8

votes

Anti-inflammatory eating

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 27, 2011 at 12:41 AM

What components, in order of rank, do you think are most important for anti-inflammatory eating?

800547661e2d20d03f5a313d86eb6102

(155)

on February 19, 2012
at 07:39 PM

okay what about Omega 3s to help the reduction of inflammation after the affect of intense exercising? I mountain bike, lost of steep, long climbs while navigating rocks and logs, slipping in mud....It's fun but at the same time very hard on the body. So I watch my diet closely, try supplementing with anti-inflammatories but honestly don't feel a difference post ride.

800547661e2d20d03f5a313d86eb6102

(155)

on February 19, 2012
at 07:32 PM

Both red & white wine makes me stuffy.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 12, 2012
at 10:59 PM

@korion, the more I've thought about the topic, it occurs to me that the short term acute (allergy and trauma) inflammation has to be sorted from the long term chronic. Someone could eat oils of all kinds with no inflammation. But the body's fat deposits take years to change their composition. The health problems of a high linolenic fat diet might take decades to show themselves, and even with rigorous replacement of linolenics by linoleics or saturated fats, would take years to go away.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 12, 2012
at 10:35 PM

+1 for the allergist advice. Moderate consumption of red or white wine causes me no inflammatory effects, but everyone responds differently. I remember getting a bunch of needle pricks in the back...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 12, 2012
at 10:24 PM

@sara, when this was fresh I went back through the old hacks and liked this definition best: "immune response to tissue damage". It's very generic and specific to the individual. We all suffer inflammation with traumatic injury, but beyond that it's more like allergic response. Mold and grass pollens cause me considerable inflammation, with puffiness around the eyes and uncontrolled sneezing. I can't think of a single food that on its own affects me that way, but high amounts of salt and overeating do cause puffiness, especially in my fingers. Restaurant food.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 12, 2012
at 06:02 PM

That's what I thought too, that's why I said nuts are totally not anti-inflammatory. I don't know anyone who thrives on nuts...

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on February 12, 2012
at 05:03 PM

Hi Hanne, I'm in a similar situation (as to the food choices). Can you tell me your fat staples?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 12, 2012
at 05:01 PM

I don't understand what anti-inflammatory means anymore. I'd love a clear definition too, like thhq is looking for. I thought omega-6 and thus nuts were inflammatory no matter what. I also thought iron was inflammatory so meat (and liver) too.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on February 12, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Sorry Cutbert. What about red or white wine?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:58 PM

I totally agree with thhq here : inflammation doesn't really mean anything unless you say what the inflammation is.

Febcfb45a6bec019a69101cfa8104d30

(463)

on February 12, 2012
at 03:52 PM

Their inflammation rating is based on a book by a nutritionist which rates foods' inflammatory potential according to a specific (but to me unknown) formula. It probably does take into account some conventional wisdom, but even so--based on my calculations using her numbers--a paleolithic-type diet with fish at least once a week, balanced omega-3s and 6s, lots of greens (3-5 servings a day), and no grains is extraordinarily anti-inflammatory (score of +2000 vs. her recommendation of +200 or so). Even with intake of plentiful coconut milk, which she rates as one of the most inflammatory foods.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 12, 2012
at 03:31 PM

thhq, here's the first link that shows up from a google search for "medical inflammation": http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3979. It has a decent definition of inflammation. See also the wikipedia page on the immune system: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immune_system#Inflammation. The reason people aren't specific is because inflammation is a general term. It's useful to speak about a systems/cellular response that engages the non-specific immune system, despite it having many different mechanisms, causes, and outward signs.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 29, 2011
at 09:38 PM

thhq, it's your tone that gets the downvotes...you can play devil's advocate (as many here do) without all the snark. See your comments throughout this thread about "tummy aches" and ingrown hairs and cold sores and "the good dr." Maybe you don't intend it, but you sound condescending.

