Inflammation is a normal, much needed part of the body’s healing process in response to cellular injury. However, chronic inflammation can cause or advance many chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and neurological diseases.

Previous posts by GrassrootsHealth have specifically covered vitamin D in relation to inflammation and mental health, and omega-3s in relation to inflammation and heart health, among others. Today’s post will focus on general dietary characteristics that have been shown to decrease inflammation and lower levels of inflammatory markers, specifically high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP).

How Can Diet Affect Inflammation?

Several different nutrients and compounds, such as polyphenols, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidant vitamins, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, while others, such as some saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, and sugars, have pro-inflammatory effects. For example, antioxidants from fruits and vegetables inhibit inflammation-causing free radicals, and both antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the production of cytokines, which also contribute to inflammation.

What Does an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Look Like?

An anti-inflammatory diet may include foods that

  • are low in refined carbohydrates (such as sugar, white bread, white rice, etc.)
  • are high in soluble fiber (such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc.)
  • are high in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (such as nuts, avocado, olive oil, etc.)
  • have a higher omega-3 to omega-6 ratio (such as fatty fish, flax seeds, spinach, etc.)
  • are high in polyphenols (such as dark berries, cherries, grapes, dark chocolate, etc.)


Mediterranean Diet Shown to Reduce hsCRP

There is much research showing the correlation between diet and inflammation, such as that done by Casas et al. on the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet). This particular study demonstrated the effects of diet on inflammation among 165 participants who had a high risk of cardiovascular disease. The participants were randomly split into three groups and had to follow a specific diet for 5 years: one group was put on a MedDiet supplemented with olive oil, another on a MedDiet with nuts (walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts), and one on a low fat diet.

The MedDiet diet generally consists of:

  • high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, with olive oil as the main source of fat
  • moderate intake of fish, poultry and alcohol (particularly red wine, with meals)
  • low intake of red and processed meats


What were the results of the study?

As you can see in the chart below, both groups on the MedDiet experienced decreased inflammation (as measured by hsCRP), while the low fat diet group did not.

Click to Enlarge & Print

In conclusion, this study demonstrated long-term, anti-inflammatory effect of the MedDiet, specifically among participants at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

What can you do with this information?

Do you know your levels of inflammation? Get a glimpse of the amount of inflammation in your body with the Inflammation Panel, offered by GrassrootsHealth. Measuring hsCRP and HbA1c along with vitamin D and omega-3s can provide a clue about how much inflammation exists in the body and whether additional changes should be made to decrease inflammation, with supplementation, dietary changes, or both. Log on to the shop (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Shop Page

How can I track my diet and food intake?

To help you track your food intake, supplement use, and inflammation levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. For each specific food and supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. You can also track your hsCRP levels over time. Check it out today!

Important Message

NEWS ALERT: States, Governments Acknowledge the Need for Vitamin D to Build the Immune System; Vitamin D*action has achieved a major milestone of ‘Moving Research into PRACTICE’!

EVERYONE needs to know about the benefits of vitamin D... We need your help to do this. Donating $25.00 today will positively affect millions of lives!

We will take this opportunity to use our extensive network to get pertinent information on vitamin D to the new US COVID Panel as well as local and state government representatives around the world.

Donate $25 today to help support this outreach effort (and, let us know if your employer could match the donations made by individuals from now until January 1, 2021!). You can also "text-to-give" by simply texting Daction to 44321.

Donations made through GiveLively are received in full by GrassrootsHealth.

What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?

Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.

STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.

STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.

STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.

STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.

STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.


The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.

These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.

Review the Latest Nutrient Research for COVID-19

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 Index
  • Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
  • hsCRP

Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!

Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.

CLICK HERE for updates and new information about the project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!