Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
25 Jan

My Top 6 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

sardinesBefore I begin, let me preface this post with the identification of a simple confounder for everyone to consider as they read: context. Any discussion of a concept as nebulous, multifaceted, and confusing as inflammation must integrate the question of context. Inflammation itself is highly contextual – as I’ve discussed in previous installments, there are times when inflammation is a good thing and times when inflammation is a negative thing. There are also times when anti-inflammatory actions, drugs, or foods are negatives, even though “anti-inflammatory” has a positive connotation. If you blunt the post-exercise inflammatory response with an anti-inflammatory drug, for example, you also run the risk of blunting the positive effects of that workout.

We must also pay attention to acute and systemic inflammation when discussing the desirability of an “anti-inflammatory” food. Eating a big meal tends to raise inflammatory markers in the short term. If you’re overeating every single meal, this is problematic; the acute will become the norm – the chronic. If you’re eating big after a massive workout session, or because you’re celebrating at an amazing restaurant with your dearest friends, or because you’re coming off a twenty-four hour IF, it’s fine. Context.

Eating high glycemic foods, namely refined carbohydrates that digest quickly and represent a big, instantly-available caloric load, tends to raise inflammatory markers in the short term. Again, if you’re pounding bags of chips or white bread while sitting on the couch and the only walking you’ve done all day is to the pantry, those high glycemic foods will be inflammatory (to say nothing of the antinutrients in the bread or the rancid vegetable oil in the chips). And if you do the same thing on a regular basis, they will induce systemic inflammation – or at least continuous acute spikes that mimic systemic inflammation. If you’re eating a fast-digesting, high-glycemic white potato after your glycogen-depleting sprint workout, you will refill your insulin-sensitive muscles and the subsequent inflammatory spike will be either nonexistent or nothing to worry about. Competitive athletes probably thrive on high glycemic foods, couch potatoes develop metabolic syndrome eating the same things. Context.

Many people find dairy to be inflammatory. I’m (sort of) one of them. I’ll readily eat butter, put cream in coffee, slice quality cheeses, and have a cup of Greek yogurt, but a tall glass of store-bought milk doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t have to run to the toilet or anything; I just don’t feel as good as I did before the glass of milk. Is milk, then, “inflammatory”? It could be, for me (though perhaps a glass of raw A2 cow, goat or sheep milk would have a different effect). It may not be for you. Dairy certainly wasn’t inflammatory for this group of adult men with metabolic syndrome, nor for this group of pregnant women. For both groups, the inclusion of dairy had an anti-inflammatory effect. That doesn’t mean dairy is inherently anti-inflammatory; it might just mean that dairy was better than whatever it replaced. Context.

So when I begin to rattle off my list of anti-inflammatory foods, keep these confounders in mind. Realize that what’s good for the chronically-inflamed, vegetable oil-guzzling goose may not be as crucial for the sprightly, sardine-slurping gander. If you’ve got a casein allergy, even the Maasai-iest dairy will be inflammatory. But what follows is a list (plus scientific references where applicable) of foods I’ve personally found to be anti-inflammatory. Since I don’t carry around a CRP-ometer, I’ve tried to include references if available.

Wild Fish Fat

Whether you get it through molecularly-distilled oil, deep-red wild sockeye, raw oysters, or by exclusively eating pastured animal products, omega-3s are required for a healthy inflammatory response. I feel off when I haven’t eaten any fish for a week or so, but eating salmon more than three days in a row doesn’t really work, either, because too much omega-3 is similarly problematic (shoot for between a 3:1 and 1:1 ratio of omega-6:omega-3). I can tell I’ve gone too long without fish fat when my arthritis starts to sneak up on me. The advice for reducing omega-6 across the board holds steady, of course, but everyone needs some form of fish fat. Another bonus is that it usually comes with healthy fish flesh, skin, bones, and sea minerals.

Omega-3 status is inversely associated with CRP in men. The higher the omega-3, the lower the systemic inflammation.

Daily fish oil for six months reduced inflammation in patients with metabolic syndrome and especially those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Delivering a “fish-fat” emulsion intravenously to patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome had anti-inflammatory and liver-protective effects.

