The Anti- Inflammatory Diet
Some health foods and tips to keep inflammation at bay
Main components of the Anti Inflammatory Diet
- The cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, watercress and bok choy, etc… have indoles that have been linked to lowering oxidative stress.
- Raspberries contain anti-inflammatory phytonutrients such as anthocyanins and have a lower glycemic index than mangos. 3-4 servings per day of brightly colored low glycemic index fruit, including berries, is recommended.
- Half- cooked Asian mushrooms such as Shiitake, Maitake, and Enokidake contain compounds that help enhance immune function.
- Steel Cut Oats are a better choice than rolled. They digest slowly, reducing the frequency of spikes in blood sugar
- Green Tea provides antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation (even more than most fruits and vegetables). Unsweetened tea has more nutrients compared to traditional sodas that can have up to 16 teaspoons of sugar.
- Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild Alaskan salmon (especially sockeye), herring, sardines and black cod are strongly anti-inflammatory.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains healthy fats which are rich in either monounsaturated or omega-3 fatty acids, compared to corn oil which is generally a GMO product and rich in omega-6 fatty acids.
- Quinoa is a seed that promotes stable blood sugar levels and provides the full range of the essential amino acids. It is a protein substitute with an anti-inflammatory effect from fiber and polyphenols, in addition to supporting a healthy gut microbiome.
- Spice blends are a valuable tool for adding flavor to meals without adding extra salt. The beneficial volatile oils in sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme all have anti-inflammatory properties that when consumed on regular basis, can reduce inflammation and promote health.
- Mushrooms have been appreciated through history as valuable resources for food and medicine. Mushrooms are rich in anti-inflammatory components, such as polysaccharides, phenolic and indolic compounds, mycosteroids, fatty acids, carotenoids, vitamins, and biometals. Mushrooms also act as a prebiotics which is beneficial for healthy microbiome.
Beneficial effects of mushrooms: antiobesity, anticholesterol, antihypertensive and antidiabetic properties, as well as selected anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, antiviral and neuroprotective effects
Some Healthy Tips
Beans and legumes: 1 to 2 servings per day (one serving is equal to ½ cup of cooked beans or legumes). Best: Beans like Anasazi, adzuki and black, as well as chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lentils. Beans are rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium and soluble fiber. They are a low-glycemic-load food.
Fruits: 3 to 4 servings per day (one serving is equal to 1 medium-size piece of fruit, ½ cup chopped fruit, ½ cup of dried fruit). Best: Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, oranges, pink grapefruit, red grapes, plums, pomegranates, blackberries, cherries, apples, and pears – all lower in glycemic load than most tropical fruits. Fruits are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
Whole Grains: 3-5 servings a day (one serving is ½ cup of cooked grains. Best: Brown rice, basmati rice, wild rice, buckwheat, barely, quinoa, steel cut oats. Whole grains digest slowly, reducing spikes of insulin that promotes inflammation. Whole grains are the whole intact grain, not flours of the grains.
Carbs: 2-3 servings per week. Best: organic FIRMLY cooked pasta, rice noodles, bean thread noodles. When these starches are cooked to be firm to the bite, they tend to have lower glycemic index.
Healthy Fats: 5 to 7 servings per day (one serving is equal to 1 teaspoon of oil, 2 walnuts, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed, 1 ounce of avocado). Best: For cooking, extra-virgin olive oil and expeller-pressed grapeseed oil. Other sources of healthy fats include nuts (especially walnuts), avocados, and seeds, including hemp seeds and freshly ground flaxseed.
Fish and Shellfish: 2 to 6 servings per week (one serving is equal to 4 ounces of fish or seafood). Best: Wild Alaskan salmon (especially sockeye), herring, sardines, and black cod (sablefish). These fish are rich in omega-3 fats, which are strongly anti-inflammatory. If fish is not available, supplement with fish-oil that contains both EPA and DHA in a dose of 2 to 3 grams per day.
Water: Throughout the day. Drink pure water, or drinks that are mostly water (tea, very diluted fruit juice, sparkling water with lemon) throughout the day. Water is vital for overall functioning of the body
Healthy sweets: In moderation. Best: unsweetened dried fruit, dark chocolate, fruit sorbet. Dark chocolate (at least 70%) provides polyphenols with antioxidant activity. Fruit sorbet is a better option than other frozen desserts.
Red Wine: no more than 1 to 2 glasses per day. Best: Organic red wine. Red wine has beneficial antioxidant activity. Limit intake to no more than 1 to 2 servings per day.
Green Tea: 2 to 4 cups per day. Best: White, green, and oolong teas. Tea is rich in catechins, antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation.
Healthy herbs and spices : unlimited amounts of Turmeric, curry powder, ginger, garlic, chili peppers, basil, cinnamon, rosemary, and thyme