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Health Monster

An Anti-Inflammatory Diet Check-List That Can Transform Your Life


Inflammation is a sign that something in the body is off balance, and it’s not always easy to spot like you might imagine. Many times, it’s not just the plague of joint pain or arthritis, but other forms of disease we tend to overlook or overwrite as other issues. Inflammation can hide itself under the sneaky mask of digestion problems, chronic fatigue, moodiness, food cravings, and is the marker for many diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Anytime the body is off balance, inflammation is almost always present.

Acid Versus Alkaline: Why It Matters

The concept of an alkaline/acid diet has been used for years as a popular way to describe the nature of the body’s pH levels. Foods that are alkaline promote an alkaline body, while acidic foods promote an acidic body that leads to inflammation. An alkaline body (which is established in the blood where inflammation can begin) feels energetic, free from joint pain most of the time, and will operate smoothly all the way from digestion to their overall sense of well-being. An alkaline body tends to crave more healthy, fresh foods and feels great (overall) most of the time. An acidic body on the other hand, is like a slippery slope. One or two habits can quickly lead to a host of health problems quickly. Drinking, smoking, eating junk food and a lack of rest all quickly lead to inflammation.

Our diet and our lifestyle choices are two of our most powerful weapons at fighting back against inflammation. To help you feel great and have a more alkaline body, here’s a quick checklist to keep with you to make sure you’re feeling your best.

Foods to Avoid (Very Inflammatory)

These foods should be avoided as much as possible. If you’re transitioning into a plant-based diet and having a hard time giving up animal products, see our tips for transitioning to help you out. Also, go ahead and kick the habit for sugar and refined grains now. They serve you no health benefits and have been linked to detrimental forms of disease, not to mention food addictions and weight gain. Energize your life by avoiding these:

  1. Meat
  2. Fish
  3. Anything with dairy
  4. Eggs
  5. Alcohol
  6. Nicotine/Drugs
  7. Refined Grains
  8. Processed Soy
  9. Processed Sugars and Artificial sweeteners (corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, cane juice, dextrose, sucrose, sucralose, aspartame, stevia products with added GMO corn sources such as maltodextrin)
  10. Highly Processed Foods (low-quality cereals, chips, snacks)
  11. Coffee (we suggest an organic, fair-trade and even low-acid coffee if you have to have your daily cuppa)
  12. Fried Foods
  13. Anything fast food
  14. Sodas
  15. Energy Drinks


Foods to Eat A Few Times a Week or Only on Special Occasions:



These foods are extremely acid by nature but some may be fine once or twice a week – take note of how each one makes you feel after you eat it. If it makes you achy, tired, moody, and suffer cravings, you might want to avoid it as much as possible. Everyone’s bodies handle acid foods differently, so listen to your body to see how it reacts.

  1. Vinegars (except apple cider vinegar, which is alkaline)
  2. Processed chocolate
  3. Wheat
  4. Roasted nuts and seeds
  5. Roasted nut butters (non-raw)
  6. Soy-based processed proteins (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers)- Choose whole forms of soy such as miso (fermented) or edamame (shelled green soybeans) instead and try making your own veggie burgers at home.
  7. Non-sprouted or non-soaked grains, except for millet and wild rice (See the benefits of soaking and sprouting here and test your first batch out of overnight oats if you haven’t already!)
  8. Natural sugars like coconut or maple, agave, etc.
  9. Dried fruits with added sugars or sulfites
  10. Salad dressings


Foods to Eat Without Abandon:

Roasted-Veggies-With-Buttery-Garlic-and-Spinach-Salad--1200x800 (1)

These foods are all incredibly healthy for you! Eat more vegetables, fruits, and leafy greens than others on the list, but all are worthy of a spot in your daily diet. Enjoy them, and be sure to fill your diet with these whenever possible in place of foods that provide less nourishment.

  1. Leafy greens
  2. Vegetables (all
  3. Fruits (all, especially lemons and limes)
  4. Soaked and properly prepared beans and legumes
  5. Plant-based whole food- based (non-GMO, preferably raw) protein powders
  6. Superfoods and green powders
  7. Raw nuts and seeds
  8. Raw nut butters
  9. Dates and Dried Figs (Keep dried fruit to a minimal compared to fresh fruit, but it does leave an alkaline ash in the body.)
  10. Soaked and/or sprouted grains (especially wild rice and millet, which actually need no soaking or sprouting but are alkaline by nature)
  11. Seaweed (spirulina, nori, kelp, dulse)
  12. Herbal Tea
  13. Apple Cider Vinegar (raw, with the mother)
  14. Sauerkraut and kimchi
  15. Coconut kefir
  16. Water
  17. Green Juices and Smoothies
  18. Liquid alcohol-free stevia or stevia glycerite
  19. Herbs and spices
  20. Sprouts

What About….?

