There is much talk about inflammation; most people don’t understand what it means.  It’s not just about a swollen joint that is inflamed. Inflammation occurs when there is a release of chemicals or messengers in side your body, which creates and causes swelling. In the beginning this inflammation can be a way for the body to help heal itself, but if the inflammation goes on too long the chemicals causing the inflammation can multiply and get out of control. At this point the high levels of chemicals are causing damage to the tissue.

It has been researched that chronic inflammation can promote or initiate certain disease states increasing the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, a multitude of digestive issues including bowel disease. Inflammation may have an effect on fat cells for example; these cells would get the message to hold on to the fat instead of metabolizing it.

 How many of us are under stress, take multiple medications, eat poorly or never slow down? Signs of inflammation include everyday occurrences of headaches; muscle pain in the neck and shoulders from stress, bad breath, joint pain, constipation, eczema and a host of other issues. Most of us, don’t even realize that our body is trying to tell us something when this type of inflammation occurs.

Dr. Andrew Weil recently said, “The idea on the medical horizon is that chronic inflammation is a root cause of degenerative diseases.” 

Being a dietitian, and culinary nutritionist I work with food to relieve disease states. I believe foods promote inflammation in the body as well as help to reverse the inflammation state. Listed here are only a few of the foods that have a positive and negative affect on inflammation. In addition to how we handle stress, diet may be a contributing factor to the inflammation. It should not be left unsaid that exercise particularly yoga will help reduce inflammation in combination with food.

So what foods causes inflammation: 

What foods should you avoid? Just to name a few…Red meats from corn fed, antibiotic and hormone-laden animals, High heat cooking, deep fried foods, Soft drinks, Coffee and caffeinated beverages, HFCS excess sugar in all forms including juices, white flour products, cereals, breads and canned foods. All highly processed foods and artificial flavorings.

 Choose foods from this group to help reverse the inflammation state:

Anti inflammatory foods: Omega 3 rich foods, cold water fish (wild caught), Cod liver supplements, 

Raw nuts, and seeds, pecans walnuts, flax seeds hemp seeds, chia seeds

 Dark leafy greens,

extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil

Grass fed or free-range beef chicken or pork


Fresh berries

Ginger, turmeric, rosemary parsley and herbal teas

Pro and prebiotics



Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips