that protect your body.

To be on the safe side, it’s best to limit or avoid inflammatory foods such as sugary drinks, heavy cream, red meat, and fast food, etc.

However, it’s not a given that by avoiding these foods you will lower inflammation in your body.

How your body reacts also depends on other factors and your physiology.

Inflammatory Foods List PDF to Limit or Avoid

Foods that have inflammatory properties are called inflammatory foods.

If inflammatory foods are a staple of your diet, you are going to be at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, and cancer. 

It doesn’t mean that you will get inflamed and develop chronic diseases or cancer if you eat them. It just puts you at a higher risk.

Either way, you may want to consider limiting or avoiding things like baked or fried foods made with high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils.

PRO TIP: How to find partially hydrogenated oils in foods you’ve bought:

  • Check the food label or ingredient list of baked goods or pizza
  • Ask the manufacturer/restaurant about the ingredients in fried foods and fast food
  • If they contain partially hydrogenated oils/trans fats AVOID them!

For your benefit, we’ve made an Inflammatory Foods List PDF table for more details on inflammatory foods and which ones to limit or avoid.

Graphic excerpt showing inflammatory Foods List PDF.
List of Inflammatory foods.

Want the whole Inflammatory Foods List PDF for FREE? Follow the prompts and it’s yours!

What Are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?

Foods that help fight inflammation and have anti-inflammatory properties are called anti-inflammatory foods.

They’re unprocessed and generally higher in fiber, vitamins, minerals, important omega-3 fats, and other smaller nutrients that protect our body.

The problem is that we don’t know exactly what combination of foods is best or how much you need to eat to lower inflammation

It’s also not a given that if you eat these foods, your inflammation will get better.

The closest diet to an anti-inflammatory diet, however, might be the Mediterranean diet.

It consists of whole foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans & peas, nuts & seeds, and reliance on healthy fats such as that from fish and olives.

List of Anti Inflammatory Food to Include

To include foods with anti-inflammatory properties in your diet, what you should do is:

  • Eat plenty of fruits & berries, vegetables, nuts, and herbs & spices
  • Include things like oats, fatty fish, walnuts, olive oil, and green tea

We’ve also made an anti inflammatory foods table so you can see what foods you should eat.

WHATWHICH ONESWHY
LOAD UP ON A Variety of Colorful FoodsFruits & Berries  
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Dark Leafy Greens, Garlic, Mushrooms, Onions, Pumpkin, Red Pepper  
Herbs & Spices  
High in Vitamins, Minerals, Fiber & Smaller Protective Compounds  
ADD DAILY Whole GrainsBarley, Brown Rice, Millet, Oat Flakes, Quinoa, SpeltHigh in Vitamin, Minerals, Fiber, & Smaller Protective Compounds
CHOOSE BEST FatsAnchovies, Herring, Mackerel, Oysters, Salmon, Sardines, Trout, Tuna
Walnuts, Chia & Flax Seeds  
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil  
High in Important types of Fats
CHOOSE BEST DrinksGreen Tea, Tea, WaterGreen Tea Is Especially High in Protective Elements 
List of Anti-Inflammatory foods.

What Else Can I Do to Lower Inflammation?

In addition to eating healthy and avoiding the list of foods that cause inflammation, it’s also important to lead a healthy life and adopt healthy behaviors to lower inflammation.

Besides avoiding inflammatory foods like red meat and choosing anti-inflammatory foods like whole grains and vegetables, it’s best to also follow American Institute for Cancer Research guidance and avoid:

  • Sitting a Large Portion of Your Day
  • Being Overweight
  • Smoking & Drinking Alcohol

… and it’s best to make a habit out of:

  • Exercising Daily
  • Lowering Your Stress Level
  • Getting Good Quality Sleep
  • Keeping Your Blood Sugars Under Control

To sum up, lowering inflammation is probably more about being healthy in general than just eating a single food

Can You Reduce Inflammation Fast?

The short answer is no, you can’t reduce inflammation fast. Chronic inflammation is a tricky thing that most likely won’t get better fast.

Furthermore, if an underlying disease is maintaining that inflammation, it may not get better at all until that disease gets better.

In short, since it didn’t form overnight, it won’t get better overnight

Whether or not you are getting better may depend on:

  • If you are sensitive to other foods that may make inflammation worse
  • If you are sticking to new healthy habits, and how your body responds
  • Most importantly, inflammation may not be treatable, and you might not notice any difference at all

Final Thoughts

Inflammation can happen naturally from stress originating from chronic diseases, injuries, or bacterial infections.

Above all, your body uses inflammation as a way of dealing with that stress, and it’s an important piece for survival.

The purpose of inflammation is to remove bad cells and heal broken parts.

To not beat around the bush, the issues with inflammation are:

  1. Chronic diseases like cancer or diabetes can keep inflammation going without an end in sight
  2. Those diseases tend to get worse when inflammation is present

To lower the risk of inflammation, it’s best to limit or avoid inflammatory foods and choose more anti-inflammatory foods.

The problem is that we don’t know exactly what foods are best or how much you need to eat to get better.

Ultimately, whether you are preventing cancer or trying to lower inflammation, what it comes down to is:

  • Eating plenty of colorful fruits & berries, vegetables, and herbs & spices.
  • Including whole grains, fatty fish, walnuts, olive oil, and green tea.

All and all, lowering inflammation is probably more about being healthy in general rather than including just one food.

In other words, it involves:

  • Exercising Daily
  • Not Sitting Too Much
  • Staying at a Healthy Weight
  • Keeping Blood Sugars Controlled
  • Getting Enough Sleep
  • Lowering Stress
  • Not Smoking or Drinking Alcohol

In the end, you’ll always be better off choosing a healthy lifestyle to have a long, healthy life.

WANT MORE ON INFLAMMATION?

Does Sugar Feed Cancer | List of Alkaline Foods | Anti-Inflammatory Foods List | Anti-Inflammatory Vegan Diet
Disclaimer

These inflammatory foods list pdf are general ideas to try to help lower inflammation and are just for your education. It’s not a meal plan or medical advice.

You may be sensitive to other foods that can lead to inflammation outside of this inflammatory food list. Most importantly, since it’s been found that inflammation can be maintained by a chronic disease you may not get better.

A diet high in some nutrients can be discouraged under certain conditions. Please work with your health care provider for advice.

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