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on November 28, 2011
at 09:17 PM

Yeah, I meant to add in my response that I have no understanding of how they determined these inflammation ratings and whether the metrics they used are any good. Korion, where did you hear that about nuts? This study indicates that nuts are anti-inflammatory: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296371

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 28, 2011
at 04:27 PM

That nutritiondata index system may be biased, but it seems to be based on negative effects coming from cholesterol and simple-to-digest carbs (think wheat, grains and sugars - fresh peaches are indexed as inflammatory, canned peaches even more inflammatory), while positive effects come from protein and unsaturated fats.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 28, 2011
at 04:21 PM

Thanks kasra. Playing devil's advocate never gets me anything but downvotes. But sometimes the dialectic gets people thinking. I've learned a lot about inflammation on this thread.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:47 PM

I think thhq has made the most helpful responses here.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:45 PM

The problem remains with how inflammation is defined. A vegan's list would be the polar opposite of a paleo's list. Acute CRP effects are simple, but cumulative dietary effects are highly subjective.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:40 PM

At least them credit for one thing. They index inflammation. By their measures, sirloin steak is mildly anti-inflammatory, and salmon is strongly anti-inflammatory. But beef liver and bran flakes get close to the same rating as inflammatory foods.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 28, 2011
at 01:43 PM

That's interesting. I had puffy, painful to walk on feet upon waking while eating SAD that cleared up quickly to never return eating VLC. My CRP during those years was low. But I have been thinking that was "inflammation". I'm eating "safe" starches now so I think the old culprit might have been wheat/grains.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 10:38 AM

Absolutely. It also says a lot of nuts are anti-inflammatory. Totally non-true.

Medium avatar

on November 28, 2011
at 05:39 AM

I wouldn't rely on inflammation ratings from the nutritiondata website. They're based on conventional wisdom. For example, it considers all PUFAs to be strongly anti-inflammatory. Case in point: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/7577/2 It gives canola oil a -800 anti-inflammatory rating. Ha

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 28, 2011
at 04:11 AM

Thanks...and interesting. I wonder why beef and pork are listed so frequently under the "most inflammatory" headings?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 28, 2011
at 12:16 AM

@melinda I found a useful discussion on a 2010 hack titled "It's Swell... What is Inflammation?". [This device doesn't allow posting a link, sorry.] The best response was "immune response to tissue damage". While CRP can accurately measure response to traumatic injuries, but is not good for measuring cumulating damage from poor eating. Some posters suggested allergy testing to determine the problem foods.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 27, 2011
at 07:16 PM

I'm not snarky about this, sorry about the hijack, and I probably should put it up as a question on its own. If what you mean by the term is bloating, I'd say avoid restaurant food in general. High sodium and large portions do it to me, and pizza is probably the worst.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 27, 2011
at 05:45 PM

thhq I'm sorry it wasn't helpful. Can you suggest a definition of inflammation in clinical terms? I like the recent Todd Becker post about obesity and he has a list of a non-imflammatory diet.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 27, 2011
at 03:10 PM

You're not specific at all, and that's the problem with all the hacks. Everyone uses the term to mean whatever they define it as.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 27, 2011
at 03:07 PM

Sorry @melinda, not @melissa.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 27, 2011
at 03:06 PM

To my chagrin @melissa I followed your link to the good dr's blog. And his 170 articles. I was looking for something like a simple direct definition. But I settle for his discussion of an inflamed hair follicle. It appears now that inflammation in this sloppy sense means something like an ingrown hair, or a pimple, or a cold sore, maybe a tummy ache. It's a vague term that apparently is applied to any minor irritation.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 27, 2011
at 05:35 AM

I recommend reading around Dr. Ayer's site http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 27, 2011
at 04:57 AM

I don't know how much more specific I can be. Low-level chronic inflammation is the subject of many many posts and many blogs, etc. People here asking for hacks of the results of their CRP tests aren't doing so because they've suffered severe burns.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 27, 2011
at 04:03 AM

Maybe you can define inflammation @melinda. The term is used very loosely here and I have no idea what it means in clinical terms.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 27, 2011
at 03:59 AM

There is no food that I know of that significantly raises CRP, the standard test for inflammation. Inflammation is a reaction to severe trauma, especially burns. Maybe you mean bloating or high blood sugar? Please be specific about what you mean.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 27, 2011
at 03:17 AM

Good list! Others?

