Anti-inflammatory eating = Is a diet full of good fats, lean protein, complex carbs and fresh whole foods, which means a wider range of nutrients, anti-oxidants, fibre and more plant based foods.
I use anti inflammatory plans in my clinic ALL the time – it is a great way to get back some balance and stop blood sugar issues, it is a diet that is full of the good stuff and leaves out all the foods that can cause our bodies issues the main offenders being dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.
I am NOT saying that everyone has an issue with these foods – BUT I am saying that to eat this way for 14 days can be life changing – so while we are in this crazy situation, and some have more time on their hands to cook etc, lets do this.
A bit more about the anti-inflammatory approach…
First let’s talk inflammation. We create and produce Inflammation from both environments inside our bodies’ as well as the outside. External causes that can trigger inflammation are things like air pollution, toxins from cosmetics, detergents, air fresheners and pesticides. These are things we are exposed to everyday no matter how conscious we are to try and avoid them. The other aspect of inflammation is internal and it is maybe something you are a bit more aware of – this can be food, drink, stress and neurotoxins we inhale – these are toxins such as ethanol, lead, mercury that are destructive to our nerve tissue.
Systemic inflammation is when your organs and internal functions are impacted. The food and drink we consume increases or decreases the inflammatory response. Research shows inflammatory foods impacts your likelihood to develop heart disease, obesity, dementia, rapid ageing (wrinkles), chronic pain and autoimmune diseases. Substances like alcohol and sugar are toxins – food we eat can cause great damage to our cells. When we consume them, our body identifies them as things that need to be removed and the inflammation cascade is then triggered.
Our goal over the next 14 days we are going to decrease the inflammation notice an improvement in everything! And then follow that by taking what we have learnt into as anti-inflammatory way of life as possible… It is a brilliant and sustainable way to eat in general. I am excited about this.
Fresh fruit: Enjoy several pieces throughout the day.
All fresh veg: Make half your plate veggies! You can get creative and roast, steam or bake them. Leafy greens and root veggies include a variety throughout the day.
Gluten free grains: Brown rice, black rice, buckwheat, gluten free oats, quinoa or millet (These are gentle gluten free fibre rich grains) legume pastas like pea or lentil.
Good quality clean protein: Wild caught fatty fish, organic turkey, organic chicken, legumes, pulses, hummus, nuts and seeds.
Milk alternatives: Unsweetened organic almond/cashew milk or coconut milk (always unsweetened and the fewer ingredients the better)
Fats: Cold pressed olive oil, avocados, coconut yoghurt, olives, nuts, seeds, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, nut butters.
Hydrate: Drink plenty of fresh water, chia fresca, green tea, herbal teas (e.g. rooibos, fennel, dandelion, peppermint)
Extras: Sea salt, fresh pepper, fresh herbs and spices (e.g. garlic, cumin, dill, ginger, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, turmeric)
Foods to avoid:
Refined carbohydrates: White bread, pastries, cakes, sugary granola bars, processed flours, cakes, cookies, pastries, white pasta, all of these will spike insulin levels in your body. When insulin levels are spiked, eicosanoids, which are hormones that live in your cells, will act as pro-inflammatory compounds. These hormones can function as either a pro or anti-inflammatory compound and spiked insulin levels from refined carbohydrates cause them to be more pro-inflammatory than anti-inflammatory.
Nightshade veggies: These are wonderful and nutrient rich BUT can cause mild inflammation in sensitive people so best avoided over the next 2 weeks. These include white potatoes, aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, goji berries, bell peppers.
Caffeine (I do allow 1 cup IF you are totally desperate – and due to the circumstances I am feeling generous!… and I also don’t want to tip you over the edge!!!)
Deep fried foods: Fries, fish and chips, tempura etc.
Dairy: For the next 14 days remove it and focus on getting your fat and protein elsewhere.
Processed deli meats: Hotdogs, ham, chorizo and poor quality red meat, burgers, sausages etc.
Processed fats: Fatty foods including margarine, low fat butter and lard, all of the above are extremely hard on the body on many levels. Processed oils are denatured oils, meaning that they have been broken down and oxidized; they become a source of free radicals, and cause free radical damage to your cells, which can lead to inflammation. Eating whole food fats in the form of nuts, seeds, avocado and coconut oil, which has a high smoke point (the temperature at which it stops shimmering and starts smoking. The smoke point is also called the burning point) is much better for your health and well-being than consuming processed plant and animal fats on a regular basis.
Sugars: Sugar is everywhere so be aware and read your labels. Avoid sugar laden condiments, pasta sauces, fizzy drinks, ‘health’ bars, shop bought granola, as well as the obvious sweets, chocolate bars, popcorn etc.
Gluten: Opt for gluten free options in my allowed list.
Alcohol: Cut it out for 2 weeks!!! OR DO TRY!!! Again because of the Covid situation I would understand a little slip up BUT it really is a game changer to lose the booze for a bit! It is a major culprit for spiking inflammation and depleting the body of essential nutrients.
To get you going on the plan I thought knowing how it will help you might be good – so here are some of the benefits you will get from the next 14 days. The more you stick to the plan, the more you can expect to see and feel…
-Clearer and glowing skin
-Improved symptoms if suffering with an inflammatory condition/disease e.g. arthritis, repetitive back pain
-Weight loss of stubborn fat
-Increased energy levels
-Improved blood markers such as HDL/LDL, triglyceride, and glucose