In my practice, I have many patients asking about the benefits of Anti-Inflammatory diet and what are the best products to use with it. Below you will find an excellent article written by Jaclyn Chasse, ND. But before you get familiarized what an Anti-Inflammatory Diet is, I would like to clarify that is not a diet in trendy sense – this is not a weight loss program (although some can loose weight on it simply because people start eating healthier), nor is it an eating plan designed for a short period of time. In other words, it is transformation into good eating habits, selecting and preparing foods based to maintain optimum health.
An Anti-Inflammatory Diet For The Whole Family
Inflammation is an underlying mechanism of action for many chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, autoimmunity and more. As integrative practitioners, it’s essential to think about patients’ diets and other lifestyle interventions that can help promote health and prevent these chronic illnesses.
As its name suggests, an anti-inflammatory diet is an excellent way to not only manage inflammation, but also decrease immune system stimulation. It is also a great way to provide the entire family with delicious snacks and meals. The diet, which is very similar to the Mediterranean diet, focuses on plant-based foods. Consequently, it is very high in flavonoids, polyphenols and other antioxidants, which help to support a balanced state of inflammation.1 It also has an abundance of healthy omega-3 fats derived from fish, nuts and seeds.
Here are some tips to help your patients implement an anti-inflammatory diet for the whole family:
Eat the rainbow. An anti-inflammatory diet should be, above all things, very colorful. Pink salmon, oranges, yellow peppers, green kale, blueberries, purple cabbage and other multi-hued foods not only contribute to beautiful meals that entice the entire family, but they have multiple health benefits as well. Food pigments provide a diverse array of antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress, a bi-product of chronic inflammation.
Bring on the healthy fat. Kiss your low-fat cookbooks goodbye! An anti-inflammatory diet includes a moderate intake of fat that is heavily slanted towards omega-3 fats. If your patients won’t eat omega-3-rich coldwater fish, you can encourage them to get healthy fats from plant sources. Nuts and seeds, particularly flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkinseeds and their oils, provide alphalinolenic acid (ALA)-based omega-3s. While ALA doesn’t convert very efficiently into the EPA or DHA found in fish oils, it is still a good choice to support healthy inflammation.
Keep it fresh. An anti-inflammatory diet is rich in whole foods and minimizes the intake of processed food. Encourage your patients to choose foods with as few ingredients as possible (a true whole food has only one) and to select fresh food over frozen or otherwise preserved. Not only will the taste be superior, but fresh foods usually have higher nutrient content than their processed counterparts and can exert their full anti-inflammatory potential.
This delicious, plant-based diet is a great recommendation for any patient with a chronic inflammatory condition, but also provides a healthy foundation for the entire family’s health.
If you enjoyed this post, you might want to read the famous “The Page Fundamental Food Plan”
Additionally, you can read another great post written by Dr. Andrew Weil, MD.
1. Geronikaki AA. et al. Comb Chem High Throughput Screen, 2006 Jul;9(6):425-42.