Inflammation is a natural response by our immune system to deal with threats like bacteria, viruses and toxins.
When our body’s defense mechanism gets out of control it can lead to chronic inflammation which has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression, osteoperosis and heart disease.
Certain foods have been shown to promote inflammation — such as red meat, sugars, trans fats, artificial sweeteners. Reducing your intake of these may help to reduce chronic inflammation throughout the body.
The inflammation cascade is also triggered by exposure to heavy metals (arsenic, lead, nickel from pollution, in packaging etc), burnt foods, cigarette smoke, and chemicals in plastics and pesticides.
You can also include foods which support the body to reduce inflammation – here are a few you can use every day to support a healthy immune response.
Berries are rich in anthocyanins, a natural red pigment associated with lower levels of gut inflammation, reduction in cognitive decline. Include strawberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and cherries in your diet.
Berries are great for immune health and can be added to porridge, smoothies, salads, desserts.
Gaining popularity as a superfood, turmeric has been used in Ayervedic cooking and medicine for years. Turmeric contains curcumin, a potent phytonutrient which also has strong antioxidant and anticancer properties.
Add to curries, or smoothies to brighten up you cooking.
Golden milk is a lovely warming drink – just heat a non-dairy milk with grated turmeric, ginger, coconut oil, black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom for a delicious drink.
The benefits of turmeric are best absorbed when it’s heated and eaten with black pepper. This is because the black pepper stops the turmeric being excreted so quickly, and therefore leaves it in your body for longer.
Fresh ginger is another simple way to support your immune system. It contains strong antioxidant properties and inhibits the pro-inflammatory cytokines which start off inflammation.
Ginger is also anti-fungal and has been shown to inhibit bacteria including salmonella. Grate a small lump into warm water with some fresh lemon juice for a energising start to the day.
Include the SMASH (Sardines, Mackerel, Anchovies, Salmon, Herring) fish in your diet 2-3 times a week or consider a supplement to boost your Omega 3 fats.
We generally all have a low intake of Omega 3, and this is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Avoid large fish with higher mercury levels such as tuna, sword fish and marlin.
Tomatoes can support an anti-inflammatory diet because they are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene and other nutrients. You can make a delicious relish with finely chopped tomatoes red onion, lemon juice, olive and coriander.
To get the most out of your diet aim for 5 vegetables and 2 fruit a day, with a rainbow of colours and tastes. If you’d like a boost to your diet or have a health condition you’d like to discuss, please get in touch for a free 15 minute consultation to see how I can help you. Email
Hi I'm Anna Mapson, registered Nutritionist (mBANT, CNHC). I help people with IBS, gut health and digestive issues.
I can help you to:
- understand your digestion better, so you recognise your triggers
- eat a well balanced diet, with tasty meals that are simple to prepare
- develop healthy, sustainable habits for life
“Anna is amazing! I feel totally transformed"
To find more about 1:1 nutrition consultations or my group membership see my IBS Diet support page
What you need to know about Weight Loss with IBS
How to tackle exercise, diet change and stay consistent.