T Nation

What i've Noticed About Inflammation


I have had lingering aches and pains in several joints since I started training, maybe before. At the worst times, it got so that the average doctor would say "just rest, don't exercise".
As a sidenote, I also always had sinus issues (my nose basically didn't work) since as long as I can remember.

After the first time obeying the doc (goodbye to 9 months of training time) I haven't wanted to do that again. I pretty much accepted that I would always have aches and pains.

In the last few months, experimenting with 'clean' food, excluding most foods and only allowing in a few at a time to find out which ones are good for ME and which aren't (as opposed to eating 'clean' foods as dictated by popular culture), I've discovered this:

Good food for me basically means berries, brown rice, potatoes, fish oil, coconut oil, olive oil, meat (all sorts) and gluten-free oats, but only after pre-soaking them overnight with lemon juice and warm water like Sally Fallon recommends.

My digestion feels better, I feel on 'it' (euphoric and good), stomach is flatter, I wake alert and....

My sinus issues are all gone (while I follow the diet above) as are all the joint pains (most noticeably my shoulder).

For the first time in ages, I can sleep on my side, and i'm fine.My girlfriend can hug me in the night, no pain at the shoulder, which is nice.

Since this is a trial-and-error experiemnt kind of thing, I don't have science behind this.

but my hypothesis for it is that the whole body, from digestive system on up, has less congestion and inflammation, as I am taking in only what my body can freely use as fuel. There are fewer toxic things in my body, with fewer waste products clogging up my body.

Some things which are often touted by mainstream media as super-healthy, such as whole wheat, absolutely do make my joints ache.

This is real. I do consistent prehab, stretching and weight training, the only variable is the diet.

My suggestion to anyone with consistent bodily issues such as the ones I just accepted for 25+ years, is you could do an elimination diet for a bit and find what's good for YOU.

Information about elimination diets, which are the trial-and-error process by which you discover if any staple-diet foods fuck you up, may be found anywhere on google. Here's a start.

I hope you get something out of this


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


great advice!
I notice a change with certain dietary habits (fish oil is a massive one! especially after knee surgery I can notice it's presence or lack thereof). Haven't gone as far as to do the full on assault yet but i should get round to it!



Eating bread and milk: me all bloated, sleepy and retaining water, plus the two problems I mentioned above.

Oddly, white bread buns/ pasta etc (you know, the unhealthy stuff) I can eat in moderation, no problem. It's the wholemeal 'goodness' that does damage. This is not to say that I believe in eating unhealthy food, just that 'health' is a subjective, positive result of your practices, not an objective quality found in food.


Thanks. This is encouraging to read.

I just started an elimination diet two days ago because I have had golfer's elbow in both arms for over a year now as well as intermittent knee pain for over a year.

The only thing I'm doing different than you to start out with is I'm eliminating red meat because I am very susceptible to pancreantitis and I've had problems with red meat before.

The only question I have is fish is highly recommended on this diet but many of the websites say to avoid canned fish but don't give any reason why. Does anyone know of an inflammatory problem with canned fish vs. fresh? or are they just recommending this because they sell fresh fish?

I live in Albuquerque NM and canned fish is 1/3 the price per ounce of fresh fish so I'd prefer to use canned.


My friend, by no means an expert, but my understanding in essence is this:
If you eat what your body 'rejects'/ cannot digest, the rejected part it will accumulate. It will have a compounded, negative effect in your body. I guess what with some tinned fish being high in some toxic/semi-toxic metals, that could be one reason to start out a diet minus fish.

Personally I hate fish so... don't eat it! Joking. Try it if you want.

I started on just white potatoes, chicken and fish oil. I got all my kcals that way. Boring. I've seen some websites recommend just lamb and pears...? How random. In any event fructose-high high fruits aren't good for me (glucose-high fruits like ripe banans are fine though).

One thing to remember, don't make daily changes. IME it takes 3-5 days to see the effect of any dietary choices. (If you know what I mean).

So, I would just pick a few bodybuilding-appropriate foods (ie get your protein sources in order), wait a week or so, if so, good. Make a note of 'clean' foods, then introduce one 'variable' at a time, eat it maybe 2-3 times over a week, keeping everything else constant. Monitor results.

If it works, great, another good food on your menu. If not, record that fact and move on.

Does that help at all?


Actually it does help.

It is much more intuitive to me that you would start with very few foods and then add others.

A lot of websites recommend many different foods that you should eat but no explanation why and almost all the websites have conflicting info on this point. I think I've been getting far too much useless info from the internet and I just need to keep things simple.

I'm sure it will be boring but it's preferable to being in pain all the time. :stuck_out_tongue:


A good website to check out is deflame.com it is run by Dr. David Seaman. In the span of the last couple years it has turned into having more focus on the supplements they sell, but it still has a decent amount of information about decreasing pro-inflammatory foods. I know for me just making the switch from regular milk to almond milk (blasphemy!) made a huge difference.


I had a look at that site and it looks cool, a good start.

Still though, are too many blanket judgement-type guidelines:
Vegetables are good...
Grains are bad....

IMO it's more complex.

There's such a thing as FODMAP diet whereby it seems fructose malabsorption can be dealt with. I found that useful. Many of the foods contraindicated by FODMAP (ps i evolved and personalised from a kind of FODMAP basis) are 'healthy' 'natural' foods.

If we are ailed, we should look to a) activity and b) our diet. I don't think all physique conscious people should assume that 'healthy' foods are good for US. I don't eat lots of junk food, so at least some 'healthy' food must be the culprit in my calculations.

We will eat whatever. I'll drink broccoli water with leucine and CEE in it if it's good for me. It may be that our 'faith' in 'healthy' foods needs closer, careful examination.