Foods Containing TNF-Alpha Inhibitors

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) is also known as cachexin or cachectin. It is a cytokine, one of the proteins that the immune system uses to fight infection. It causes an inflammatory response, which is used against contaminants in cuts and wounds as well as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The TNF-alpha’s job is to bind to cells that need to be destroyed or used as a factory to build other attacking molecules. However, when it gets out of balance, it can call for healthy cells to be destroyed, which is a leading cause of chronic inflammation. It could also mean the person has cancer, though that is not the only factor that can cause an imbalance. However, many cancers are known to increase production of TNF.

Decreasing TNF-alpha naturally can aid in regaining balance without the side effects that commonly accompany TNF inhibitor drugs. There are a variety of foods that contain the natural inhibitors that can assist in lowering this compound.


This small evergreen shrub is native to India, Africa, and the Middle East. The berry and root are used for treating stress and reducing inflammation. Because of this, it reduces the output of TNF-alpha.


CoQ10 is an antioxidant that aids in cell growth. Studies have determined that it also reduces levels of TNF.

Curcumin (Turmeric)

This bright yellow compound is what gives turmeric its iconic color. It is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant which aids in reducing production of TNF. Studies have shown that it is more effective in this than many pharmaceuticals, and it has almost no negative side effects.

Grapes (Resveratrol)

Resveratrol is the antioxidant compound in grapes. It has been found to limit production of both nitric oxide and TNF-alpha, as well as CoX-2. This helps to reduce the likelihood of cancer returning, as well as inhibiting growth of cancers. Organic grape juice also contains this compound.

Green Tea (EGCG)

A catechin named epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) is present in green tea. It has been found to naturally block TNF by keeping some chemicals that cause inflammation from being able to bind to cells in the vascular system. It does this by suppressing fractalkine, which is specifically known to cause inflammation that aids in developing arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Lectin-Avoidance Diet

It is a fairly simple diet to follow: eat seafood and meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables. Avoid grains, beans, nuts and seeds, dairy, and most potatoes. This type of diet has been found to reduce TNF-alpha and reduce or remove autoimmune symptoms.


Low magnesium levels can result in higher TNF levels. Most Americans tend to have low magnesium levels, so adding foods rich in magnesium or adding a supplement may be helpful for decreasing TNF levels.

Milk Thistle

Sometimes used to treat and prevent liver disease, milk thistle contains silymarin which has been shown to be antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. These also tend to block TNF activation.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Relaxing intentionally can have a surprisingly positive effect on TNF-alpha levels. Originally developed for psychological treatment, progressive muscle relaxation has been found to help general health.

Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Eating fruits and vegetables that are naturally high in antioxidants has been proven to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Dark-colored vegetables are especially good sources of a chemical that blocks cancer cell growth while improving DNA repair.

Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice, without added sugar, controls inflammation extremely well. This also reduces TNF levels dramatically. Many people who do strenuous exercise or sports have found that drinking this helps to reduce muscle soreness after exercising.


Tomatoes and other nightshade plants are known to prevent TNF-alpha production when eaten in moderate amounts consistently.

Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)

The alpha tocopherol in vitamin E has been proven to prevent LDL oxidation and limit TNF release.

What About Bananas?

Some rumors have spread that when one eats over ripe bananas, cancer is less likely. This, however, is not valid information. It is based on an obscure study in which researchers injected banana puree into rats’ abdomens and saw an increase in TNF. As was mentioned at the top of the page, TNF is often an indicator of cancer, not a remedy for it. Additionally, eating the bananas (as opposed to injecting them) would have no effect whatsoever on TNF levels in the body.


1. Ashwagandha 1300mg

Organic ashwagandha root extract high potency supplements offer immune support and stress relief. Black pepper is added for better absorption.

2. CoQ10 with Bioperine

100mg vegetarian capsules contain Coenzyme Q10 and black pepper extract to give easy-to-absorb nutrients. Especially helpful for those who are taking statin drugs for cholesterol, this restores levels that statin drugs deplete.

3. Curcumin (Turmeric) 2250mg

This turmeric and ginger mix has black pepper added for better absorption. It not only reduces TNF, it also aids in heart health and joint health.

4. Resveratrol 1450mg

The ingredients in this supplement include green tea and grape seed extract, vitamin C and acai extract, pomegranate and blueberry extract, and no fillers or preservatives.

5. Bigelow Green Tea Bags

Green tea bags wrapped in foil to preserve flavor, these tea bags make it convenient and delicious to enjoy a cup of healthy tea.

6. Lectin Free Handbook

This guide offers information on why and how to follow a lectin-free diet, including a week’s worth of meal plans and recipes.

7. The Lectin Avoidance Cookbook

150 more recipes to help enjoy eating while avoiding lectins, and therefore inflammation, and reducing negative health effects.

8. High Absorption Magnesium

Elemental magnesium, formulated to be easy to absorb, in 100-milligram tablets are easy to swallow and bioavailable.

9. Milk Thistle 1000mg

Scientifically formulated milk thistle extract tablets are gluten free and great antioxidants.

10. The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

This workbook is written to assist in learning progressive relaxation techniques and reduce stress.

11. Tart Cherry Juice

12 eight-ounce bottles of tart cherry juice make it easy to get an appropriate amount of the beneficial juice of the tart cherry.

12. Fresh Organic Grape Tomatoes

These fresh tomatoes are ready to eat!

13. Vitamin E

Gluten and dairy free softgels provide 670mg (1000 IU) of vitamin E and a variety of tocopherols, including alpha.