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Anti-Inflammatory and Pro-Inflammatory Foods

Foods we eat may help us prevent strokes, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.   Some of these foods are called anti-inflammatory foods.  These foods are shown to help decrease the inflammation in the arteries which decreases the chances for blood clots, plaque formation and hardening of the arteries.

These anti-inflammatory foods can be found easily in grocery stores or grown in a garden.  They include foods like fish, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables.  These foods should be eaten more often in one’s diet, while pro-inflammatory foods (foods that cause inflammation) should be consumed sparingly.  Lists of anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory foods follow:

 Anti-inflammatory Foods

  • Beans and legumes: dry beans, tofu
  • Beverages:  green tea, red wine*
  • Fish:  cod, halibut, herring, oysters, salmon, tuna
  • Fruits:  apples, berries, cherries, citrus fruits, pineapple, tomatoesHerbs and spices:  basil, cinnamon, ginger, mint, oregano, thymeNuts:  almonds, hazelnuts, walnutsOils:  canola, extra virgin oliveSavory snacks:  dark chocolate**Vegetables:  bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, greens, onions, sweet potatoes

Pro-inflammatory Foods

    Excessive consumption of refined sugars:  candies, pastries, sugar-sweetened beverages

    Highly processed carbohydrates:  doughnuts, potato chips
    Oils:  hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats oils
    Processed meats:  hot dogs, luncheon meats, sausageSaturated fats:  butter, lard
  • Trans fatty acids:  solid margarine

*Portion size of red wine is up to 5 fluid ounces per day for women and up to 10 fluid ounces per day for men.
**Consume in moderation.


            If you have any questions about anti and pro-inflammatory foods, please contact dietitians Rose Magner or Anne Blocker at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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