There are many foods with potent anti-inflammatory properties, including fish high in omega-3s, fresh fruits, and vegetables and virtually all fresh, or dried herbs and spices.

These are some of the best anti-inflammatory foods, whose anti-inflammatory powers derive from their high omega-3 (fish) or antioxidant (plant foods and salmon) content:

  • FISH: Wild Salmon*, Sablefish, Mackerel, Herring, Sardines
  • VEGETABLES: Onions, Garlic, Chives, Leeks, Greens (spinach, chard, collards, broccoli, kale), Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Green Beans, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Lettuces
  • BEANS, NUTS, SEEDS (all types)
  • FRUITS: Berries (especially Blueberries and Raspberries), Capers
  • SPICES: Ginger**, Turmeric**, Cinnamon, Clove
  • HERBS: Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Cilantro, Fennel, Mint, Dill, Tarragon
  • BEVERAGES: Green tea, White tea, Black tea, Red wine, Cocoa (with minimal sugar), Pomegranate juice
  • DARK CHOCOLATE (containing at least 70 percent cocoa solids; enjoy sparingly)

*Salmon offers a double anti-inflammatory punch, as it is high in both omega-3s and the uniquely potent antioxidant/ anti-inflammatory red pigment called astaxanthin (which it gets from eating zooplankton). Sockeye is highest in astaxanthin.

**Ginger and turmeric are extraordinarily potent anti-inflammatory plants. They rival the anti-inflammatory potency of drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen in clinical trials but produce none of those drugs’ adverse side effects. They also hold promise as anti-cancer agents.

Pro-inflammatory Foods to Avoid or Eat Sparingly

  • Sweetened snacks and beverages such as:
  • Soda’s: sweetened or non-sweet with aspartame
  • Energy bars with coatings
  • Cakes, Cookies, Commercial Crackers, Commercial Chips, and Bread
  • Fried foods
  • Conventional Frozen dinners
  • Rice Mixes
  • Stuffing mixes Frozen desserts Common Snack foods
  • Damaged fats and oils in food products and dressing such as:
  • Margarine, Shortening Beef or Chicken fat
  • Vegetable Oils: Corn, Cottonseed, Sunflower, Safflower, Soybean, Peanut oil

SOURCE: Greg Weatherby, Goodbye Vioxx (2009) with additions by Dr. Bauman

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dr. edward bauman

M.Ed., PhD., Founder & President Bauman Nutrition College

Dr. Edward Bauman M.Ed., Ph.D., is an internationally renowned Holistic Health and Nutrition pioneer. His field expertise in health education spans more than 40 years. He has been shaping and sharing the radical notion of the experience of wellness since 1969 with his “seed to cell to society” holistic nutrition innovations.