A key part of an anti-inflammatory diet involves excluding refined vegetable oils, as they are clearly one of the most pernicious and pervasive poisons in the food supply. Simply avoiding all processed foods and most restaurant foods will go a long way toward helping you avoid them.
As for anti-inflammatory foods to eat more of, vegetables are a key staple. Dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens and Swiss chard contain powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C that can help protect against cellular damage. Ideally, opt for organic locally grown veggies that are in season, and consider eating a fair amount of them raw.
Juicing is an excellent way to get more greens into your diet. There’s a caveat, though. If you struggle with autoimmune disease or have significant inflammation in your body, consider limiting vegetables with high lectin content, as the lectins may pose a problem.
Among the most problematic lectin-containing foods are beans, grains, legumes and members of the nightshade family like eggplants, potatoes and peppers. High-lectin foods can be made safer to eat through proper soaking and cooking, as well as fermenting and sprouting. Using a pressure cooker is particularly beneficial for beans.
Oxalates are another plant component that can cause problems, as they not only will increase inflammation but will worsen your mitochondrial function. Those prone to oxalate kidney stones typically need to be on an oxalate-free diet as well. Foods high in oxalates include potatoes (white and sweet), almonds, seeds, dark chocolate, beets, beans and many others.
On the other hand, raw berries — especially blueberries — are an anti-inflammatory basic, as most tend to be low in fructose while rating high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables.
The same goes for mushrooms, which are commonly overlooked. Shiitake mushrooms, for example, contain ergothioniene, which inhibits oxidative stress. Mushrooms also contain a number of unique nutrients that you may not get enough of in your diet.
One of those nutrients is copper, which is one of the few metallic elements accompanied by amino and fatty acids that are essential to human health. Since your body can’t synthesize copper, your diet must supply it regularly. Copper deficiency can be a factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
Another excellent anti-inflammatory mushroom is the Reishi, which contains ganoderic acid, a terpene that induces apoptosis (programmed cell death of damaged cells) and enhances the immune system.