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9 Answers

13
Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 27, 2011
at 05:18 PM

Thhq,

Your snarky non-answers are the opposite of helpful, and helpfulness is the spirit of PH. Perhaps you need to post your own PH question if you don't understand inflammation, or do your own research elsewhere, instead of hijacking my thread. I am seriously seeking answers, not an argument with a malcontent.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 27, 2011
at 07:16 PM

I'm not snarky about this, sorry about the hijack, and I probably should put it up as a question on its own. If what you mean by the term is bloating, I'd say avoid restaurant food in general. High sodium and large portions do it to me, and pizza is probably the worst.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:47 PM

I think thhq has made the most helpful responses here.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 29, 2011
at 09:38 PM

thhq, it's your tone that gets the downvotes...you can play devil's advocate (as many here do) without all the snark. See your comments throughout this thread about "tummy aches" and ingrown hairs and cold sores and "the good dr." Maybe you don't intend it, but you sound condescending.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 28, 2011
at 04:21 PM

Thanks kasra. Playing devil's advocate never gets me anything but downvotes. But sometimes the dialectic gets people thinking. I've learned a lot about inflammation on this thread.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 12, 2012
at 04:58 PM

I totally agree with thhq here : inflammation doesn't really mean anything unless you say what the inflammation is.

8
0bd9775b305d2a602d496649982bc614

(252)

on November 27, 2011
at 05:20 PM

I avoid the below:
The foremost evil: Gluten, pasteurized milk.

Runner ups:
Grains-especially wild, whole grain,
Beans,
Legumes,
Tomatoes,
Peppers-especially spicy ones,
Nuts, seeds of all kinds,
kiwi, lemon,
Sugar of all kinds except honey,
PUFA's,
Any chemically prepared powders like stabilizer, msg,
Dairy of all kinds.

Also, caffeine, potatoes, alcohol, chocolate.

Diagnosed with Lupus and Celiac. And above is the list I find aggravating my condition.

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on February 12, 2012
at 05:03 PM

Hi Hanne, I'm in a similar situation (as to the food choices). Can you tell me your fat staples?

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 27, 2011
at 01:16 AM

Avoid:

Franken fats (hydrogenated anything) and PUFA's (most vegetable oils)

High fructose corn syrup, high fructose anything (agave syrup)

Anything with MSG in it

Grains all, unless some if defanged with ancient traditional cooking methods

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 27, 2011
at 03:17 AM

Good list! Others?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 27, 2011
at 03:07 PM

Sorry @melinda, not @melissa.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 27, 2011
at 04:03 AM

Maybe you can define inflammation @melinda. The term is used very loosely here and I have no idea what it means in clinical terms.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 27, 2011
at 03:06 PM

To my chagrin @melissa I followed your link to the good dr's blog. And his 170 articles. I was looking for something like a simple direct definition. But I settle for his discussion of an inflamed hair follicle. It appears now that inflammation in this sloppy sense means something like an ingrown hair, or a pimple, or a cold sore, maybe a tummy ache. It's a vague term that apparently is applied to any minor irritation.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 28, 2011
at 01:43 PM

That's interesting. I had puffy, painful to walk on feet upon waking while eating SAD that cleared up quickly to never return eating VLC. My CRP during those years was low. But I have been thinking that was "inflammation". I'm eating "safe" starches now so I think the old culprit might have been wheat/grains.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 28, 2011
at 04:27 PM

