Clear evidence: pro-inflammatory diets linked to 27 chronic diseases…here’s how to fix it

pro inflammatory diet and chronic disease

Over 60% of Americans are living with a chronic disease, and 40% are living with two or more chronic conditions that are dramatically decreasing life expectancy (and quality of life). And so many are preventable.

PLUS, it is arguably THE biggest challenge with the global pandemic, with around 95% of COVID-19 deaths being people with 4+ comorbidities (source).

When it comes to inflammation, diet and stress are the biggest contributors, and diet accounts for the vast majority of that. We really can make a huge impact on our health with what we eat, and I’ve been repeating my Triple-A approach to health to you (repeatedly repeating, over and over ha!) for years now: almost all sickness and disease comes from acidity, inflammation, and oxidative stress, and the solution is a diet rich in alkaline, antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory foods.

And when it comes to inflammation, brand-new research published in the Advances in Nutrition Journal drives this point home – strongly linking a pro-inflammatory diet to 27 chronic diseases including heart attacks, all-cause mortality (i.e. premature) death, bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer, respiratory cancers, and oral cancers and more.

The study was a meta-analysis pooled data from 15 studies looking at 38 health outcomes from four million people from across the world. The links the study found were incredibly clear and offer more evidence that while many conditions can be complex, the solutions can be so simple.

What is Inflammation & What are Pro-Inflammatory Foods

There are two types of inflammation: acute, and chronic. Acute inflammation is a good thing. This is when the body is injured, and your immune system releases white blood cells to surround and protect the area.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is NOT a good thing. This is when inflammation is turned up high and lingers, and the biggest source of this lingering heat…is diet.

With chronic inflammation, the immune system constantly pumps out white blood cells and chemical messengers that say “we’re under attack, keep fighting!”.

Before long these white blood cells will attack healthy tissue and organs, and serious problems emerge.

You might think that inflammation is only linked to conditions like autoimmune, and arthritis – but as this research shows, chronic inflammation is associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Alkaline Reset Cleanse Book

Pro-Inflammatory Foods

We’ve covered this a fair bit before, but there’s nothing like mastering the fundamentals.

Pro-inflammatory foods (i.e. those that cause inflammation) are quite easily grouped as those foods that:

  1. Contain gluten
  2. Contain sugar
  3. Are processed

In other words, all acid-forming foods. And pretty much all processed, packaged foods.

Again, the solutions are simple: eat fresh as much as possible.

Now, I want to make it clear that nobody is expected to be perfect, and perfection is not required to feel and look incredible. But try to limit these pro-inflammatory foods as much as possible.

And Anti-Inflammatory Foods?

The good news is, all alkaline-forming foods are naturally anti-inflammatory too. So if you’re following any of my suggestions and advice you’ll be on the right track.

However, if you are struggling with inflammation right now, then you’ll want to hit it hard. And for this, there are a few foods I want to suggest right away that are proven, powerful anti-inflammatory superfoods. To dig a bit deeper, I recommend you check out my Anti-Inflammation Plan here, or join the wait list for my Alkaline Base Camp coaching. It’s currently closed, but we’re going to be opening up more spots soon!

The Top Anti-Inflammation Foods

  1. Turmeric (special focus on this one, try to get turmeric daily)
  2. Ginger
  3. Garlic (also anti-viral)
  4. Broccoli, Cauli and other cruciferous
  5. Leafy greens

If you can focus on getting these into your diet regularly, while minimizing the pro-inflammatory foods, you’ll really see a difference.

And in terms of supplements, I really recommend Thorne’s Meriva SF as a fantastic source of curcumin (the anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric), and broccoli sprout powder.

It Is Clear, We Need to Get the Inflammation Out

When we’re in a state of chronic inflammation, it unbalances every system in the body – your endocrine system (that controls your hormones), digestive, immune, pH balancing, and detoxification system. It affects every cell. It makes it 10x harder to reach your health goals.

By aiming towards a more alkaline-forming diet, we are naturally getting the pro-inflammatory foods out, and fighting inflammation with those beautiful alkaline, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich, nutrient-dense foods.

But getting started is often the hardest thing.

It is why I always recommend starting with one simple step, and then adding. Don’t always try to do it all at once.

Just think about your diet, think about the foods you eat on a regular basis, and see if you can swap ONE for a more anti-inflammatory, alkaline food. What food is appearing in your diet regularly, that would be an easy swap?

Start there, and then add more. Baby steps. This approach – focusing on the core things that will make the biggest difference (with the least stress) is why we get such incredible results in the Alkaline Base Camp.

This is the approach that virtually guarantees success because it removes that stress (also pro-inflammatory!), makes it easy, and therefore heaps more enjoyable.

Let’s do this!


Ross’ Anti-Inflammation Diet
Two Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Teas
Soothing Gut-Healing Soup
The Anti-Inflammation Smoothie
The Most Acidic Foods
The Ultimate Guide to the Alkaline Diet

get the alkaline reset cleanse book here

Ask Me a Question or Leave a Comment Here - I'd Love to Hear from You


  1. Anne Reply

    Is celery juice on its own healthy to drink. Where to buythornes Merida sf thanks Ross

  2. Pauline Kepler Reply

    I’d like a list of alkaline foods .

    • ross Reply

      Hey Pauline – see the top of this page – you can grab the full lists there 🙂

  3. Pat Reply

    Thank you Ross please keep sending me more interesting and actionable studies and research

  4. Darline Morris Reply

    Ross, thank you ….. your newsletters and research are always so informative and I always look forward to your new recipes.

  5. Theresa Reply

    Hi Ross,
    I juice approx 1 inch piece of turmeric root with my veggies every other day is that just as good as the powder. What are your thoughts?

    • ross Reply

      Its better 🙂

  6. Genevieve Forde Reply

    Thanks for the reminder Ross!

  7. Susanne Boyd Reply

    What do s the best juicer to get

    • ross Reply

      I love the Hurom brand, so easy to clean and powerful.

  8. Claudia Reply

    Your clear and easy to follow approach works – I like the associated research to the alkaline principle – and am a abc member for 2 years running – life sometimes throws a curveball and following a specific nutritional lifestyle does not always works – but it is amazing who little but consistent changes go a long way !

    Thank you Ross and team!

    • ross Reply

      Superb Claudia – and it’s so great to have you in the ABC. Life is always unpredictable, and it’s being able to stick with the fundamentals – even if small – that keeps you going with consistency. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to be consistent, and it starts with consistency with our intent.

      You’re going great.

  9. marilyn Hounsome Reply

    Hi Ross
    I am interested in trying your Tumeric and ginger teas, how long can they be kept for?
    and is it ok to reheat it?

    • ross Reply

      Yep you can reheat. I’d not normally make more than a day’s worth at a time as they’re so quick and easy to make.

  10. Jerri Reply

    Is it ok to use ground turmeric or ginger?
    Is there any harm in drinking SELTZER? Or using bottled lemon juice?

    • ross Reply

      “Is it ok to use ground turmeric or ginger?” – yes, but always always organic.

      “Is there any harm in drinking SELTZER?” Keep it to a minimum – the fizz is carbonic acid.

      “Or using bottled lemon juice?” – not ideal but a decent backup.

  11. Guna Reply

    Are organic sprouted grains as inflammatory as non sprouted ones?

    • ross Reply

      Hey Guna

      Sprouted grains contain no gluten so are absolutely fine to use.

      • Guna Reply

        Wow i never knew that. Thank you