Anti-inflammatory diet, tips & recipes

It is becoming clear that chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dietary choices play a big role alongside stress, lack of exercise, genetic predisposition, and exposure to toxins (like secondhand tobacco smoke) in contributing to chronic inflammation.

Learning how to use diet to reduce chronic inflammation can be an important way to reduce chronic disease.

An anti-inflammatory diet seeks to support your body’s innate ability to heal, to balance its processes, and to respond to stress and then recover quickly.

Why diet matters more than ever

Living in a culture where for most of us, food is readily accessible but in many instances not nourishing, we are beset by illnesses that our ancestors never saw. The processing of grains, reliance on corn in the manufacture of vast quantities and types of food, and monoculture leading to depleted soils all contribute to the “Westernized diet” that can cause chronic inflammation.

High rates of obesity, diseases like diabetes and heart disease, mental illness, and some cancers are linked to what’s been called a state of “chronic inflammation.” Dietary habits, stress-induced cortisol increase, and the diversity of our microbiome (the bacteria who live in and on us)—all play more of a role in our health than we ever appreciated in the past. While the “healing” of our selves ultimately must include a healing of our planet, in the interim there are day to day changes in the food choices we make that can have a huge impact on individual health and the ability to respond to stress.

While some conditions benefit from specialized diets (FODMaPS for irritable bowel syndrome, ketogenic for patients with seizures, or elimination diets for certain immunologic diseases), a great impact on health can often happen with very simple changes.

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Ann Seide MD

Ann Seide MD is an Integrative Medicine Doctor with 25 years of experience working as a hospitalist and palliative care physician. She is also a Zen Buddhist, trained Council practitioner, Navy veteran and founder of Seide Integrative Health in Thousand Oaks, California where she specializes in Integrative Oncology and Physician Health.


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