Pastured Animal Fat

I was going to list grass-fed dairy, grass-fed beef/lamb, and pastured egg yolks as separate categories, but reconsidered. As I mentioned in my post on human interference factor, the unperturbed animals raised in relative harmony with their ancestry make the best, healthiest, least inflammatory food, while stressed-out animals raised in evolutionarily-novel conditions and on evolutionarily-novel feed make unhealthier and more inflammatory food. The important factor is that your animal fat comes from pastured animals who ate grass, that the chickens who laid your eggs ate grass and bugs and grains/seeds lower in omega-6. Pastured ruminant and dairy fat contains more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (PDF), an anti-inflammatory trans fatty acid, and pastured eggs contain more micronutrients and more omega-3 fats.

In one study, people with the highest levels of dairy-derived CLA in their tissues had the fewest heart attacks.

Eggs from chickens on a high-omega-6 diet were higher in omega-6, and they increased oxidized LDL in people who ate them.

Read this post to learn why getting CLA from dairy and animal fat is better than getting it from supplements.

Red Palm Oil

After treating red palm oil as more of an intellectual curiosity than a culinary tool for years, it has really grown on me. Lately, I’ve been tossing cubed, steamed butternut squash with red palm oil, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne, and turmeric. It’s an interesting taste, but it definitely works (and it’s a good dish for vegetarians, too). Roasting veggies in it is good as well, as is a spoonful on top of those white Japanese sweet potatoes (the starchier, not-so-sweet ones). Enough about taste, though – red palm oil is incredibly dense with antioxidants. Full spectrum vitamin E, CoQ10, vitamin A, and vitamin K, all incredibly important in maintaining antioxidant status, all make appearances.

When compared to the treasured monounsaturated fat, palm oil (high in saturated fat) greatly reduced oxidized LDL in humans. And that was refined palm oil. I suspect unrefined red palm oil, with all nutrients intact, would perform even better.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Pretty much every list of “Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods” contains broccoli or cauliflower or kale or cabbage, but I thought I’d one-up those writers and include them all. I probably eat cruciferous vegetables five, sometimes seven times a week, mostly because they taste good but also because they contain helpful compounds like sulforaphane.

Broccoli lowered colonic inflammation in mice.

Red cabbage reduced oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation.

Sulforaphane reduced inflammation in arteries.

Berries

Although blueberries top most anti-inflammatory food lists (I’ve even seen Kaiser Permanente ads on the sides of buses that feature massive photos of glistening blueberries), and for good reason, I think the other berries get left out. Let’s face it, though – there isn’t really a bad berry out there. I don’t put a lot of faith in the superfruit phenomenon (though I’m sure goji berries are perfectly healthy), but berries are just solid guys to have in your diet. They’re delicious. They’re low in sugar. They’re high in surface area, which means lots of skin and all the antioxidants and phenolics that come with it (but go organic for that same reason). They’re colorful, which means lots of bioactive pigments.

In men and women with metabolic syndrome, blueberries improved the related biomarkers, including markers of inflammation like oxidized LDL and serum malondialdehyde.

Preliminary evidence suggests that blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries can ameliorate metabolic syndrome through modulation of inflammation.

Turmeric

If you haven’t developed a taste for turmeric, I suggest you get on it. It is a potent anti-inflammatory spice, which protects against oxidation of dietary fats during cooking and against oxidative stress in the body after being eaten. You could go straight for the powerful stuff and simply take curcumin, the most active component of turmeric, but I’d suggest using the whole spice itself. That’s how it’s been used for thousands of years, and you’d miss out on the incredible flavor and color it provides otherwise. Somehow I doubt crumbling up curcumin pills would have the same culinary effect.

Turmeric beat both ginger and an anti-inflammatory drug for treating arthritis (I’ve had similar results).

Turmeric also upregulates LDL receptor activity. If you remember from past posts on inflammation, poor LDL receptor activity can leave LDL particles open and vulnerable to oxidation from inflammatory processes.

If you’re interested in reading more about the distinct health benefits of turmeric, check out my older post.

That’s what I’ve got. Dozens of other foods are perfectly healthy – staples, even – but the preceding foods are the ones that I find downright therapeutic. What about you? In the comment section, let me and everyone else hear about your favorite anti-inflammatory foods.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Turmeric is one of my favorites as well. I like to make turmeric tea and sip on a little bit each day. I do believe it helps!

    Michelle wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Yes, the Tumeric tea recipe that Mark posted a few weeks ago has quickly become a staple for me – not every day, but a few times a week.

      Duncan wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Such a strange color but turmeric is pretty cool stuff.

