Anti Inflammatory Food List (PDF is FREE to download)

If you are looking for a printable anti inflammatory food list pdf, you’ve come to the right place.  You can download this printable anti inflammatory food list (pdf) for reference, or read on to learn more about the power of these anti-inflammatory foods for better health.

Headlines on anti-inflammatory foods make the news on a regular basis. Anti-inflammatory foods are seen as magic bullets to chronic inflammation in North America. Rightfully so, since reducing inflammation via dietary means can also reduce the risk of disease.

Top Takeaways

  • Anti-inflammatory foods can reduce chronic inflammation, which is linked to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
  • These foods work by neutralizing free radicals, reducing oxidative stress, and inhibiting inflammation. They often contain antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • An anti-inflammatory diet includes foods like leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, and nuts, while avoiding red meats, processed meats, added sugars, certain fats, and refined grains.
  • Reducing inflammation also involves lifestyle changes such as limiting alcohol, being physically active, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.

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Food can influence the level of inflammation in the body (1).  Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to injury, infection, or other forms of stress. 

But when inflammation becomes chronic (or ongoing for more than 6 weeks) it has been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic pain and autoimmune disorders.  That’s because inflammation response damages healthy cells and tissues

Anti-inflammatory foods work by reducing inflammation in the body through a variety of mechanisms.

Many anti-inflammatory plant-based foods foods are high in antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, a common cause of inflammation.

Other anti-inflammatory foods contain compounds that can directly inhibit inflammation, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.

Anti-inflammatory foods are important for overall health because chronic inflammation has been linked to many chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.

Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce inflammation, which can in turn reduce the risk of these diseases and improve risk factors like high blood pressure and weight loss.

Additionally, many anti-inflammatory foods are also nutrient-dense and provide important vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are essential for overall health.

How Do You Know If You Have Inflammation

Some signs and symptoms of inflammation are:

  • Body pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Acid reflux
  • Weight changes
  • Frequent infections

Another way your doctor may test for inflammation is with a C-reactive protein test (CRP). CRP is a protein produced by the liver in response of inflammation.  Thus, a higher CRP may indicate some inflammation in the body (4).

Anti Inflammatory Diet

An anti-inflammatory diet is not well defined.  They include healthy foods that have antioxidants like vegetables, plenty of fruits, nuts, legumes, spices and herbs. Diets like the Mediterranean, DASH diet, portfolio and MIND diet are dietary patterns that include anti-inflammatory foods.

The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) was developed as one way to describe the inflammatory potential of a diet (2). The DII has been used to examine associations of an inflammatory diet and multiple health outcomes (3). 

From there, a nutrition index score was created to study inflammation index of foods (4) which is where I based this list printable food list for anti-inflammatory diet.

Because an anti-inflammatory diet is not well defined, this food list for anti-inflammatory diet is a good start to reduce inflammation and the inflammatory response in you body.

Not surprisingly, this list of anti inflammatory foods (pdf) contains foods that unclog arteries and manage blood pressure too.

Printable Anti Inflammatory Food List (PDF)

The following anti-inflammatory foods list of nutrient-dense foods is taken from the Anti-inflammatory Scale Study (4). You can download your printable list of anti-inflammatory foods pdf here.

Leafy Greens and Cruciferous Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables contain a variety of potent antioxidants (e.g., β-carotene, folacin, magnesium, calcium, glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, lutein, and indoles); contain flavonoids and polyphenols, which plays a key role in cellular protection against oxidative stress and inflammation. Some dark leafy greens include:

Lettuce (iceberg, romaine)
Brussel sprouts
Bok Choy


Contain β-carotene, vitamin C, and lycopene, the latter of which is one of the most powerful antioxidants among the natural carotenoids.

Tomato Juice
Tomato Sauce

Apples and Berries

Contain powerful antioxidants called flavonoids (e.g., anthocyanins, quercetin, and phenolic acids) that suppress proinflammatory production.

Apple juice or cider

Deep Yellow Or Orange Vegetables and Fruits

Contain provitamin A carotenoids (e.g., β-carotene and α-carotene), a strong antioxidant.

Dark yellow or orange squash
Sweet potatoes

Other Fruits

Contain antioxidants (e.g., flavonoids, such as hesperidin, naringenin, neohesperidin, limonene, vitamin C, β-cryptoxanthin, plant sterols, salicylates, naringin, nobelitin, and narirutin).


Other Vegetables

Contain antioxidants and polyphenols.

Green Peppers


Contain folacin, iron, isoflavones, protein, vitamin B6, and have a high antioxidant capacity; rich in fiber, which is associated with beneficial alterations to the gut microbiota, reducing immune response in the gut.

String beans
Lima beans
All other beans


Contain omega-3 fatty acids, which compete with proinflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.

