Anti-Inflammatory Diet

After months of a flare up that wouldn't go away, I decided that I need to find out what is triggering the inflammation - because all of the drugs in the world were not bringing it down, and a person shouldn't live on Percoset.

I did it with help, professional help. I visited a nutritionist who was extremely helpful - 6 weeks ago. The plan was that I would eliminate foods commonly known to trigger inflammation - all of them, and then add them back in 1 at a time after 6 weeks and see which ones were causing the trouble.

Food elimination list:

  • white potatoes, tobacco, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers - all, paprika and pimiento.
  • oranges and bananas
  • all grains containing gluten - oats, wheat, barley, spelt, rye and kamut
  • soy
  • beef and pork
  • milk, cheese, cream and ice cream
  • pistachios, peanuts and cashews
  • margarine, shortening, commercial salad dressing and large amounts of butter
  • cayenne and paprika
  • white and brown sugar, cane sugar, agave syrup, Nutrasweet, artificial sweeteners and chocolate!!!!
  • Coffee, tea, alcohol, pop, sugar sweetened juice

I did it - It will be 6 weeks tomorrow. It was so very hard the first 3 weeks, cravings and feelings of deprivation left me starving - but after only 8 days I noticed a difference and without a word of a lie or exaggeration - it is working. The swelling left my hands and shoulder. I was even on my feet for 8 hours last Saturday at an amusement park with my daughter. Last year I was in a wheelchair to go to that park. 7 weeks ago I could not do my own grocery shopping without wanting to scream in pain and using a cane.

So, feeling better than I have in years, I am scared to add foods. Tomorrow I can pick one thing on the elimination list and eat it 3 times a day for 2 days and see if I get inflamed. I don't know what to add, and I don't want the swelling to come back.

This is not a cure for psoriatic arthitis - I know that everyday. I feel pain in some joints when I move a certain way, stand too long etc - the swelling is what is gone. My ring is on today after 5 months of it being in my desk drawer.

Try it if your inflammation is out of control - find what triggers your swelling and maybe feel like you have more control over your disease.

The nutritionist I saw worked at the Health Food store, and was a free consultation. She took me around the store and helped me shop and find substitutes for my eating habits and was great.

My only problem is deciding what to add and test. Any thoughts?

Hey NicPat,

Good going!! That is great, you should be so proud, this takes tremendous self control!! So glad that you are feeling better!! At the advice of my DC, I did it for a year. The only thing that I believe helped me from it and continues to is the change in cooking/baking oils. I ONLY purchase 'expeller oils' as they are pressed or mashed to extract the oil. The grocery store oils use lye in addition to other chemicals to get the oil out. Even olive oil should be expeller! So perhaps it did help, I changed oil, and I try to watch red meat intake, use raw sugar. I have never heard of 86ing oranges and bananas though, but would have expected night shades like pumpkin and mushrooms, even soy to be on the no-no list!

Seems as though there are always underlying food sensitivities or allergies involved in inflammation.

Those health food guru's are amazing, there is always one in the vitamin department too!

As far as what to test, I would test what you miss the very most! Is it a cup of tea, a milkshake? Don't be afraid, if you hit on the allergy, you will know it right away, and will be sure it will only make you worse if you eat it again.

Good luck to you, this was something to be commended!


I added agave syrup. That ingredient opened up some treats I missed - like Coconut Bliss icecream, made with coconut milk, vanilla coconut sugar and agave syrup. After a 6km bike ride with my family Sunday!!!! that hit the spot. I hadn't gone a bike ride in 4 years, as my son pointed out and I had/have no pain. Great to be getting my life back! My Si joints are tender today after the bike ride - they have permanent damage, but not bad at all!

Ok - so this weekend I tried adding "Peppers" back into my diet. Food was getting plain, no spice little flavour. Well, I have discovered one of my inflammation triggers! As my kids called it - mom failed the pepper test. After eating a few grilled sweet peppers on Saturday night with my dinner, my hubbie and I decided to go for a walk with the dog. I started to hurt in my sacroiliac joints on the walk, but thought that it could be muscular - I haven't been active in 4 years and been doing alot lately. But after the peppers in my omelette on Sunday morning, there was no doubt who the culprit was and I am in a big flare right now. Shoulder, wrists, spine etc all flared up and it made it very hard to sleep last night. 6 weeks with no pain only to be thrown into again is a big shock. Almost harder to deal with than constant inflammation for years, which you sort of adapt to. Oh well - next week I try something else if this flare is over by then. One food eliminated and will hopefully help stop future flares by avoiding peppers.

The biggest known dietary triggers for arthritis are the nightshades, Ie the peppers, potato etc. Also gluten and grains can be a strong trigger. Since you are having relief you are able to distinguish any trigger foods now which is great. Personally I would add the fruits and meats you have avoided, leaving the processed foods and grains until last.

I have tried the elimination diet for up to 3 weeks without any noticable difference. I am awaiting a biopsy to confirm Celiac diagnosis as I have had a positive on a blood test, so until then I am meant to go on a full diet to allow diagnosis. With Celiac it could take up to 12 months gluten free before the gut heals and therefore can be a long time before symptoms change after eliminating the trigger.

If you are looking for GF type recipes, I like some of Kelly Keogh's. She had a show, The Sweet Truth" that caught my interest a few years ago when looking for diabetic safe recipes for treats for my son. I've been checking out her website for inspirations. I loved the cupid candy using organic carob, coconut oil and stevia (and so did me son). Her main website is She does Vegan, sugarfree, and glutenfree recipes.

It takes time. I am still getting better using diet after 6 months off meds. Cut carbs, use sat fats, eliminate omega 6 excess, balance omega 3, mineral supplements, probiotics, learn about gluten, avoid lectins, heal the gut, take no NSAIDs or drugs which work through gut. Read Mastering Leptin and all the Paleo stuff. It helps xx

So happy you are feeling better. I think if you stick to this you will notice the pain begin to subside bit by bit as well...certainly is a lot less for me three years into a strict nutritional plan. Just wanted to weigh in on what you should reintroduce to your diet. I think a little red meat will be okay...but it should be organic. I think that the hormones in commercially farmed animals is what feeds our inflammation. I also eat a lot of ostrich and kangaroo when I can get it....very, very lean. With the protein, my muscle mass has increased. This in turn has allowed me to exercise more. The stronger I get, the more the PsA seems to fade. Best of luck...stay in touch.

Hello I am new here and seen your post on diet, I have cut back a lot on the bad foods, But still having a flare, what type food/s do you eat, I find it very hard to find something to eat !! thats not o the NO NO list,,

Sorry to be so strident but after suffering for twenty years and now absolutely healthy I am afraid that unless you take the diet and sleep and stress reduction seriously you are bound to suffer both from the disease and the complications of drug therapy. Use the recomendations of Prof. Ayers on his Cooling Inflammation blog regarding diet- there is plenty of research regarding this - and it is effective although it may take some adjustment. I am unbelievably well and am now in better health than I have ever been, but it takes some study and committment. Another good place is the blog 'hyperlipid' . Unfortunately current and totally misplaced health guidance will lead you to believe you have an incurable illness. Im afraid you havent- just a body in distress because of totally wrong dietary guidelines and medicines which damage the immune system and do nothing to reduce the inflammatory processes without reducing the body's other functions. Good luck . It can be done despite what your medical people will tell you.