That nutritiondata index system may be biased, but it seems to be based on negative effects coming from cholesterol and simple-to-digest carbs (think wheat, grains and sugars - fresh peaches are indexed as inflammatory, canned peaches even more inflammatory), while positive effects come from protein and unsaturated fats.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 27, 2011
at 05:35 AM

I recommend reading around Dr. Ayer's site http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 27, 2011
at 05:45 PM

thhq I'm sorry it wasn't helpful. Can you suggest a definition of inflammation in clinical terms? I like the recent Todd Becker post about obesity and he has a list of a non-imflammatory diet.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 28, 2011
at 12:16 AM

@melinda I found a useful discussion on a 2010 hack titled "It's Swell... What is Inflammation?". [This device doesn't allow posting a link, sorry.] The best response was "immune response to tissue damage". While CRP can accurately measure response to traumatic injuries, but is not good for measuring cumulating damage from poor eating. Some posters suggested allergy testing to determine the problem foods.

2
C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on November 28, 2011
at 12:08 PM

A lot of foods will end up inflammatory if you have low stomach acid which would not be able to kill off viruses and bacteria that you may consume with your food. Digestion is compromised - undigested food particles may escape into circulation leading to systemic inflammation. So important to heal gut.

2
3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

on November 28, 2011
at 03:37 AM

This website has inflammation ratings for a ton of foods. Here's a list of the most anti-inflammatory foods:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000992000000000000000.html

Edit: Also, this for the most inflammatory foods:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000991000000000000000.html

I got these links from this page: http://nutritiondata.self.com/tools/nutrient-search

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 28, 2011
at 04:11 AM

Thanks...and interesting. I wonder why beef and pork are listed so frequently under the "most inflammatory" headings?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:40 PM

At least them credit for one thing. They index inflammation. By their measures, sirloin steak is mildly anti-inflammatory, and salmon is strongly anti-inflammatory. But beef liver and bran flakes get close to the same rating as inflammatory foods.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:45 PM

The problem remains with how inflammation is defined. A vegan's list would be the polar opposite of a paleo's list. Acute CRP effects are simple, but cumulative dietary effects are highly subjective.

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on November 28, 2011
at 09:17 PM

Yeah, I meant to add in my response that I have no understanding of how they determined these inflammation ratings and whether the metrics they used are any good. Korion, where did you hear that about nuts? This study indicates that nuts are anti-inflammatory: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296371

Medium avatar

on November 28, 2011
at 05:39 AM

I wouldn't rely on inflammation ratings from the nutritiondata website. They're based on conventional wisdom. For example, it considers all PUFAs to be strongly anti-inflammatory. Case in point: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/7577/2 It gives canola oil a -800 anti-inflammatory rating. Ha

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 28, 2011
at 10:38 AM

Absolutely. It also says a lot of nuts are anti-inflammatory. Totally non-true.

Febcfb45a6bec019a69101cfa8104d30

(463)

on February 12, 2012
at 03:52 PM

Their inflammation rating is based on a book by a nutritionist which rates foods' inflammatory potential according to a specific (but to me unknown) formula. It probably does take into account some conventional wisdom, but even so--based on my calculations using her numbers--a paleolithic-type diet with fish at least once a week, balanced omega-3s and 6s, lots of greens (3-5 servings a day), and no grains is extraordinarily anti-inflammatory (score of +2000 vs. her recommendation of +200 or so). Even with intake of plentiful coconut milk, which she rates as one of the most inflammatory foods.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 12, 2012
at 05:01 PM

I don't understand what anti-inflammatory means anymore. I'd love a clear definition too, like thhq is looking for. I thought omega-6 and thus nuts were inflammatory no matter what. I also thought iron was inflammatory so meat (and liver) too.