So obviously, there will be some middle ground foods such as unsweetened non-dairy milk, condiments like mustard or salsa, vegan yogurt,  etc. that all have their place in one’s diet. The idea isn’t to make your diet 100 percent perfectly pure, but instead to base 90 percent of your diet off anti-inflammatory foods. That leaves a little wiggle room for your daily servings of processed almond milk, condiments of choice, and yes, your coffee and your tea!

Other Anti-Inflammatory To-Do’s

You should also be sure you get plenty of rest, regular exercise to keep your blood and lymph flowing through your body, and manage your stress through silent time, daily walks in nature, relaxation, mediation and/or yoga. Remember that stress can be just as inflammatory to the body as your food. Take care of yourself in all forms to experience the benefits of a healthy, anti-inflammatory life, both on and outside your plate.

Test out an anti-inflammatory diet this week and see how much better you’ll feel in no time!

BONUS Recommendation: Download the Food Monster App

baked samosa flautas

If you enjoy articles and recipes like these and want more, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.

The Food Monster app has over 8k recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8k+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!

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13 comments on “An Anti-Inflammatory Diet Check-List That Can Transform Your Life”

Click to add comment
kevin dawson
4 Months Ago

How in the world can you promote this as a sound dietary concept when you include the statement that apple cider vinegar is alkaline? Its acidic- 100 per cent of the time. That tells me that the rest of these notions have not been examined with an eye for the truth either.

Vegan Life
27 Dec 2016

Apple Cider Vinegar is alkaline and has many health benefits. You may want to Goggle it...thanks for the checklist One Green Planet!!

Inflamatory Dude
4 Months Ago

I just want that cheese burger in the first picture, I\'m having one tomorrow for sure :P

7 Months Ago

Our family was 100% vegan for almost 4 years and while we still do not eat any land meat, we do now consume some fish and shellfish along with a little bit of sheep and goat milk cheese (Pecorino, Feta, etc). I could not continue a basis for remaining vegan, from a health standpoint, when there are many societies (Greece, Italy, Japan, even one here in the U.S., etc) that see little heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses while enjoying exceptionally long life spans compared with the rest of the world yet they consume some animal products and seafood in their mostly plant based diet. I\'ve heard the argument that it\'s the genetics that has caused these pockets of people to see such amazing health and longevity, but that goes out the window when you consider that Loma Linda is one of those pockets and the population there is mixed. Additionally, the population there is mostly vegetarian (including eggs, milk, cheese, etc), but the Seventh Day Adventist study on health and longevity showed that those who include fish in their diet a minimum of a at least once per month see greater longevity than those who do not.

7 Months Ago

pretty funny stuff.....might as well be dead!! lol

Paula Quillen
7 Months Ago

I have Lupus = leaky gut. I eat meat that is grass fed. No Gluten, sugar, dairy. If you follow the guide lines, your life changes.

7 Months Ago

The proper phrase is "with abandon". It means freely, completely without reservation or limit. Spoken of an action. As "to love with abandon...for the picky soul below

leigh jcjones
04 Sep 2016

No one bothers to pay attention in middle school, where you learn grammar. Then, in the here and now, educated people are looked down on. Seen as elitist. Sad really. I see it all the time. There is no more proof reading. And the people writing, well, shouldn\'t be

7 Months Ago

Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory.In regard to oils, use olive, avocado, and coconut oils. In regard to meats, consume fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna. In regard to nuts, consume macadamia and chestnuts. These oils, meats, and nuts are also low in fodmaps (won\'t cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea/constipation). Also consume plenty of vegetables and fruits, such as berries, pineapple, citrus, bananas, kiwis, and cantaloupe. These fruits are also low in fodmaps. Yogurt should be homemade and heated for 24 hours to break down the lactose. Homemade yogurt is a lot higher in probiotics than store-bought yogurt.

Robbie Laws
7 Months Ago

Jaleo stole my thunder. With abandon, not without. My Naturopath hasn\'t promoted a vegetarian diet. In fact, she has advocated raising my protein intake. I highly recommend a food panel to pinpoint inflammatory foods because it\'s different for everyone. Thanks for the informative article.

Joseph Long
7 Months Ago

I\'m sorry, but we did not get to the top of the food chain by eating the things in that last group. Maybe we need to change our lifestyle, but not the foods that made us what we are as human beings!

7 Months Ago

Great info. Thanks. Sorry to split hairs, but, the expression would be to "Eat With Abandon", not without. Abandon all inhibitions and eat all you want. Health to all of you......


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