Anti-inflammatory Diets: The Basics

Anti-inflammatory Diets: The Basics

By Daniel Rocha LMT CPT CNS 


Scientific studies have determined that chronic inflammation is usually a predecessor to insulin resistance, cancer, and obesity. A considerable amount of research reveals the benefits of certain foods in decreasing inflammation and lessening chronic disease and symptoms. A whole-food, plant-based diet is the most popular anti-inflammatory diet, but there is no one anti-inflammatory diet; instead, various diets are designed around eating foods that decrease inflammation and shunning foods that aggravate the inflammatory processes. Many anti-inflammatory diets are founded around whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fresh vegetables, and fruits, which all aid in the body's natural healing of inflammation. They ban foods that trigger inflammation, such as refined grains, wheat, corn, full-fat dairy, all meat, caffeine, alcohol, peanuts, sugar, and saturated and trans-saturated fats.

The typical foundation of anti-inflammatory diets is that low grades of inflammation are the harbinger and antagonize many chronic diseases. A Naprapathic treatment clears vitaways, and the body heals itself once these foods are stopped being eaten. There is evidence that anti-inflammatory spices reduce cell oxidation, which results in cell death and damage. These spices fight the aging process and degenerative diseases and improve impaired endocrine function.

Foods that irritate inflammation


Known as “the Western dietary pattern,” a diet high in refined grains, red meat, butter, processed meats, poultry, dairy, sweets and desserts, pizza, potatoes, eggs, hydrogenated fats, and soft drinks cause an increase in inflammation. This dietary pattern increases circulating blood CRP levels and raises the risk for chronic diseases, obesity, and cancers. These foods are termed “pro-inflammatory,” as they increase inflammation, increasing a patient's risk of chronic illnesses while exacerbating symptoms from chronic conditions.

Food sensitivities or allergens also trigger inflammation but are challenging to detect with standard blood tests; patients have seen an alleviation of symptoms when irritating foods are removed from their diet. Common food allergens are milk and dairy, wheat, corn, eggs, beef, yeast, and soy. Within the scope of practice for a Naprapath is dietary counseling, which can help a patient set up a healthier lifestyle. 


Enter Turmeric

Turmeric, whose botanical name is Curcuma longa, is a Curcuma botanical group that is part of the ginger family of herbs, Zingiberaceae. Turmeric is known as a kitchen spice and for its medicinal uses. Two related plants, Curcuma petiolate and Curcuma roscoeana, are Cambodia natives and are grown for decorative foliage and blossoms. Turmeric root has an aromatic aroma and a bitter, peppery taste reminiscent of ginger, as it colors the saliva yellow, leaving a warm sensation in the mouth when eaten. 

Powdered turmeric root is a popular spice, frequently used in Eastern cooking, is an ingredient of curry powders, and is also used to give the mustard its yellowish color. It can be used as a substitute for saffron. Western herbal medicine use has declined over the years. Still, turmeric has long been used in Eastern medicine, both Oriental herbal medicine and Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine from India. Turmeric is described as an herb that can protect the liver against toxic substances, such as heavy metals such as lead, prevent the formation of gallstones or decrease the size of stones already formed, and increase the flow of bile.

Some studies have confirmed that turmeric presents anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in the treatment of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Alcohol extracts of turmeric can reduce blood sugar, which is beneficial as a treatment for diabetes. Using turmeric as a food seasoning reduces serum cholesterol, while a  substance known as a lipopolysaccharide isolated from the turmeric root boosts and increases the activity of the immune system. Turmeric effectively destroys gram-positive salmonella bacteria in vitro and illustrates anti-fungal properties.

Naprapathy principles encourage an anti-inflammatory diet while using healthy foods to help heal the body. The proper use of spices and herbs dramatically complements naprapathic and other manual therapy treatments. 


M. Porter, Megan C., RD, LD, and Steve Blake, ScD. "Anti-Inflammatory Diets." The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, edited by Deirdre S. Hiam, 5th ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2020, pp. 132-136. Gale Health and Wellness, Accessed 30 Aug. 2022.


Schonbeck, Joan, and Steve Blake, ScD. "Turmeric." The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, edited by Deirdre S. Hiam, 5th ed., vol. 5, Gale, 2020, pp. 2702-2704. Gale Health and Wellness, Accessed 30 Aug. 2022.

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