Anti-Inflammatory Diet/Elimination Diet

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Inflammation is a natural response by our bodies to protect against infections and promote healing. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to various health issues. The good news is that certain dietary changes can help reduce inflammation and improve overall well-being.

An anti-inflammatory diet is an approach to eating that can help regulate the body’s inflammation by limiting certain foods that cause it. For patients with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, an anti-inflammatory diet can help to improve their symptoms without traditional medical intervention. It is something patients can integrate into their daily lives from the comfort of their own homes. Anti-inflammatory diets can be created and managed by a your rheumatologist to keep you on track through treatment.

Dr. Nazanin Firooz is a board-certified physician who specializes in rheumatology. She, fellow rheumatologist Dr. Philip Aleksiejuk, and RN Jada Pascual provide comprehensive care while treating internal conditions like arthritis and chronic illness. Each elimination diet is carefully crafted to meet specific patient needs using extensive knowledge of anti-inflammatory nutrition.

If you are ready to treat your chronic condition through more natural means, schedule a private consultation at Comprehensive Rheumatology Center in Greater Los Angeles today. Call us directly at (818) 598-0000 or fill out our contact form to get started.

About Anti-Inflammatory Diets

Chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases are caused by inflammation. While there are a wide range of possible holistic treatment plans for these conditions,, one simple-to-include treatment is an anti-inflammatory diet. At Comprehensive Rheumatology Center, we take this one step further by incorporating specific dietary instructions to help patients monitor their inflammation and get back to living their lives.

What Makes a Food Anti-Inflammatory?  

An anti-inflammatory diet incorporates foods that are proven to reduce inflammation and the residual pain it can cause. These include the macronutrients Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin C, and polyphenols. Many resemble traditional Mediterranean or vegetarian diets that often include high concentrations of the following foods: (1)

  • Deeply colored fruits (cherries, blueberries)
  • Leafy greens (kale, spinach)
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Legumes (chickpeas, black beans)
  • Whole grains (oats, brown rice)
  • Olive oil
  • Fish (salmon, sardines)
  • Unsweetened green or black tea
  • Spices (ginger, turmeric, garlic)

Digestion is complex, but there are steps a patient can take to work toward a more comfortable life. Adding a higher concentration of these foods to a patient’s diet can help them control inflammation and prevent it from getting worse. 

What Should I Avoid During an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

When foods high in saturated fats and Omega-6 fatty acids are introduced and absorbed by the body, they release high concentrations of arachidonic acid, causing direct inflammation. (2) Inflammatory foods that contain these or are highly processed should be avoided to reduce a patient’s chronic inflammation. 

Inflammatory foods include: (1)

  • Red meat (steak, ground beef)
  • Processed meat (bologna, bacon)
  • Processed baked goods (cookies, brownies)
  • White flour (certain breads, pasta)
  • Deep fried foods
  • Foods high in processed sugar (candy, jelly)
  • Sugary beverages (soda, energy drinks)
  • Trans fats

By incorporating an anti-inflammatory diet, patients can tackle nutrition-induced inflammation at the source. At Comprehensive Rheumatology Center, we curate a routine that will work best for specific patient needs.

What is an Elimination Diet?

An elimination diet is a nutritional protocol that helps patients identify foods that they may have intolerances or sensitivities toward. For those experiencing debilitating inflammation, this treatment includes finding the foods that are causing inflammatory responses in your diet and removing them. For instance, food containing wheat worsens a celiac patient’s inflammation tenfold when consumed. (3)

With physician supervision, inflammatory foods are removed from a patient’s diet and then later reintroduced to test if toleration has changed. Our physicians utilize years of patient experience and knowledge of anti-inflammatory foods to create a diet that best serves each individual. 

Benefits of Dietary Change

With a change in diet, patients can:

  • Manage inflammation-related pain
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Reduce risk of cancer
  • Improve mental health
  • Boost cognitive function
  • Positively impact overall health
  • Increase quality of life

An anti-inflammatory diet can be introduced gradually to make the transition smoother. Changing your whole diet can be very intimidating, but these changes can be easily incorporated into your routine at a comfortable pace.

Ideal Candidates

Whether you experience mild inflammation or severe rheumatoid arthritis, a change in diet can positively impact your daily life. Those with conditions such as arthritis, cancer, obesity, heart disease, and lupus can benefit from adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. It is also important to consider your symptoms and if inflammation is the culprit. Our experienced doctors can recommend different treatment options to help alleviate chronic pain.