        Abel James wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • as far as color- no stranger than mustard color which is b/c of the turmeric in it.

          i put it on everything, including scrambled eggs. it will stain your teeth just like mustard stains clothes. have to use baking soda toothpase.

          wally wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Me too! I have a little before bed most nights, it helps me sleep.

        Caitlin wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • Me too.
          I sleep like a baby after a cup of turmeric tea.

          Melissa wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • Turmeric has been a staple in Indian cooking for generations. No Indian kitchen will ever be complete without having the stuff. As kids growing up whenever we had colds or coughs or were generally under the weather turmeric was a cure for everything. For a sore through our mothers would give us hot water with turmeric to gargle with, or a spoonful honey, turmeric and ghee heated up to sooth the throat.
          All home remedies included turmeric and most food too. I guess some old wives tales are true after all.

          Aloka wrote on January 28th, 2012
    • How do you make your turmeric tea? Just the powder in hot water or is there another form that is better?

      EZ wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Duncan wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Bruno wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • My personal favorite recipe is to melt some clarified butter or coconut oil in a pan, add a good amount of tumeric, with pinches of ground clove, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, etc (cocoa powder is a good adjunct, too). When that’s all stirred up, add heavy cream and milk (or coconut milk), let it warm up, take it off heat, stir in some raw honey (or stevia) and enjoy. Just the thing for Wisconsin winters.

        Erok wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • Oh, man that sounds good. This Flatlander is going to try that tonight.

          Duncan wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • Wicked! Have to try that one…

          firefly wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • That sounds wonderful…. soothing and relaxing.

          Lelani wrote on February 14th, 2012
      • Type in “turmeric tea” in the custom search engine at the top of the page. You will find a recipe there.

        samui_sakana wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • I’ll make it easy for ya… http://www.marksdailyapple.com/creamy-turmeric-tea/#axzz1kUZyNuy3

        Mark’s recipe for Creamy Tuermeric Tea. It looks like one of the most popular recipes on this site based on the comments!

        Primal Toad wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Our local store has been getting in Turmeric Root (from Hawaii) recently. It’s wonderful to cook with but I like to throw some into my smoothies (along with turmeric’s cousin ginger). Depending on the days other additions to the mix it can add an interesting color to glop. The taste is usually not strong enough to greatly alter the smoothie flavor, as the ginger may, and I appreciate the bit of texture it adds…there are other objects of texture, such as egg shells also. Go turmeric!

      Chris wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Ginger & Turmeric Tea. In the quest for the ultimate anti-inflammatory… is it too much to ask for both?

      I have been drinking this for a couple of years now, its amazing. Just slice up and simmer fresh ginger root in water for 10-15, add a pinch of turmeric, and you have yourself the most beautiful and tasty of anti-inflammatory concoctions imaginable.

      Sam Smyth wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Totally forgot about turmeric tea — I’m definitely going to have to make it! Perfect way to end a meal/day!!

      Jenn wrote on January 25th, 2012
  2. Gonna have to get my hands on some red palm oil

    Dani wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I bought some from Tropical Traditions over a year ago…. I haven’t opened it yet :( Kind of intimidated. This post just pumped up my courage a bit.

      samui_sakana wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • You really bought palm oil over a year ago and haven’t touched it yet?

        Primal Toad wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • It’s not that strong, tastes a bit grassy. I’ve added a teaspoon to coffee, and it’s fine. Turmeric itself has a stronger flavor.

        raydawg wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • My first order of it from Tropical Traditions came this month so this was very timely!

        Sandra wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Agreed!

      Burn wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • be warned – cooking (sauteeing) with red palm oil will leave an orange film everywhere! Make sure your kitchen exhaust fan is on :) It also has a different flavour. Other than that, it’s in my rotation of cooking oils

      peggy wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Hehe – good point, it does stain and has a weird taste, I haven’t bought it for a while but this post may have done enough to respark my desire for palm oil!

        Luke M-Davies wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Of late, I have enjoyed throwing veggies in a Dutch oven, and then adding broth before adding the meat on top. By using the Red Palm Oil, it adds additional good fat to the mix, but you don’t notice it because it dilutes with the broth/stock (homemade, of course…)

        Hope someone finds that useful…I have determined it’s definitely better this way than with my eggs. :-)

        Kerstin wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I’ve been meaning to try it for ages, will have to track some down..

