Fall in Love With These
Inflammation-Fighting Foods

Allison Walsh, Social Media Strategist
Fall in Love With These

The role of inflammation in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is generating increased interest. Research shows that reducing inflammation may help prevent and control the disease.1 So, in honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, Supplementally Speaking is taking a look at the different foods that can help you fight inflammation. Also, don’t miss our latest blog -- Diabetes Awareness Month: What You Need to Know -- for all the latest diabetes facts, treatments and developments.

Inflammation is a popular buzzword because so many everyday things trigger it, from a twist on the playing field (swollen ankle) to a trip to the pizza joint (heartburn). But so can ongoing work stress, a smoking habit or an autoimmune condition like rheumatoid arthritis.

Inflammation has its purpose, but…

Put simply, inflammation is your body’s reaction to stress and can have both short-term and long-term effects. Acute inflammation, a result of your immune response to infection and injury, protects your body from harm—think of that swollen ankle or a mosquito bite. But chronic inflammation, the result of ongoing immune system distress, has been linked to many diseases including diabetes.2

Fortunately, there’s also a link between inflammation and the foods you eat. Some foods have been shown to help inflammation and others can actually cause it—so why not get familiar with the foods to choose? Let’s take a closer look.

Anti-inflammatory foods to choose2

So here’s a list—for starters—of the foods you’d be wise to choose if you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory health boost:


Green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale)

Cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli and cabbage)


Fatty fish

Fruits (e.g. cherries, raspberries, and blackberries)

Mushrooms (e.g. shitake, enokitake, maitake, and oyster)


Low fat dairy


Sweet potatoes

Cook or season with…

Olive oil




Chili peppers





To drink…



White, green, or oolong tea

Red wine (no more than 1-2 servings per day)

And treat yourself to (but try to limit!) healthy sweets…

Unsweetened dried fruit

Fruit sorbet

Dark chocolate (at least 70% pure cacao)

Inflammatory foods to avoid

Processed foods, overly greasy foods, overly sweet foods, and high-glycemic foods all cause or contribute to inflammation, so avoid them or enjoy in moderation:

Refined carbohydrates (e.g. pastries and white bread and pasta)

Fried foods (e.g. French fries)

Sugar-sweetened beverages (e.g. soda)

Processed meat and red meat

Shortening, margarine and lard

Foodies, get familiar with the anti-Inflammatory vocab

As you can see, what most people think of as a “healthy food” is probably a good pick! These foods have anti-inflammatory effects and/or enhance immune function. They can lesson symptoms, reduce inflammation and lower associated health risks. Why? Because they’re made up of naturally occurring, largely plant-based chemicals, compounds and phytonutrients such as…

Antioxidants – Examples include vitamins A, E, C; carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene; and selenium 3

Polyphenols – Examples include phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanidins, resveratrol, stilbenes, curcumins, and lignans 4

Omega-3 fatty acids – Examples include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 5

So next time you’re at the grocery store, planning your weekly menu, or browsing a restaurant menu, think about your immune system and what it craves. Give your body the nutrients it needs to help fight inflammation and prevent or control diabetes. And remember, whether in Canada or the U.S., supplement insurance through Combined Insurance can help you manage the unexpected medical and hospital expenses that often arise with this challenging disease. Contact an agent today for the products that might be right for you.


1 “The Role of Inflammation in Diabetes: Current Concepts and Future Perspectives,” (2019, April 14), National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6523054/

2 Publishing, H. H. (n.d.). Foods that fight inflammation. Retrieved October 20, 2017, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

3 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Antioxidants: In depth. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants-in-depth 

4 Kahn, M. J. (2015, January 24). 10 Best Polyphenol-Rich Superfoods Why You Should Be Eating Them. Retrieved October 20, 2017, from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17145/10-best-polyphenol-rich-superfoods-why-you-should-be-eating-them.html

5 Your Omega-3 Family Shopping List. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2017, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/your-omega-3-family-shopping-list#1

Other Sources:

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid | Anti-Inflammatory Foods. (2017, October 06). Retrieved October 20, 2017, from https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/anti-inflammatory-diet-pyramid/dr-weils-anti-inflammatory-food-pyramid/link opens in a new window

Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Road to Good Health? (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2017, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/anti-inflammatory-diet-road-to-good-health#1link opens in a new window

10 Foods That Fight Inflammation. (2016, June 15). Retrieved October 20, 2017, from https://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/10-foods-that-help-fight-inflammationlink opens in a new window

6 Surprising Causes Of Inflammation-And What You Can Do About It. (2015, June 08). Retrieved October 20, 2017, from https://www.prevention.com/health/inflammation-causeslink opens in a new window

Nutrition and pain. (2016, July 26). Retrieved October 20, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/nutrition-and-pain/art-20208638