My Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Anti-inflammatory foods are a critical part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Most people are consuming foods that promote this process of inflammation and are not consuming enough anti-inflammatory foods.
Inflammation is an immunological process of self-repair in which the body works to destroy abnormal pathogens, dead cells and abnormal tissue. When inflammation becomes a chronic condition, it becomes more destructive to the body and can cause major health problems. Controlling inflammation through nutrition and lifestyle has to be a central focus to achieve your health goals.
I believe deep within my spirit that God created us for incredible health & vitality and desires for us to look to nature to provide the resources for health & well-being. Here are 10 of the most important anti-inflammatory foods.
1. Coconut Oil:
This superfood is loaded with healthy fats, including lauric acid which is found in a high quantity within mother’s milk. Coconut fats help you to burn fat, improve brain function and reduce whole body inflammatory levels. It is great to consume in your shakes and smoothies and you can put it on your skin and the components will cross into your blood stream transdermally. (1, 2, 3)
I recommend using coconut oil to cook with because it cannot be denatured under high heat. If you don’t like the coconut flavor than use a high quality MCT oil which has all the same benefits but no coconut flavor. Coconut oil is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods you can consume.
2. Coconut Water Kefir:
This is fermented coconut water. Coconut water is naturally rich in potassium but it also contains a good amount of sugars. The fermentation process breaks down sugar and adds B vitamins, live enzymes and probiotics.
Coconut water kefir is EXCELLENT for your digestive system and is well-tolerated by most people. If you are experienced with it, you can drink a bottle at a time. If you are new to fermented foods and drinks or have a serious digestive issue, it is better to begin with 1-2 tbsps. per day.
Ginger is composed of several volatile oils that are powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic agents. In addition, it inhibits cancer cell formation while firing up our body’s own inborn ability to destroy the cancer cells formerly present.(1)
Additionally, ginger helps protect the bodies stores of the super antioxidant & free radical destroyer. Ginger is also a powerful anti-nausea agent and improves the production of digestive juices (stomach acid, bile and pancreatic enzymes) to enhance digestion.(2, 3)
- Drink a cup of organic ginger tea everyday
- Grate fresh ginger or use dried ginger on your salad, meat and steamed veggies
- Drink ginger coconut water kefir (Kevita brand – Lemon Ginger is excellent)
- Get ginger root and put an inch or so in per 8oz of juice. Anymore can give too much bite.
Lemon is loaded with vitamin C, citrus bioflavonoids (vitamin P), live enzymes and potassium. It is one of the best things to help the liver and kidneys to detoxify and it improves circulation and cellular oxygenation.
I recommend using fresh squeezed lemon or lemon essential oil in your water each morning (and throughout the day if possible) to improve liver cleansing.
I also recommend squeezing lemon on your meat and veggies in order to allow the enzymes and citric acid to begin metabolizing these things before consuming them. Additionally, lemon helps to stimulate stomach acid, bile and pancreatic enzyme production for more optimal digestion.
Avocados are full of healthy fats, potassium and magnesium. They are also rich in carotenoid anti-oxidants that reduce inflammation in the body. The good fats help produce ketones and improve fat burning. (1, 2, 3)
My favorite ways to use avocados include putting them into shakes to make puddings and chocolate mousse. I also LOVE making a great guacamole and I enjoy avocado salads. I consume 1-2 avocados on most days and recommend for the majority of my clients to consume an avocado each day.
6. Himalayan Sea Salt:
High quality Himalayan sea salt contains over 84 trace minerals and a unique energetic frequency that enhances cellular function. Most other salts are highly processed and refined and not well-utilized by the body.
Himalayan pink salts help reduce edema, swelling, cellulite and they balance blood pressure. Lower carbohydrate diets need more healthy salts because their body doesn’t retain sodium like we do when we consume a higher carbohydrate diet.