      The Primalist wrote on January 25th, 2012
  3. I think this is Mark’s greatest post!

    Doug wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • It is certainly in the top ten, maybe the top five, but whether it is his greatest we will only know through the hindsight of history.

      rob wrote on January 25th, 2012
  4. This post contains a stunning amount of helpful information and links to more. Thank you so much, Mark!

    Owen Biesel wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Its basically a guide to healthy eating (and why its healthy) disguised as an easy to read top 6 list

      Doug wrote on January 25th, 2012
  5. This is exactly the list that I have been needing. Thanks so much! I love me some broccoli! :-)

    Yocheved wrote on January 25th, 2012
  6. I have been really learning to love kale lately. I am surprised because I have never experienced eating kale, collard or chard at all until this diet. Before if I tried it I always found it awful tasting but now I have figured out how to cook it and have gone from tolerating it to LOVING it!

    EZ wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Tuscan kale works well raw, too, marinaded in lemon, olive oil, spices.
      I even add a leaf to my morning smoothie. Adds texture, with very little change in taste.

      Ann Marie wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Collards are great cooked with bacon or bacon fat (or a bit of salt pork), with a dash of cider vinegar, minced onion, (good) salt, and black pepper.

      That’s a basic Deep South style of cooking collards and just a few tweaks – like using healthy pork sources – makes it primal friendly.

      rrustad wrote on January 25th, 2012
  7. I love that the first 3 all focus on FAT.

    Ande wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • ME TOO. I <3 FAT. :)

      Becca wrote on January 25th, 2012
  8. I’m going to order some red palm oil from Tropical Traditions. I almost did last week but was discouraged by some of the reviews alluding to a strong taste. Now that I know I know about the anti-inflammatory benefits, I’m going to use it therapeutically.

    Mark, in my experience, bone broth has some of the most potent anti-inflammatory properties. I’m sure you didn’t include it because it’s not a single
    ingredient food.

    Turmeric is amazing stuff! I put it into capsules and give it to my chronic cardio addicted husband when he complains of inflamed joints. Just make sure you consume it with a fat rich meal for maximum benefit.

    Sabrina wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I read a blog comments post that someone tried taking a few tablespoons of red palm oil every day to help prevent sunburn. I tried to find other examples on the web but it was just one comment. Did you ever read something that just resonated within you? There was nothing to prove it would work. I bought some (from Wilderness Family Naturals) anyway and tried it. I didn’t mind the flavor of the oil straight. I was expecting it to taste nasty. In the beginning of summer I took at least 1 T straight every day. Later I slacked off and only did it when I remembered. I cooked a few spicy things with it as well.

      I honestly don’t know if it worked. I am very fair skinned. I avoid sunscreens. When I have to use them, I choose the ones with the fewest chemicals, etc… I didn’t get sunburned but I also didn’t sit out and bake in the sun.

      Valerie H wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Red Palm oil straight is hard core! I was on a high fat diet last year and guzzled all kinds of oil and butter. Red Palm oil was the hardest to get down – at least for me…but I did not try cooking with it – Yowza – think I’ll skip that and stick with olive and coconut.

        sean wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Valerie!
        Astaxanthin is a great sunblock/anti inflammatory….here’s a good link
        http://www.naturalnews.com/033203_astaxanthin_sunburn.html

        Linda in TX wrote on February 1st, 2012
  9. I’ve started adding a half teaspoon of turmeric to my smoothies…not even noticeable amongst the berries and kale.

    Milemom wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I love hiding little extra bits of healthy spices and oils in things like smoothies, where you’d otherwise not taste them! :D

      Michael wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Anyone have a good link for Paleo smoothie recipes? I always used to make them with greek yogurt but I have cut all dairy out. I am sure I could come up with some on my own but I was hoping to hear what other people enjoy.
      Thanks.

      spayne wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Primal Toad might be able to help you there…

        http://www.primaltoad.com/smoothies/

        Primal Texas wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • I don’t do dairy either. Here’s my latest smoothie recipe: 1 c. organic blueberries (that I have stored frozen), 1 c. organic raspberries) also frozen, 4 T organic hemp seed, 2 T. unsweetened coconut, 2 organic medjool dates, a couple of handfuls of organic kale (also frozen after I buy it and rinse and spin it dry). A cup or so of unfiltered water- it gets up to the 2 and a half cup mark in the Vita-mix when I pour it over all the other stuff. Blend and drink. Delicious and nutritious.