Your Consultation at Comprehensive Rheumatology Center

You will meet with our experts to discuss your symptoms and undergo a medical examination to determine your candidacy. Your physician will explain your new dietary treatment in detail while providing tips on how to stay on track. Depending on your health status and current treatment plans, they will create a customized plan that will work best for your needs. 

This may require some patience, especially if your symptoms are complicated as is typical with chronic inflammation and illness. After your assessment, a member of our staff will assist you in scheduling any follow-up appointments to track your progress.


To prepare for implementing an anti-inflammatory or elimination diet, you must first take steps to regulate your current one. If you are prone to consuming certain foods that are worsening your symptoms, we recommend eliminating them at your own pace. This may look like cutting out processed foods or soda from your current diet. If not already present, integrate a gentle exercise plan that does not worsen your chronic pain but keeps you active. 

Treatment Details

Your physician makes a descriptive outline that explains your anti-inflammatory or elimination diet. Following this outline closely will ensure that you receive proper nutrition and decrease your inflammation. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is another vital step toward good health. If you have any food aversions or allergies, make sure to mention these to your physician during your initial consultation.

Diet outlines vary between patients, so yours may not look exactly like someone else receiving a similar treatment plan. Your physician monitors your progress throughout treatment and they are available if any changes need to be made.

If you are interested in other treatment options offered at Comprehensive Rheumatology Center, please read our NewsRheum blog.


Though referred to as a diet, the main intention of anti-inflammatory and elimination diets is not necessarily to lose weight. In fact, some patients may not notice a shift in their weight right away. These diets focus on consuming fewer carbohydrates and fatty foods, leading to healthier lifestyles and decreased inflammation. You may notice a positive shift in your blood sugar and energy levels due to consuming more plant-based produce and essential vitamins. 

Decreases in inflammation may not be immediately noticeable. With continued treatment and dedication, you will start to notice less chronic pain and a heightened quality of life the longer you practice nutritious eating.

Corresponding & Complementary Treatments 

IV Vitamins

Even after a concentrated effort to healthy eating, patients with chronic illness can often still have certain vitamin deficiencies. Dr. Firooz, Dr. Aleksiejuk, and their team offer IV vitamin treatments to help supplement a lack of nutrients. Using an IV drip, these treatments provide vitamins and nutrients directly through a patient’s bloodstream. This treatment boosts the immune system, replenishes hydration, and promotes many other health benefits. It is often used to treat chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, asthma, seasonal allergies, and other ailments. Adding IV vitamin treatments for your regulated diet boosts your nutritional intake and optimizes your results naturally.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Experiencing high levels of stress often increases the symptoms of chronic pain and illness. To regulate your stress and anxiety levels, we offer a program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. It focuses on practicing mindfulness, meditation, mindful movement, and relaxation exercises to help you decompress. Keeping a calm inner world greatly reduces the manifestation of symptoms. By clearing your mind and dealing with your stress with healthy outlets, you can alleviate chronic symptoms and improve your mood overall. 

Cost of Anti-Inflammatory and Elimination Diets in Greater Los Angeles

The total cost of receiving an anti-inflammatory or elimination diet treatment plan varies between patients. Your team will explain your price breakdown during your initial consultation at Comprehensive Rheumatology Center. Schedule yours today by calling us directly at (818) 598-0000.


Is something I’m eating increasing inflammation in my body?

Food allergies and sensitivities can trigger inflammatory responses in the body. By identifying and eliminating allergenic foods through an elimination diet, we can reduce inflammation and support optimal gut health, which plays a pivotal role in modulating the immune system and reducing chronic inflammation.

What are some common foods that cause inflammation?

Common food triggers that contribute to inflammation include processed foods, refined sugars, gluten, dairy, and artificial additives. By eliminating these potential culprits from your diet, we can help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with various inflammatory conditions

Can an anti-inflammatory diet promote weight loss?

An anti-inflammatory diet may not initially or intentionally lead to weight loss, but reducing your daily intake of processed foods and sugar can lead to a healthier weight.

Are there any major disadvantages of an anti-inflammatory diet?

There are a few disadvantages to an anti-inflammatory diet, namely potential vitamin D and calcium deficiencies. As long as you follow your plan closely and incorporate supplements for the vitamins you may be missing, these diets promote health and wellness for our patients.


  1. Bustamante MF, Agustín-Perez M, Cedola F, et al. Design of an anti-inflammatory diet (ITIS diet) for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications. 2020;17. doi:
  2. Sears B. Anti-inflammatory Diets. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2015;34(sup1):14-21. doi:
  3. Tuck CJ, Biesiekierski JR, Schmid-Grendelmeier P, Pohl D. Food Intolerances. Nutrients. 2019;11(7):1684. doi: