If inflammation in the body can make losing weight difficult, it follows that emphasizing anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding culprits that cause inflammation can give a big boost to our weight loss campaigns. An added bonus is that an anti-inflammatory diet can prevent diseases such as stroke and heart disease at the same time it slows aging. Start now, and you’ll thank yourself later.

Wouldn’t you know that an anti-inflammation diet is based on the Mediterranean way of eating? When you are grounded in the omega-3 and antioxidant mantra of Mediterranean, you are already ahead of the game.

Thanks to Clinton Kelly of The Chew and actress Fran Drescher for a reminder to make these foods a significant part of our lives with this simple but tasty Roasted Salmon and Beet Salad recipe. A pineapple and basil sauce kicks up the flavor of the salad.

Epicurious and nutritionist Monica Reinagel, who wrote The Inflammation Free Diet Plan, lay out additional recipes that give you a delicious way to douse the inflammatory fires. Are you ready for some Citrus Salad with Ginger Yogurt? How about Indian Spiced Carrot Soup with Ginger for lunch? If you have a craving for chocolate, try these cocoa recipes that lace banana walnut bread and cherry oatmeal with the often overlooked inflammation fighter.

Central to this diet are omega-3 rich foods such as salmon, flax seeds and walnuts. Emphasize colorful, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables: berries, broccoli, carrots, and spinach as well as avocados and nuts. Olive oil is the star of the anti-inflammatory diet, which emphasizes foods that are high in monounsaturated fats.

Accent your food with spices, especially the hot ones such as curry and chili peppers. Remember ginger, turmeric and garlic.

Since too much omega-6 fat is thought to increase inflammation, restrict your use of vegetable oils. Also cut your consumption of simple carbohydrates such as potatoes and pasta. Reduce your butter and cream, and focus on low-fat dairy products. Choose lean meats to keep saturated fat levels down. Holding blood-sugar levels in check by cutting sugar in your diet also helps.

Stress takes its toll on the body, especially during the winter. Cold, snow and ice and the long commute home during dark and dreary days ramp up that stress. Give your body a break with anti-inflammatory foods, and at the same time have fun exploring the spicy excitement of Indian, Asian, and Latin flavors.