Hopefully you were able to catch PART 1 of the ANTI-Inflammatory Diet that came out last week. If not check it out before you read further. For those that read it hopefully it was a little eye opening and made you take a step back and examine the foods you are consuming and also think about the possible link between any of your medical concerns.
We discussed the link between inflammation and chronic disease but I will tell you from my clinical experience, it is also low grade symptoms most people suffer from daily. Do you ever suffer from:
Puffy face and swollen hands
Upset stomach and reflux
This is a short list but if you said yes to any of these more than likely you are suffering from dietary inflammation. If you didn’t get a chance to take the inflammation questionnaire check it out here again. The Inflammation Checklist
Okay so now that we know we are mostly all inflamed by the food we eat let’s examine what foods are ANTI Inflammatory.
With every bite we take, we are either deflaming or inflaming. Deflame.com
The concept behind choosing food that is ANTI inflammatory is rather easy. We talked extensively in PART 1 about how the ratio between omega 6 and omega 3 plays a huge role. Remember to produce the mass quantities of food our obese population consumes, a high percentage of food is produced with INFLAMMATORY omega 6 oils like vegetable oils. So choosing food that are ANTI-Inflammatory is as simple as keeping your choices to fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, and nuts.
Here is a simple guide provided by deflame.com
- All fruits and vegetables. Eat fruits raw and vegetables raw or lightly cooked. Red and sweet potatoes are acceptable as long as they are consumed with a protein, such as eggs, fish, meat, or fowl.
- Fresh or frozen fish. A recent study indicated that farmed-raised tilapia, catfish and bronzini had unacceptable omega-6 to omega-3 ratios, while all other fish had appropriate ratios (17). Shell fish are also a good option.
- Meat, chicken, eggs from grass-fed animals. Go to www.eatwild.com to find producers of grass-fed animal products. If you cannot acquire grass-fed products, do the best you can to get lean cuts of regular meats, which are available at all supermarkets.
- Omega-3 eggs. Common supermarket brands of anti-inflammatory omega-3 (n-3) eggs are Christopher Eggs (600mg n-3 per egg yolk), followed by 4-Grain Vegetarian omega-3 Eggs (300mg n-3 per yolk), Sparboe Farms omega-3 eggs (250mg n-3 per yolk), and Eggland’s Best (110mg n-3 per yolk). Egg whites are also a good choice.
- Wild game (deer, elk, etc.)
- Nuts: raw almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, etc. As nuts are high in calories, be sure to control your nut consumption if your goal is to lose weight. For example, 1/4 cup of nuts provides about 170-225 calories.
- Spices like ginger, turmeric, garlic, dill, oregano, coriander, fennel, red chili pepper, basil, rosemary, kelp, etc. (sea salt is okay if you wish to add a little salt).
- Oils and fats: It is best to use organic oils, as it is thought that nonorganic oils may contain pesticides. Use organic extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. Butter is also a healthy choice and the best butter comes from grass fed cows. You will get the best available butter if you buy organic butter (Organic Valley indicates that their butter and heavy cream are from grass-fed cows).
- Salad dressing: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice), mustard if you like, and spices (Greek, Italian, ginger, dill, oregano, etc.; whatever suits your taste). When eating in a restaurant, use dressings sparingly, as most are made with soybean oil or worse, and most are rich in sugar.
- Whenever you are thirsty, drink water or organic green tea (non-organic green tea may contain pesticides and should be avoided).
- Alcohol: Red wine and stout beer are the best choices.
- Candy: Dark chocolate. Be sure to temper your consumption as dark chocolate is high in calories. Try to eat no more than 50-100 calories per day.
As you can see there are numerous options when it comes to choosing healthier food. I simply refuse to let people in the clinic give me the excuse of not having any options. Here is a simple example of what a dinner should look like.
Okay so now that you know what healthy ANTI-Inflammatory foods options look like, what else can be done to reduce systemic inflammation? Supplementation can provide our bodies with nutrients we are unable to get enough of in everyday life. In PART 3 we will be discussing supplement options for everyone. In my professional opinion there are basic supplements everyone should consider. Then, when we look at each individual needs we develop specific supplementation plans based on symptoms and need.
If you are interested in learning more about our nutritional services you can find out more information here. We are committed to helping our patients get on the right path towards optimal health, so if you have any questions concerning your health or symptoms you may be experiencing, call and set up a nutritional evaluation and find out how we can help!