        Penn wrote on July 6th, 2012
  10. Great list of food for inflammation. Try adding Resveratrol as well. Wonderful for heart diseases, cancers, inflammation. http://www.shop.com/Isotonix+reg+Resveratrol-561800350-p+.xhtml

    suz wrote on January 25th, 2012
  11. I also eat cruciferous veggies every day. Especially broccoli and cabbage. Berries are my other mainstay. I don’t eat much fish, which I probably should, but I live in Colorado. Fish just isn’t that great here. What we do have is lots of grass-finished beef, so I enjoy that often.

    Angeleen wrote on January 25th, 2012
  12. I LOVE cruciferous vegetables, but I’ve recently stopped eating them because they make me incredibly gassy… it’s so not OK. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to minimize that effect?

    Elizabeth wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • you should get use to them over time. you could try digestive enzymes http://www.shop.com/Isotonix+reg+Digestive+Enzymes+with+Probiotics-561800354-p+.xhtml
      You could also try steaming them, just a little. that way your system doesnt have to do ALL the work.

      suz wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • These vegtables are high in fiber as well which is a great thing. However if your bowel movements arent 2-3 times per day everyday then you may have an abundance of stool in the colon. With that being said, stool is the source of the vast majority of gas produced (~90%). Therefore when you eat high fiber foods or take a fiber supplement your retained stool gets extra hydrated and bulkier. When stool is hydrated and bulkier, like it should be, it will create gas. Therefore, as i tell my patients everyday, more is the answer instead of less. If you rid yourself of extra stool you are retaining then the extra gas is gone as well. Try An all natural psyllium based fiber supplement twice per day along with your vegtables, deal with the extra gas for a short period until extra stool is gone, and then all is well. On average a good dose of fiber powder is one tablespoon twice per day. There are many other forms also like chewables and wafers capsules are also available but are so small it takes on average 5-7 caps at a time to get a decent dose. Hope this helps!

      Erik wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Are you saying that I should be pooping 2-3 times per day? I most definitely don’t do this. I poop every morning. Once in a great while I won’t go at all or will go twice a day.

        Once is the norm. Why are you saying I should go 2-3 times per day?

        I rarely have gas unless I eat crap.

        You recommend psyllium based fiber supplement? I thought this was not the greatest thing in the world…

        Primal Toad wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • Todd, I’m with you: I cite Fibre Menace’s thorough smackdown of the need-fibre-to-poop line. If that were true, how do breast-fed babies poop? And lord knows, they can POOP!
          Apparently Ayurveda insists that we should poop after every meal.

          Lauren wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • @Toad, you are correct. Psyllium generally does more harm than good. I would stay away from any supplemental fiber. What you get from food is plenty. And it’s not accurate that you should “go” 2-3 times a day. Depends on a lot of different variables.

          Mark Sisson wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • I average around 2 movements a day, so I’m not sure that’s the problem… and I generally eat a lot of vegetables throughout the day, so I really shouldn’t be low on fiber…. but I’m down to give it a try. Thanks for the input!

        Elizabeth wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Psyllium Husk can be quite abrasive over time…add probiotics at night…slow introduction….for being regular, normal high fat diet, veggies, FAT (esp. coconut oil) is a better choice than harsh Psyllium in any form.

        Also, try de-stressing, lower abdominal massages ..up on right , down on left…exercise…and drink more fluids…:)

        firefly wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • You might try fermenting them. I find it really helps. Have you ever made sauerkraut? Very easy, and once you try it, you’ll be hooked. It’s a simple matter to move on to ferment other things. I’ve developed a ‘Kim Chi’ recipe which has grown into a laundry list of vegetables, broccoli included.

      Erok wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Yeah, I’ve been thinking that fermenting might hold a solution for me.. thanks!

        Elizabeth wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • If I feel like I have to work on a good poop, I’ll eat some of my homemade sauerkraut (got the recipe here, too!) That will make me go the next morning! Also, drinking enough water helps me, too. I had a hard time drinking the regular 8 cups a day, but then I read that bodybuilders try to drink a gallon a day. I tried it out of curiosity, thinking it would be overkill, but it turns out it worked wonders for making me more regular. I’ll have to search on this site and see if there are any posts here about water intake.