Other light and dark meat fish
Breaded fish cakes
Fish sticks


Inversely associated with inflammation because they contain low amounts of saturated fat and L-arginine, which improves endothelium-dependent dilation (precursor of the endogenous vasodilator nitric oxide) and decreases platelet aggregation

Chicken without the skin
Turkey without the skin

Low and High Fat Dairy

Contains calcium, which binds bile acids and free fatty acids, decreasing oxidative damage in the gut; dairy fat contains fatty acids with potential inflammation-reducing properties.

Skim, 1%, 2% milk
Low and high fat ice cream
Low and high fat yogurt
Cream cheese
Other low and high fat cheeses
Low fat cottage or ricotta cheese

Coffee and Tea

Tea contains flavonoids and antioxidants (e.g., epicatechin and quercetin); coffee contains phytochemicals and antioxidants, such as javamide.

Coffee (decaffeinated and regular)
Herbal tea
Non herbal Tea


Contain omega-3 fatty acids and L-arginine (reducing inflammation with mechanisms similar to those described in “Fish” and “Poultry”)

Peanut Butter
Other Nuts
Image of Veronica Rouse with Free 7 day heart healthy meal plan freebie.

Anti Inflammatory Food List To Avoid

The following list is taken from the Anti-inflammatory Scale Study (4)

Red and Organ Meats

Contain heme iron, which increases the bioavailability of iron, which in turn increases oxidative stress; they contain omega -6 fatty acids, which increase oxidative stress through free radical production and contain saturated fats that increase proinflammatory bile acids in the colon.

Other organ meats

Processed Meat

Contain heme iron, higher saturated fat contents omega-6 fatty acids and additives, such as nitrites, with suspected proinflammatory properties.

Beef or pork hot dog
Chicken or turkey hot dog
Other processed meats

Added Sugars

Sparse in nutrients; induce high blood sugar after and reduce nitric oxide availability; elevate proinflammatory free fatty acid levels; produce oxidative stress through oxidation of fat.

Sugar sweetened soda
Chocolate candy bars
Other mixed candy bars
Candy without chocolate
Dried or canned fruit

Other Fats

Contain omega-6 fatty acids and saturated fats.

Vegetable Oil

Refined Grains And Starchy Vegetables

Some processed grains contain emulsifiers, which potentially break down mucin in the gut leading to inflammation and induce high blood sugar.

Cold and cooked breakfast cereal
White or dark bread 
English muffins
Corn bread
White rice
Potatoes (French fried, scalloped, mashed, baked, boiled)
Sweet potato/yam
Potato chips
Sweet rolls
Coffee cakes
Granola bars

I hope this printable list of anti-inflammatory foods serves as a evidenced based resource for you and your family. In summary you may have noticed a pattern that the foods you need to eat to help with inflammation are whole plant foods that are less processed.

Other Ways To Reduce Inflammation

  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Participate in physical activity
  • Stop smoking
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

Simple Ways To Start Eating An Anti-inflammatory Diet

There are lots of foods you can try to make it more nutrient dense.  Here are a few ideas that can add up to big changes in your diet and overall health.

  • Try different types of vegetables and fruits in your meals and snacks, experiment and have fun!  
  • Fill at least ¾ of your plate with plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  • Prepare meatless meals often. Substitute animal meat for plant protein like nuts, seeds, tofu and and legumes.
  • Use healthy fats such as nut or seed butters and avocado. Healthy fats and oils contain antioxidants and help you absorb some nutrients better.
  • Use a small amount of water when steaming or microwaving vegetables. This helps prevent antioxidant losses into the water.
  • Focus on adding food, not eliminating or subtracting foods – you will be less hungry for the inflammatory foods with all the added fiber
  • Swap out refined grans for whole grians like quinoa and brown rice
  • Choose whole foods for snacks instead of processed foods
  • Switch sugar drinks for water or herbal teas
  • Instead of high fat meats, try lean sources like chicken, fish and beans
  • Choose oatmeal in the morning instead of sugary cereals

Anti-inflammatory Recipes

Anti-inflammatory Cookbooks

The following books would be a great place to start exploring plant forward cooking

Anti inflammation Diet Plan – Sample Day

Here is a sample meal plan using the printable list of anti-inflammatory foods, which can also be an excellent anti-inflammatory grocery list pdf. Trying new foods is an important part of an overall healthy diet to move away from the standard American diets and towards one with health benefits

Breakfast Banana Cream Overnight Oats

Lunch Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Dinner Pesto Butter Salmon With Beans And Spinach

Snack smoothies, fruit, yogurt, low sodium hummus or sardine dip with vegetables are all good options

Final Thoughts

If you haven’t grabbed your printable anti inflammatory food list pdf list yet, do so now. This document can also serve as an anti inflammatory grocery list pdf as well.

I hope this list of anti inflammatory foods can be useful to you while you add more healthy foods to your way of eating while you are working on lifestyle changes for positive anti-inflammatory effects.

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