I put them on my foods generously. I tell my clients that if they are craving salts, than they are most likely trace mineral deficient and it is important to use more of these good salts. It is also a great energy tip to take a pinch of pink salt and follow it with 8oz of water. This also works well to reduce asthmatic and allergy symptoms.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):
This fermented tonic is loaded with enzymes and organic acids. It is a natural sterilizing agent that has been shown to improve digestive function, stabilize blood sugar, reduce inflammation and improve skin tone. (1, 2)
I use ACV like I use lemon, in water and on foods (particularly meat and vegetables) before consuming them. It helps to pre-digest the meat and veggies and reduces stress on our digestive system. ACV also helps to reduce the microbial load throughout the body and improves the use of digestive juices such as stomach acid, bile and pancreatic enzymes.(3)
8. Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds:
Sprouted pumpkin seeds are full of B vitamins, magnesium and zinc. They are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
Sprouting pumpkin seeds helps to release some of the “anti-nutrients” they contain. As a result, the vitamins and minerals in pumpkin seeds become more readily digested and absorbed. To remove some of these anti-nutrients, seal a glass container with pumpkin seeds covered in water for 24 hours. Rinse the seeds and allow drying before use in cooking.
You can also purchase some Go Raw sprouted pumpkin seeds here that are incredibly tasty and enjoyable!
Turmeric is loaded with curcuminoid antioxidants that powerfully reduce inflammation, improve detoxification and reduce cancer cell formation in the body. Using turmeric on your dishes is one of the best natural health strategies you can apply. (1)
I recommend using it with coconut milk for an anti-inflammatory milk, putting it on meats and in coconut cups like these. It is best absorbed when combined with good fats and a pinch of black pepper. (2, 3) Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods ever studied!
10. Organic Broth:
Bone broth from organically raised animals is loaded with bone and immune supportive nutrients and is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods. Bone broth is loaded with bone marrow where the red and white blood cells that form our blood and immune system are originally formed. It is also rich in collagen peptides which help to improve the integrity of our gut lining, skin and joints.
Bone broth is also rich in conjugated linoleic acid, also called CLA. CLA helps to reduce inflammation and stimulate fat burning. It has also been shown to be a powerful immune stimulating agent that reduces cancer growth in the body.
Ideally you will get pasture-raised chicken bones or grass-fed beef bones as that is the highest quality. You can make it from scratch with this recipe or you can purchase it pre-maid.
It would be nice if you provided a ‘print ‘ option for your newsletter articles. I print my favorite ones or save them to a file to reference back.
Thanks so much.
There is a “Print” option at the bottom of every page!
Thanks Dr. Jockers.
Turmeric without infusion of black pepper is next to useless. Turmeric is very poorly absorbed by our body. Black pepper heightens to absorption . Recommendations are 1/4 to 1/3 black pepper to Turmeric in capsules.
By-the-way……I enjoyed your segments in “The Truth About Cancer.”
I am not a cancer patient nor a survivor, but the information presented is priceless to me should someone I know come down with cancer.
Once again…..Thank You for all your valuable input.
Yes, very true Gary and that is why I always recommend it with both fat and black pepper! Glad you enjoyed the Truth About Cancer series!
Hello to all!
very good list and presentation although i am not convinced at all that turmeric needs to be taken in a mandatory way with black pepper!the latter unbeknownst to many is a very strong irritant for the intestinal lining and it can bring adverse reactions in the long run!i’ve been taking turmeric without black pepper for years now and it works perfectly fine!
I totally agree Stefan! With all the talk of leaky gut I’m surprised so many advocate using black pepper all the time. It’s a known irritant and that’s how it helps absorption. I’d rather absorb less and leave my intestines intact.
I understand your concern, thank you for leaving this comment. The amount of black pepper needed to promote turmeric absorption is unlikely to be an issue for most people, especially combined with an anti-inflammatory diet and other gut healing nutrients!
I have replaced Black Pepper with Turmeric. Kg
I’be been following AIP for over 2 1/2 years. While I must avoid “peppers” of all kinds (i do experience inflammation immediately), my doctor allowed me to have Black pepper from peppercorns the whole time. My gut healed just fine and I do like to use the trifecta of Black Pepper, turmeric, and coconut oil together 🙂
I made some bone broth up – and really appreciate your in-depth explanations on how these foods work for us. Thanks !
As always you are right
Magnesium is an important ingredient to so many of the body’s regulatory and biochemical systems that the impact of low levels spans all areas of health.
If magnesium is missing, there are problems with insulin, muscles, blood pressure
That’s right Pascual! One of the most important minerals in the body.