          Deanna wrote on January 26th, 2012
    • My mother always boiled cabbage with a little bit of milk in the water to avoid the gas-y properties of cabbage. Seemed to work, but I do not know why.

      martha wrote on January 27th, 2012
    • hi try eating a quarter of an apple < preferably Galla (a red greenmix) after EVERY mealto minimise your gassy ness. in two weeks you should se a huge difference. stick with it. it works.

      nicola wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  13. I love to use grated raw turmeric when I’m making various kinds of sauerkraut. The fermentation process modulates the flavor (which I like, though many people do not,) and taking a bite or two of this sauerkraut every day
    is an easy and appetizing way to get a dose of this incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory food in my diet. Plus, the turmeric gives the sauerkraut a gorgeous, deep golden color.

    Kathleen wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I haven been wanting to make sauerkraut for a while. I already make kim-chi and kombucha, but haven’t tried sauerkraut. Do you use a crock?

      samui_sakana wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I’ve been wanting to make homemade sauerkraut for a while. I may have to add turmeric to it when I get around to it… thanks for the idea!

      Primal Toad wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pickled-Cauliflower

      Just thought I’d put this recipe out there. It calls for turmeric. I didn’t add any sugar to mine and it was awesome.

      samui_sakana wrote on January 26th, 2012
  14. Turmeric gives my sister heartburn. Anyone else have that problem?

    Alexa wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Drop almost all the carbs you eat and your heartburn will dissapear.

      Gustaf Segerström wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Going very low carb does not always work for heartburn. Sometimes heartburn will increase due to LC. There are many causes of heartburn, unfortuately.

        DH wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • No, ofcourse not always, but in general, getting rid of carbs while eating more natural fat, usually helps. In Sweden tens of thousands of people have been helped with many things, from heart burn to diabetes, psoriasis, depressions and a long long list by eating fat instead of carbs.

          Max Gustaf Segerström wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Its a bit rough on my stomach. Seems to depend on what form its in and what its combined with. I’m also hoping that as more time goes by eating the Primal diet that my stomach will be less sensitive. Seems to be heading that way. Plan to try that delicious sounding Turmeric Tea soon.

      rrustad wrote on January 25th, 2012
  15. I’m definitely making some Curry Broccoli Soup now!! Mmmm…. it’s so nice when your food tastes good and it’s so good for you!

    April wrote on January 25th, 2012
  16. Great post Mark…the most sacred food that I feed my body is Green Pasture’s Blue Ice High Vitamin Butter Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Dr. Weston A Price did lots of research on this. His website has numerous articles that will help to teach about these amazing foods. Best anti-inflammatory hands down in my book. I get the cinnamon tingle. Now don’t scrunch your nose up…if my husband can take this…ANYONE can. Let’s see…my other favories are coconut oil,lots of homemade raw grass fed butter and kefir, sardines and using grass fed marrow bones to make broth. IMO…You want to build bone…you have to eat it. To your health!

    Penny wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I LOVE Blue Ice fermented CLO! Best fish oil supplement, seriously worth the steep-ish price in my opinion! When I started taking it, my skin, sleep, stress, all improved, while I had seen no sizeable effects with other fish oils.

      Milla wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • How funny you mention this food… I just finished listening to the Balanced Bites Paleo 101 podcast where Liz mentions this product. I have heard about it before and wish to try it out. When I have some extra cash I’ll for sure give it a swirl.

      Do you take it out of the jar or do you take the tablets?

      Primal Toad wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Out of the jar…it’s a thick gel. It won’t come off the spoon if you turn it over. Put it on the back of my tongue and take a swig of my raw milk kefir or smoothie. You will love it. I have some clients who actually put it on toast. Oh…any my dog loves it too…he is palio BTW.

        Penny wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I buy this too. I really wonder whether Dr. Price used fermented cod liver oil. His book only says cod liver oil. How do we know what was standard cod liver oil then? Was it fermented? I think back in Scandinavia it was fermented by default. It became a medicinal item in England in the 19th century.

      Valerie H wrote on January 25th, 2012
  17. Amazing post, love it, and I love all the foods on there!

    But one thing I was rather bothered about was the big meals thing. I usually have a big-ish breakfast (I don’t eat past satiety, but it’s relatively big), and then dont get hungry till dinner. Again, I don’t really overeat, but its still 2 big meals rather than 3 or 4 smaller ones people usually eat. Is this a problem?

