Anti-inflammatory Diet, by Jessica Nagelkirk

Today’s research shows a clear link between our health and the food we eat.  Poor nutrition choices and hidden food allergies over-stimulate the immune system causing an inflammatory response.  At first the inflammation causes changes in how the body functions creating symptoms like joint pain or mood disturbances.  Over time, chronic inflammation can cause physical changes in the body, leading to irreversible joint damage, heart disease, or even cancer.

Try to eat only the following foods for 21 days and see how you feel:

Steamed vegetables:

  • The primary reason for steaming vegetables is to improve utilization and/or availability of nutrients.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables that you tolerate, excluding members from the nightshade family that are know to be inflammatory like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant.
  • Avoid use of aluminum cookware or a microwave.

Grains & Legumes:

  • Allowed grains are millet, basmati or brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, rye, and teff.
  • Allowed legumes are split peas, lentils, kidney beans, pinto beans, soy beans, mung beans, garbanzo beans, and adzuki beans.
  • Many people feel best when they eliminate grains and legumes completely.  Check out the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo for awesome grain-free recipes.


  • Eat fish, preferably deep-sea fish such as salmon, halibut, cod, sardines, tuna, and mackerel.
  • The fish should be poached, steamed, or broiled.


  • Eat only white meat from free-range or organically grown chicken.  Do not eat the skin.
  • The chicken should be baked, broiled, or steamed.


  • Eat 1-2 servings of fruit like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries or apples


  • Very small amounts of maple syrup or honey may be used.
  • Absolutely no sugar, NutraSweet, or any other sweetener is allowed.

Dr. Jessica Nagelkirk is a licensed Naturopathic Physician (ND) specializing in integrative primary care medicine.  She is a current faculty member at National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, and sees patients privately at Apis Integrative Health in Marquette, MI.  

This article was reprinted with permission from the Fall 2013 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s