Can I simply say what a relief to discover somebody that really understands what they are talking
about online. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
More and more people have to check this out and understand
this side of your story. It’s surprising you are not more
popular given that you surely possess the gift.
Dr may God richly bless u & ur generations , 4 ur education illustrations is really going with us here in Ghana, God be with u.
Wow Philip, thank you!
Learned about you on the Truth About Cancer website and have been thrilled to see your info. I have experienced a heart attack and 3-way bypass 2 yrs. ago. Of course, the docs tell me to stay on cholesterol meds and blood pressure meds, and no salt, fat, cholesterol, etc. You know the drill. I really want to remedy my problems as much as possible with natural diet and supplement therapy. I would like your take on salt and fat intake and a person with heart problems. Thanks.
Hey Nancy! Great you saw my talk! Sorry to hear about your health challenges. Healthy fats, cholesterol, and salt are actually important for overall health. When it comes to cardiovascular issues, it typically comes down to underlying inflammation from blood sugar imbalances, underlying infections, poor diet, chronic stress, etc. In your case I would recommend having some functional lab work done before any recommendations are made. One of my health coaches would be happy to work with you on this if you are interested.
Dr. Jockers, as an integrative psychiatrist I like to look at a wide range of treatment modalities and explore their possibilities for being viable treatments. Once a former vegan and still a major advocate for plant-based diet-styles I am exploring ketosis (specifically a CKD) as a possible treatment for helping those patients that need that extra calming effect (particularly those who are attempting to come off of benzo’s) that can come from ketosis’ ability to regulate the GABA/Glutamate balance. That being said, I am still not convinced of coconut oil and would love for you to provide more evidence so that I can be convinced. The problem I see when people advocate coconut oil is that they reference studies about MCT oils and the principle MCT oil is lauric acid which doesn’t act like a true MCT and in fact is mostly processed like a LCFT. I do eat whole raw dried shredded coconut but I am hesitant to recommend coconut oil to my patients until I see more convincing evidence. (not sure this is the right place for this type of question so let me know in the future if this is appropriate). Thank you,
Hey Michael! I understand your concern. I recently wrote an article on the AHA’s recent statement on saturated fats that contains some good research on coconut oil as well: https://drjockers.com/coconut-oil-bad-american-heart-association-dead-wrong/
I live in rural Wyoming, USA and there are no naturopaths or homeopaths here! I have been prepping for the gallbladder flush and I see you recommend doing this with a Dr! What should I do? I do NOT want to have surgery!
Thank you so much for your fantastic articles and wisdom!!!
Hey Kristen, it is recommended but ultimately it is your choice!
I am dealing with Diverticulitis with an abcess, love your ideas and using them now. I just do not know what to start eating now that im done with the liquid and soft low fibe diet. Which was pancakes, mashed potatoes, chicken noodle soup and crackers. And Ensure a day. Im afraid to eat anything due to the pain and discomfort. Any ideas or recipes To get me started
Hey Vickie, if those foods were containing grains, breads, or pastas, then this probably was not very healing to your digestive system. I am also not a big fan of ensure because it is a bunch of sugar and processed oils. I would recommend you check out the digestive restoration program here: https://drjockers.com/the-digestive-health-restoration-program/
You could also reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a coaching plan for this!
Just about to sign up for your cancer program (lymphoma diagnosis dec2016) but have food sensitivities to coconut, stevia,eggs and cashews, will your program still help me?
Congrats on the baby btw, adorable family❤️
Absolutely Leigh, it is full of information! Thank you so much!
Hi Doctor Kickers. Loved this article. Notice comments are from 2017 not sure your still active but here goes. I believe my health issues come from a bad western diet now in my 50’s with a teenage daughter suffering chronic stress and dealing with mental health I want to improve our diet with your good health plan. I firmly believe western medicine and the food industry lacks the ability to see the connection between good gut health and mental health. I believe we live in a toxic heavy metal world. I am a low income single parent so can’t afford fancy food, therapist. Doubt the overstretched NHS in the UK even if you could get referred to a clinician, are available. If the diet works and I deed improvement I will let you know.
Hey Shelley, We will be praying for you and your daughter’s healing! Removing inflammatory foods from your diet can certainly improve your physical and mental health.