    Milla wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Isn’t part of the Grok ethic: do what feels good to you … as in “Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you feel full?” No worries, be happies.

      sean wrote on January 25th, 2012
  18. Must… try… turmeric…

    Mary wrote on January 25th, 2012
  19. And BUTTER! Yum Yum, butter is awesome!

    Paul Alexander wrote on January 25th, 2012
  20. Mark may have cited this before, but here is a cool article about the probiotic effects of fermented veggies (sauerkraut = cabbage + probiotics!), and an interesting mention that they think this kind of veggie fermentation was around before homo sapiens!!

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/73/2/380S.full.pdf+html

    Mike wrote on January 25th, 2012
  21. How about the goiterogenic properties of cruciferous veggies? A lot of the population (myself included) suffer from compromised thyroid/adrenal function.
    How to get around this issue?

    Barb wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Cook them! It will significantly reduce the amount of nitriles and goitrogens.

      [And you don't have to steam or boil the hell out of them either... Roasting works well for a lot of cruciferous vegetable.]

      Primal Texas wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Thank you. All I have ever heard is “cooked properly” but no one ever seems to say what “properly” is. I like broccoli very lightly steamed – just till the color starts to change – so I was hoping that was enough. Others I don’t mind cooking longer but not to mush!

        rrustad wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Thank you for bringing this subject up. I was planning to myself if no one else did. I was soooo disappointed when I learned about this property – I love this type of vegetable and I have thyroid disorder.

      rrustad wrote on January 25th, 2012
  22. I find turmeric tea a bit rich for every day, so I just mix 1/2 teaspoon of the spice in a shotglass with water, and chug it. It doesn’t taste the best but it’s doable, and I’ve found it’s great at preventing and treating my arthritis pain. I also make east Indian pickles with cauliflower and turmeric, and eat a bit each day with lunch.

    Brenda wrote on January 25th, 2012
  23. Great post. The only dairy I eat is raw, unpasturized, non-homongenized goats’ or cows milk, which I then ferment. So, a daily milk kefir smoothie with blueberries, a raw pastured egg, coconut oil and whatever else I feel like tossing in does the job for me.

    It’s my theory that if people would eat more raw, fermented dairy and stay away from the garbage in the grocery store, their bodies would be a lot healthier and they would experience less GI distress. Plus, raw cheese tastes wonderful!!

    Well, I’m off to make some kimchi!

    AnnieC wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Fermented cow’s milk – isn’t that yoghurt?
      Some people who cannot digest raw cow’s milk can in fact consume yoghurt!
      Fermented usually refers to cultured dairy products.

      Dean McGaveston wrote on October 26th, 2012
  24. Hey Mark,
    Great article as usual, but I am concerned about environmental impacts of food production, as I know you are as well.
    Palm oil is one of the bad guys that we should be aware of and I would like to hear your thoughts.
    I spend the extra money to have responsibly raised meat, dairy, and eggs, and also try to avoid palm oil (not easy). Even though palm oil is good for us, don’t you feel odd putting it in your top 6 anti-inflammatory foods because it is so environmentally unfriendly?
    Thanks

    John wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • That’s used for bio fuel not for food.Palm oil has been used for millenia as a food in Africa.

      dave wrote on January 26th, 2012
  25. Fabulous start to the grocery list! Btw- Apples, take a second to vote for our favorite pow-wow (MDA!)on Healthline’s Best Health Blog of 2011 Contest at http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest. I just nominated us so… (say it with me)… Grok On!

    jules wrote on January 25th, 2012
  26. I love turmeric and have added it to almost everything I eat for years. My 11-year-old son now enjoys turmeric (and a bunch of other spices) sprinked on top of his salmon (1/3 kids almost primal is better than 0!). However, now I find out the turmeric imported into Canada is irradiated. I’m wondering how this – I’m sure it must – changes it’s health-improving properties.

    Mark Cruden wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Penzeys has great non-irradiated turmeric. It’s very strong though, so they recommend using less than the recommended amount in recipes.

      Sabrina wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • Thanks, Sabrina.

