Let’s be honest, if you experience inflammation it can feel like a fire in your joints. For others the joints hurt every time they move. In more severe cases people experience everything from weight gain (and an inability to lose weight) to chronic diseases. All of this can start with inflammation
The old saying “you are what you eat” is partially true. When it comes to foods, the more the food is processed, the more toxins are introduced into the body. These toxins are one of the major contributors to inflammation. Depending on your age and health the body may be able to combat these toxins but without the proper nutrients we begin to feel the results – less energy, more fatigue, aches and pains, muscle soreness, and illness.
Anti-Inflammation – Listen to Learn
But, we have the ability to control what happens in our bodies by eating an anti-inflammation diet. I’ve covered the basics in on my radio show Eat Well to Live Well with Kellie Hill which you can listen to here. But there’s even more you can do to help reduce inflammation.
Anti-Inflammation – Quick Overview
Anti-Inflammation Food Guidelines
There are many great books out there with very specific anti-inflammation diets. Here I’m going to give you a basic overview of the types of foods to add to your meal plan and the types of foods to remove in order to decrease inflammation.
- Try to purchase organic, local, seasonal foods as much as possible
- Eat 40% carbohydrates, 30% good quality protein, 30% healthy fats
- Do not eat any one food more than five times per week
- Plan your meals
- For weight loss reduce grains and legumes
- Avoid: gluten products, dairy products, genetically modified foods, corn, sugar, nonorganic eggs, peanuts, peanut butter, soy products, coffee, alcohol, juice, caffeinated teas, soda, hydrogenated oils, processed foods, fried foods, food dyes, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, meat preservatives (nitrites), monosodium glutamate, and possibly nightshade vegetables.
- Eat more: essential fatty acids from cold-water, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, halibut and oils extracted from these fish, pineapple, fruits and vegetables, garlic, ginger, turmeric, nuts and seeds (properly soaked – learn how here), flaxseed, flaxseed oil, filtered water, coconut oil.
Anti-Inflammation Diet Guidelines
You have to plan your diet in order to reduce inflammation. You need the right foods available to you, properly prepared, and in the right amounts. Planning makes the difference between “trying” to get healthy and successfully achieving optimal health. If you need help with how to plan your meals, read this article about Meal Planning. Anti-Inflammation begins with meal planning.
Here’s your basic anti-inflammation diet guidelines:
Vegetables: Eat 1-2 servings of green vegetables per day, preferably more. Choose slightly cook vegetables for best absorption.
Caution: nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, goji berries, and huckleberries) can cause many people inflammation, especially arthritis sufferers – consider an elimination diet to verify potential inflammation.
Grains: no more than 1 cup per day – less if you’re trying to lose weight or have blood sugar issues.
Avoid: all gluten and wheat products, white flour to reduce inflammation
Legumes: ½ cup per day / soaked and cooked. Eat less if you’re trying to lose weight or have blood sugar issues.
Avoid: soy, tofu
Seafood: 3-4 times per week – eat wild caught only and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, halibut (especially helpful in reducing inflammation in the joints)
Avoid: farmed fish
Try Poached Salmon
Fruits: 1-2 servings per day from whole fruits – limit dried fruits
Avoid: fruit juice
Meats: 2-4 ounces organic free range chicken and turkey, wild game, venison, elk, organic free range lamb and buffalo, organic pasture raised
grass fed beef
Avoid: conventionally raised meats
Sweeteners: eat only occasionally – choose pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, local raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar or evaporated cane juice (especially helpful in reducing overall inflammation)
Fats: use extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nut or seed oils
Avoid: hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, fried foods
Eggs & Dairy: only organic eggs, if dairy is tolerated you can add cultured yogurt, raw milk, raw cheese
Avoid: pasteurized dairy, commercial eggs
Nuts & Seeds: remember to properly soak – flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, raw nuts, nut butters
Avoid: peanuts and peanut butter
Try Pumpkin Seeds
Avoid: coffee, soda, juice, caffeinated teas, alcohol
Try Strawberry Soda
Don’t try to make all these changes at once to reduce your inflammation as this can be overwhelming. Start where it is easy and convenient for you and as you feel the effects of decreased inflammation add more steps. An anti-inflammation diet can easily be a way of life.
The macronutrients need for body’s fuel (carbs, fats, proteins) only come from food.