How to Reduce Inflammation with Diet and Supplementation 

 July 7, 2012

By  Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Mechanicsville Virginia Chiropractor – Inflammation is a well known concept with injury and healing, though probably not well understood by most.  It is likely most people know the term because we are told that many of the medications we take are “anti-inflammatory” to help pain.  So there is some sense that it is bad to have inflammation.  It turns out inflammation is normal in tissue injury and healing, and we need it to occur for proper healing.  The problem is too much inflammation is problematic.  In fact, “scientific research has demonstrated that most diseases that plague modern man are caused by diet-induced chronic inflammation (quote from deflame.com).”  Needless to say, we need to be diligent about reducing inflammation, not only to reduce pain, but to prevent chronic disease.

From the start let me emphasize I am getting nearly all my information from www.deflame.com and www.anaboliclabs.com .  They have done an excellent job summarizing the important material.  Please check out the websites if you can.

Here is a table to see if you may be in a state of inflamation:

Signs and SymptomsDietary Factors
¤    I have chronic aches and pains, such as: back pain, neck pain, headaches, or general muscle and/or joint soreness¤    I regularly take anti-inflammatory or anti-pain medications, such as: ibuprofen, aspirin, or Tylenol, or similar prescription drugs.
¤    I am overweight¤    I regularly eat refined sugar.  Including table surgar, desserts, soda, sweetened drinks, etc.
¤    It is hard for me to lose weight/fat.¤    I regularly eat grain products, such as: white bread, whole wheat bread, pasta, cereal, pretzels, crackers, and any other product made with grains or flours from grains, which includes most desserts and packaged snacks.
¤    I can grab too much fat around my waist¤    I regularly eat partially hydrogenated oils [trans fats] found in most margarines, deep fried foods [French fries, chips], and most packaged foods.
¤    I do not exercise regularly¤    I regularly eat corn oil, safflower, soybean oil, peanut oil and foods with oils such as mayonnaise, tartar sauce, margarine, and nearly all salad dressings.
¤    I don’t feel well when I exercise¤    I regularly eat meat and eggs from grain-fed animals. [regular supermarket brands]
¤    I have difficulty recovering from moderate to light exercise
¤    I am physically lethargic¤    I regularly consume soy or soy products, or eat them in place of fruits and vegetables.
¤    I am mentally lethargic and feel rundown and depressed more than I would like¤    I regularly drink or eat dairy products: in greater than condiment size.
¤    I look old and/or feel old for my age
¤    My skin looks old and is sagging
¤    I suffer from one or more of the following: Frequent cold symptoms, frequent flu symptoms, frequent allergies, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, sinusitis, acne, asthma, digestive conditions, dysmenorrheal, endometriosis, Alsheimer’s disease, aprkinson’s disease, MS,cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, depression, the insulin resistance syndrome (pre-diabetes), or diabetes¤    I regularly eat grain products, such as: white bread, whole wheat bread, pasta, cereal, pretzels, crackers, and any other product made with grains or flours from grains, which includes most desserts and packaged snacks

If any of the these apply to you it is likely you have too much inflammation in your body.  As you can see it is hard to avoid inflammation causing foods and it may be that your symptoms are caused by it.

The following is a more complete list of pro-inflammatory foods

All Grains and Grain Products:  Including white bread, whole wheat bread, pasta, cereal, pretzels, crackers, and any other product made with grains or flours from grains.  This also includes most deserts and packaged foods.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils [trans fats]: Found in margarine, deep fried foods [French  fries, chips, etc.]

Seed and Legume Oils [inaccurately called vegetable oils]: Corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, soybean oil and foods made with these oils such as mayonnaise, tartar sauce, margarine, salad dressings and many packaged foods.  (these oils/foods contain extremely high levels of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids)

Soda and Sugar

Dairy and Soy: When consumed as staples of your diet

Meat and Eggs from Grain Fed Animals: I assume normal supermarket brands are corn fed unless labeled otherwise

The following is a list of anti-inflammatory foods.

All fruits and vegetables: Eaten raw or lightly cooked

Sweet potatoes (any in that family): Eaten with protein such as eggs, fish, meat or fowl.

Fresh Fish: Avoid farm-raised tilapia, catfish, basa and bronzini – they have elevated levels of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.

Meat, Chicken, Eggs from Grass-fed Animals: Eatwild.com is a website that lists producers of grass-fed animals.  Otherwise get lean cuts of regular meat.

Wild Game Including Deer, Elk, etc.: Animals that feed on vegetation in the wild

Anti-Inflammatory Onemga-3 Eggs and/or Egg Whites

Raw Nuts: Such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts

Spices: Such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, dill, oregano, coriander, fennel, red chili pepper, basil, rosemary, etc.  If you wish, you can add a little sea salt.

Oils & Fats: Moderate amounts of organic butter, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.  Butter from grass fed cows is also a healthy choice.  Salad Dressing Choices: An example is extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, along with spices.

Beverages: Water, organic green tea, and if you choose to drink alcohol, red wine and stout beer are the best choices

I’ve become convinced if I can help my patients understand how important this is, they will be out of pain quicker and stay out of pain longer.  In other words, if you are a patient who comes in for preventative or maintenance care, I’m saying you will be coming for real wellness care.  It will not be the case that the adjustments help keep pain from being worse, it will be the case that pain is a non-issue and your monthly/weekly adjustments will be truly preventative or wellness quality.  Nearly the same as going to your dentist every six months to get a cleaning (not because a tooth ache is getting worse).

I hope you give this some thought.  The next post, Why Grains Inflame, will be about why grains are a problem and then I’ll summarize the anti-inflammatory “diet” as a way to feel better and decrease your pain.

Give us a call if you have any questions: 804-559-1100

Stover Chiropractic, P.C.

Real. Simple. Healthcare.




We are located at 9097 Atlee Station Road in Mechanicsville, Virginia, 23111.  This is a Hanover county address, but we are minutes from Glenn Allen, Innsbrook, Sandston, and Varina.  We also serve many people from King William and New Kent Counties.  Our close proximity to I295 means we are very easy to reach from most places in the Richmond Metro area.


Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Dr. Stover grew up in Richmond. He has been married to his wife Andrea since 2000 and they make their home in Mechanicsville with their children, Avery and Garnett.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

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