Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Cancer Treatment

By. Gabrielle McGrath, RD MS & CEO of Wellpower Method

Recipes below

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s immune system’s response to injuries, irritants, or foreign invaders such as chemicals, viruses, bacteria, or even pollen from plants.


There is a good and bad side to inflammation.


The good side of inflammation is that if it is acute (only lasting a few hours to days), your body activates its self-defense mode to fight and promote healing.


However, the downside of inflammation is when it becomes a chronic condition (lasting weeks to years). When inflammation becomes chronic, that means your body has failed to fight against the infection or injury, making the inflammation more severe and causing damage to your cells.


When chronic inflammation is left unchecked, that is where the downfall of effects on your health can occur.


Inflammation is commonly known for its risk associations with chronic diseases and illness. Some of which include depression, heart disease, cancers, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and type 2 diabetes.

Inflammation and Nutrition

You may be asking yourself, “what can I do to help prevent and/or reduce inflammation?”.


Well, it is important to consider different factors that can impact inflammation. Stress, dietary intake, and eating behaviors can be contributors to inflammation.


High consumption of refined foods, sugar, trans/saturated fats, and low consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats have been found to promote inflammation.


In fact, nutrients can have a major role in fighting inflammation.


The anti-inflammatory diet is commonly known for minimizing the effects of inflammation. The diet involves consuming a high amount of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats (omega-3’s), whole grains, lean sources of protein, and a variety of spices.


The anti-inflammatory diet is more of a “style of eating” rather than a “strict” diet you have to follow. In other words, think of it like having an overall well-balanced nutrient rich diet!

It should not be restrictive, it is more so incorporating food groups and nutrients into your diet to help combat inflammation.

Don’t know what food sources carry anti-inflammatory benefits? Well here are some great anti-inflammatory food sources for you!

Fatty fish


Salmon, sardines, tuna, and mackerel are some of the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are metabolized in our body into compounds that promote anti-inflammatory effects and can decrease proinflammatory eicosanoids production.




Blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries are some of the many options of berries there are out there. Not only are berries delish (I loveeee blueberries!), but they’re polyphenols which are packed with antioxidants.

Clinical research on polyphenols have indicated that they can slow down proinflammatory cytokine production and decrease the activity of proinflammatory signaling systems, which promotes anti-inflammatory effects and aiding in the prevention of free radicals within your body.

Green leafy vegetables


Add some deep green veggies to your shopping cart like kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, cabbage, or collards. Dark green veggies are super nutrient dense which can help your body build defense against inflammation!


Seeds & nuts


Another amazing source of the powerful omega-3’s are seeds (chia seeds, flax, hemp) and nuts (walnuts, almonds). They are also high in vitamin E which can help reduce inflammation due to its antioxidant effects.


Olive oil


Incorporate olive oil in your food prep and cooking! Once again back at it with a great source of healthy fats. Olive oil contains inflammation combating antioxidants and is heart healthy!




Cocoa is a good source of flavonoids, which is a type of polyphenol, providing our body with great anti-inflammatory benefits.

Studies have actually shown that its polyphenol-rich properties have significantly reduced arterial and vascular inflammation. Dark chocolate and cocoa nibs are my go-to’s to get my dose of cocoa!




Curcumin, which is a compound found in turmeric, is known for its diverse amount of anti-inflammatory properties. Consider adding turmeric as a seasoning or infused within your foods and drinks.


*Key Tip: When consuming turmeric, combine it with a source of piperine, such as black pepper to make it more bioavailable for absorption.


Green Tea


Basic, but antioxidant rich! Can’t ever go wrong with a basic green tea or matcha latte am I right?

Green tea contains catechins which are a type of antioxidant that can help your body fight against oxidative distress and protect them from causing cell damage.

Anti-Inflammatory Recipes

Superseeded Berry Oatmeal
  • ½ cup oats (oats are high in fiber- aiding in healthy digestion and great for heart health)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (healthy fats for hormones)
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds (fiber for digestion and heart health) 
  • 1 cup berries – fresh or frozen (berries are anti-inflammatory and fight free radicals) 
  • 1-2 tbsp of almond or peanut butter (healthy fats, fiber and protein) 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (anti-inflammatory and fights free radicals) 


Combine oats, milk, seeds, and berries in a small saucepan over medium heat until oats absorb the milk. Top with nut butter and cinnamon and enjoy. 

Or combine all ingredients, leave overnight in the refrigerator and enjoy overnight oats in the morning! 

Chocolate peanut butter smoothie with chia and flax seeds
  • 1 frozen banana (electrolytes)
  • Handful of ice
  • ½ cup milk of choice, plus more to thin as necessary
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder (rich in antioxidants) 
  • 2 tbsp nut butter (healthy fats, fiber and protein) 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (anti-inflammatory and fights free radicals) 
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (healthy fats for hormones)
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds (fiber for digestion and heart health) 


Blend all together until desired consistency 

Anti-Inflammatory Soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil (healthy fats and anti inflammatory) 
  • 1 small onion diced (prebiotic fiber for digestion) 
  • 6 stalks of celery diced (good fiber) 
  • 6-9 cloves of garlic minced (garlic is antimicrobial) 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (ginger is extremely anti-inflammatory) 
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes (rich in beta carotene – good antioxidant) 
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (protein for healing and supporting immune health)
  • 5 cups chicken broth or bone broth (repairs gut lining, hair, skin and nails) 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric (extremely anti-inflammatory) 
  • 1 cup whole or coconut milk 
  • 1 head kale de-stemmed and roughly chopped (leafy greens for immune health and very anti inflammatory) 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice



  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the chicken. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side until browned, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the onion and celery to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, until both are browned and the onion is translucent, then add the garlic and ginger and saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Return the chicken to the pot along with the sweet potatoes, then stir in the chicken broth, thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and turmeric.
  4. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken can be easily pulled apart with a fork.
  5. Pull the chicken from the pot and shred with two forks or with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. Add the chicken back to the pot then stir in the milk and kale. Cook for 2-3 minutes until kale is fully wilted.
  6. Add the lemon juice and then taste the soup for seasoning, adding additional salt and pepper if needed. Spoon into individual bowls and serve!
Salmon sweet potato and asparagus sheet pan with side of sauteed leafy greens
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Salmon (Omega 3 EPA DHA important for immune health, hormones and anti inflammatory) 
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus, ends trimmed (great prebiotic fiber for gut health) 
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (rich in beta carotene – good antioxidant) 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (anti microbial)
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (healthy fat and anti inflammatory) 
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika


  • 4 Handfuls of leafy green (anti inflammatory and great for immune system + digestive health) 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic minced 



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sliced sweet potatoes on side of the pan, drizzle with 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp rosemary, 1 tbsp garlic, and salt and pepper. Toss to combine and roast for 40 minutes.
  2. When potatoes have roasted for 35 minutes, toss the potatoes for even cooking. Place salmon and asparagus on the baking sheet. drizzle remaining olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and lemon juice over the salmon and asparagus. Sprinkle smoked paprika over the top of the salmon and place the baking sheet back in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Cook until salmon is flaky.
  3. If the potatoes still need a bit more time, tent the asparagus and remove the salmon and cover with foil on a plate so the fish doesn’t dry out.
  4. While cooking, saute some leafy green in olive oil with garlic (swiss chard, kale, spinach etc)

If you would like to learn more from Gabrielle or are interested in her nutrition coaching programs be sure to visit her site at or follow her on social media @wellbygabrielle

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