        Mark Cruden wrote on January 25th, 2012
  27. Montmorency – or sour cherries – have one the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. The pressed juice is a super elixir (always calmed my muscle pains when I was competing as a professional athlete is swimming and triathlons. The anti-inflammatory substance found in the peel of the fruit contains the same enzyme as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. The sugar content is naturally high, but this might be one exceptionally healthy indulgence for primal peeps! :)

    Monika wrote on January 25th, 2012
  28. If you have red palm oil, make ndole. Delicious. If you can’t get bitter greens, kale and spinach works well :)

    Katherine wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I just looked up a few versions of recipes for ndole. YUM!!! I am going to try this out – thanks for the idea. Just will sub almond butter for the peanuts :)

      peggy wrote on January 25th, 2012
  29. Red Palm oil is associated with deforestation. Farmers typically clear rain forests at an alarming rate to plant their Palm crops.

    Ed Dudley wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I think it depends on where it is sourced. I believe the African kind is sustainable whereas the Asian kind (broadly speaking) is not.

      Sabrina wrote on January 25th, 2012
  30. Shocked to see that Turmeric outdid Ginger in the anti-inflammatory ranks…I’m guessing Garlic sits just below these guys as it didn’t make Marks top 6 list…

    Glad I did give Turmeric its own spotlight on my site as it deserves it!
    http://www.lmdfitness.com/nutrition/terrific-turmeric/

    Luke M-Davies wrote on January 25th, 2012
  31. So I just checked my Brunswick Sardines.A good, fatty fish.16g protein,9g fat, 0g of carbs. So far so good. But 2g omega 6, 1g omega 3, 4g monounsaturated fat. Why? Because it’s packed in Soya (Canola?) oil.
    DOH.

    Digger wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • LOL !

      I really should eat more sardines…

      Arty wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Yes, it is very annoying how many sardines you find on store shelves are packed in soybean oil. You have to read the labels.

      Geoff wrote on January 29th, 2012
  32. Thank you Mark. Great post. I’m putting red palm oil in my rotation.

    James wrote on January 25th, 2012
  33. Love your posts, Mark! Going to try the tea this week. =)

    Jennifer Minar-Jaynes wrote on January 25th, 2012
  34. I’m curious how cinnamon stacks up against turmeric as an anti-inflammitory?

    Justin blizzywtf wrote on January 25th, 2012
  35. So my guess is Tropical Traditions will now be out of stock on red palm oil…everybodys running over there to get some…gah.

    Arty wrote on January 25th, 2012
  36. Baked Kale Chips using Red Palm Oil are may all time favorite snack, and now I know them to be anti-inflammatory. Oh, happy day!

    Kim C. wrote on January 25th, 2012
  37. Has anyone tried the anatabloc supplement?

    The minimum order is $100 for 200 pills and I’m reluctant to try it without a favorable, unbiased opinion.

    Steve wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • I use antabloc and it think works. I am trying to get my father to use it daily as he does not eat/live paleo and suffers from chronic inflammation. The irony is he will take prescription pills but not a nutraceutical, even if it is free! (I’d provide them for him).

      I own no stock in Star Scientific.

      liberty1776 wrote on January 25th, 2012
  38. Some websites claim Turmeric/Curcumin absorption is enhanced when combined with Black Pepper (active ingredient is Pipperine).

    PaleorumbaBob wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • Yes, supposedly turmeric should be used along with black pepper to enhance its anti-inflammatory effects. My source for this is the book “Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life” by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber.

      Cynthia wrote on January 25th, 2012
  39. About the veg…they only give gas if they aren’t organic. Don’t go by the label go buy if they give you gas or not.

    I love turmeric with my cabbage and other veg. It goes really well with chicken too. We put chicken in a pot with carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, turmeric, pepper and maybe some other spice. Yummy meal in a pot.

    loligoss wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • That’s incorrect. Organic or not has no effect on whether you get gas from cruciferous vegs or any vegs. If you are prone to gas from a fruit or veg, eat small amounts until you become unaffected, and watch your total fiber intake.

      HillsideGina wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • I wouldn’t say it’s incorrect. I know how it affects me. I know I can’t digest the cruciferous vegs without gassing and bloating but I can when it comes from my CSA box.

        I discovered the same works for organic milk as opposed to regular. I switched to lactose free only to discover it wasn’t the lactose that was the problem. Now I have 3% organic milk and my tummy is much better for it.

        loligoss wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • I agree. I don’t believe that organic vs. non has anything to do with gas production. However, cooking these vegatables well does help to reduce gas.

        Sabrina wrote on January 25th, 2012
  40. I’ve developed a taste to Tumeric all over my omelette made of pastured eggs.

    richard wrote on January 25th, 2012

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