1
5e6a6f5c0fd3ab048f81c0a500206f41

on February 12, 2012
at 04:49 PM

Any foods that are high in omega-6s are extremely inflammatory. arachidonic acid is the precursor to many eicosanoids that produce an inflammatory response in the body. by upping our intake of omega-3s verus omega-6s, it can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. the eicosanoids produced from omega-3 fatty acids are less inflammatory, if not anti-inflammatory, compared to the ones produced from omega-6 fatty acids.

the issue with our country today is that our ratio of O3:O6 is 1:6, or even 1:10. This ratio, in favor of O6, promotes inflammation in our bodies. by consuming more omega-3s, we can bring the ratio closer to 1:3 or even 1:1, fostering a more anti-inflammatory environment in our bodies.

bottom line - watch your intake of omega-6s, while increasing consumption of foods high in omega-3.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 12, 2012
at 06:02 PM

That's what I thought too, that's why I said nuts are totally not anti-inflammatory. I don't know anyone who thrives on nuts...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 12, 2012
at 10:59 PM

@korion, the more I've thought about the topic, it occurs to me that the short term acute (allergy and trauma) inflammation has to be sorted from the long term chronic. Someone could eat oils of all kinds with no inflammation. But the body's fat deposits take years to change their composition. The health problems of a high linolenic fat diet might take decades to show themselves, and even with rigorous replacement of linolenics by linoleics or saturated fats, would take years to go away.

800547661e2d20d03f5a313d86eb6102

(155)

on February 19, 2012
at 07:39 PM

okay what about Omega 3s to help the reduction of inflammation after the affect of intense exercising? I mountain bike, lost of steep, long climbs while navigating rocks and logs, slipping in mud....It's fun but at the same time very hard on the body. So I watch my diet closely, try supplementing with anti-inflammatories but honestly don't feel a difference post ride.

1
800547661e2d20d03f5a313d86eb6102

(155)

on February 12, 2012
at 02:27 PM

Alcohol by far is my biggest inflammation ingredient. Since I've cut out all other sugar sources (grains, fruits but not veggies). I've seen an allergist to determine what I am / am not allergic to and avoid those things, potatoes came up as a non-allergen for me so......as a stress relieve at the end of the day sometimes I'll have some nice Polish Potato Vodka and wha lah my joints are swollen and painful the following morning. I can't drink beer or wine because when I do that I don't even make it to the next morning, it starts right away!!

My suggestion: see an allergist find out what you are and are not allergic to, then do some experimenting on your own. Keep a log of your food intake, external stressors of the day and see how your body responds/reacts that night and following day(s). I've noticed if I get some of my allergens inadvertanatly (wheat, legumes, nuts) I can feel the affects for at least four days.

I now know I can't drink alcohol, even my beloved Potato Vodka. It's not even a "hurts so good" for me anymore.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on February 12, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Sorry Cutbert. What about red or white wine?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 12, 2012
at 10:35 PM

+1 for the allergist advice. Moderate consumption of red or white wine causes me no inflammatory effects, but everyone responds differently. I remember getting a bunch of needle pricks in the back...

800547661e2d20d03f5a313d86eb6102

(155)

on February 19, 2012
at 07:32 PM

Both red & white wine makes me stuffy.

1
1820e2a8a435da2339593485379bb50d

on November 28, 2011
at 01:07 PM

I just read the book 'Anticancer' - found it gave a thorough explanation of 'encouragers' and 'inhibitors' of inflammation in our bodies from food.

Basically, you want to avoid most of the foods listed above (refined anything, grains, sugar, too much Omega 6) and eat more fish oil, green tea and organic vegetables, among loads of other things.

1
3f991b9d02d2c9b8bd91f93fdd88febc

on November 27, 2011
at 05:53 PM

Wheat Sugar Alcohols Carbs in excess of 200g/day from any source

These are my N=1 sources of inflammation. By inflammation, I mean if I eat these items, I will weigh considerably more over the next few days-weeks, have lots of mucous in my lungs, and my joints will start hurting. These items seem to cause me to pack on water in my cells.

I have not experimented with HFCS.

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