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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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