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Anti-inflammatory food

Inflammation is a natural response of the body to disruption caused by, for example, an infection or physical damage. This is the first, very useful, part of the recovery process. It is something that occurs everywhere in our body and is not something that needs to be combated. A specific example is muscle pain: if you train harder than you are used to, you will feel muscle pain the next day. This is a result of the inflammatory response that occurs in your tissues. This takes 24-48 hours, after which the tissue has healed and even become stronger.

If you take anti-inflammatory medication, the recovery process will be less successful. This is therefore not recommended. Once the first phase of recovery is complete, the body itself shuts down inflammation.

There are situations in which an acute inflammation does need to be treated, such as acute appendicitis, pneumonia or meningitis. This is usually not the case with inflammation of the musculoskeletal system. If in doubt, consult a physio/fascia therapist or doctor.


A problem arises if the inflammatory process does not stop but becomes chronic. This can happen if there is chronic physical and/or mental overload, or if the immune system does not function optimally.

Our diet plays a role in a lot of processes, but also in regulating inflammation. For example, the balance between omega 3 and 6 is a very important one. Inflammation is an important part of recovery, but inflammation can remain at a low level when there is too much omega 6 and too little omega 3. Omega 6 is responsible for turning on the inflammation andomega 3 off again. Because our current diet often contains omega 6, such as sunflower oil that is in everything or the food that our animals receive, almost everyone suffers from this to some extent. It is recommended to regularly eat oily fish, linseed, chia seeds and walnuts. Omega 3 can also be taken as a supplement.


Our microbiome contains many bacteria that can be seen as a zoo that needs to be fed regularly. If you take good care of your animals, they will also take good care of you. They also play a role in regulating inflammation in your body and protect you from unwanted pathogens. These animals live on prebiotic fibers, which are mainly found in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, kernels, mushrooms and herbs. The average Dutch person sometimes finds it difficult to eat 250 grams of vegetables, while our needs have become so much greater than that.

Chronic stress also plays a very important factor when it comes to low-grade inflammation. Stress also opens the intestinal wall (the tight junctions) to bring in more energy. If this continues for too long, unwanted substances such as bacteria and viruses can enter, which the immune system anticipates. When the immune system fails, the substances enter the blood and this also causes persistent low-grade inflammation.


Sufficient rest, safety, exercise and nutrients are important for a normal recovery process. Although there is no scientific consensus about which nutrients are pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory, most people agree on the lists below.

Anti-inflammatory foods:

  • sugar

  • alcohol

  • soft drinks

  • junk food

  • smoking

Anti-inflammatory foods:

  • green (leaf) vegetables, especially kale, spinach, broccoli, syringes

  • olive oil

  • kefir

  • spirulina

  • green-lipped mussel extract

  • garlic

  • berries, especially blueberries

  • vitamins A, B3, B6, B8, C (pepper, Brussels sprouts, parsley do better than fruit), E

  • zinc, selenium, vitamin D

  • tea (green more than black)

  • omega 3 (oily fish, algae, seaweed)

  • mushrooms (including Shitake, Maitake, Reishi, Chaga, Turkey tail, and Cordyceps)

  • herbs (including turmeric, ginger, rosemary)

"if man makes it, don't eat it" (John Bergman)

Practical tips and links:

  • Turmeric shot 

  • Water kefir  

  • Kombucha 

  • There are many books and internet sites with anti-inflammatory recipes

  • top 12 foods with the most vitamin C:[link]

Turmeric shot

Source: Food pharmacy - Lina Nertby Aurell and Mia Clase

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