The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Including Anti-Inflammatory Foods in your Diet


Austin Yeargan III MD

Brittany LaRussa BS


Regenerative Medicine Clinic, 5425 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403.

 Keep in my everybody is different, and what works for one person may not work for the next person which is why you should take the following information with a grain of salt, experiment a little with these different foods that have been listed and see which ones make YOU feel your best and 100 percent self. This diet is by no means mandatory however, we don’t have control over aspects like pollution, injury, or sickness that increases inflammation in our bodies but we do have control over what we feed our bodies so we might as well take a step in a good healthy direction


A lot of times when individuals think “Reduce Inflammation” they look straight to their medicine cabinet for an anti-inflammatory drug which in many cases does help however, how cool would it be to not have to take medication that has more harmful effects to your internal body than helpful? Well many studies have been done that say changing your diet can actually have the same if not a better effect than medication for inflammation.


After reading over this conclusive, but not exhaustive list of recommended foods for healthy living, you may discover that your diet is in dire need of repair. Eating healthy is part of your stem cell transplant treatment and if you want to get the most from your treatment, your lifestyle has to match your desire to avoid expectation-result mismatch. It doesn’t have to be all or none, these are just guidelines to help you understand the concepts behind healthy habits to preserve your joints and your lifestyle. 



Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis 


People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have immune systems that harm the lining of their joint, damaging tissues and causing inflammation, stiffness and pain. A Mediterranean diet’s tasty fare like olive oil, fish, greens and other vegetables lowers inflammation and relieves symptoms. While less common than the wear and tear type of arthritis known as osteoarthritis (OA), the same concepts apply when trying to lower inflammation naturally. 




Inflammation is the natural healing response to injury and without it, our tissues can’t heal. Acute inflammation is typically a protective and localized response to infection or injury. It’s designed to heal the body and restore normal tissue function. When inflammation is out of control, it can even be destructive, cause pain and damage tissues, rather than repair them. Chronic inflammation can be responsible for joint pain that doesn't respond well to conventional treatment modalities. 

Mesenchymal stem cell injection therapy (MSCT) is an alternative medical treatment that may help you to return to a higher level of activity. Combining MSCT with other conservative treatment options, like an anti-inflammatory diet and low-impact exercise may optimize non-operative arthritis care. 



Examples of Anti-Inflammatory Foods


 FATTY FISH – Oily fish like tuna, salmon, trout and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids, the good fats. Healthy choices like fish, prepared using healthy cooking options like baking or broiling can add to health and vitality. Consumption may lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. In a 2009 study from the University of Hawaii, men who ate baked or boiled fish (as opposed to fried, dried, or salted) cut their risk of heart disease by 23% compared to those who ate the least. 

Not a fish fan? A fish oil supplement can be substituted. However, based on a 2013 study, if your diet is high in processed foods and vegetable oils, fish oil supplements may actually incite inflammation. 

A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains: 

Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene). Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA. Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA. Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA. Manganese: 26% of the RDA. Calcium: 9% of the RDA. Copper: 10% of the RDA. Potassium: 9% of the RDA. Magnesium: 6% of the RDA. Then it contains 3% or more of the RDA for Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Iron and Phosphorus. This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein. 

The majority of the small amount of fat in kale and other healthy greens is the omega-3 fatty acid (alpha linolenic acid) that has been identified as another healthy choice. 

anti-inflammatory content of any food. Consuming 1.5 cups of tart cherries or drinking 1 cup of tart cherry juice daily has been recommended as the serving size necessary to experience health benefits. 

A 1 ounce (3 tbsp) serving of flaxseeds contains: 

Omega-3 (ALA) 6,338mg Fiber 8g Protein 6g Vitamin B1 31% RDA 

Manganese 35% RDA Magnesium 30% RDA Phosphorus 19% RDA Selenium 10% RDA 

Flaxseeds contain vitamin B6, Iron, potassium, copper and zinc, all essential to wound healing. This flax seed nutrition profile makes it easy to see why it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. 



Examples of Foods to Avoid


 these carbs typically have the fiber removed from them. Fiber promotes fullness, improves blood sugar levels and feeds the benifical bacteria in your gut improving your digestive system.

Refined sugars not only increase inflammation, they also may increase your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease as well as depression, dementia, liver disease, and certain types of cancer.

Refined sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, which are processed to extract the sugar. It is typically found as sucrose,

Deep frying foods is a common and inexpensive way to prepare food. Fried foods taste good however, they are high in calories and trans fat which have a bad impact on ones health and increases inflammation factors

Red meats are high in saturated fat which raises LDL cholesterol levels and in turn increases ones risk of heart disease and increases inflammation factors.  


Foods that create and/or aggravate inflammation are those which are processed, high in sugar and/or contain gluten (such as bread, pasta, cereal crackers, pretzels, baked goods, etc). Trail mixes and granolas can contain high levels of sugar. Carefully choose high fiber varieties and observe portion sizes. Dried fruits are tasty but can contain high levels of sulfur and sugar. Flavored soy milk may also contain high levels of sugar. 

Avoid energy drinks and choose water instead. Energy drinks aren’t regulated by the FDA an often contain heavy doses of added caffeine. 

Highly processed deli meats can be high in nitrates and sodium so be sure to identify what kind of turkey or other meat you are really being served. In general, turkey is the healthiest deli meat. Avoid the London broil and the roast beef. 


Brittany LaRussa Orthobiologics surgery and research coordinator

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