Top tips for an anti-inflammatory diet

Follow these anti-inflammatory diet tips to reduce heart disease risk, blood pressure and help muscles and joints recover from the wear and tear of regular exercise

Superfoods - including fruit and berries

An anti-inflammatory diet can come from a number of foods

An anti-inflammatory diet can reduce heart disease risk, blood pressure and help muscles and joints recover from the wear and tear of regular exercise. Follow these simple rules to make sure you reduce inflammation with a healthy diet:

Top 10 anti-inflammatory diet tips:

  1. Caloric intake – If you are eating the appropriate number of calories for your level of activity, your weight should not fluctuate greatly. Most adults need to consume between 2,000 – 3,000 calories per day, women and smaller less active people need fewer calories.
  2. Reduce your consumption of foods made with white flour and sugar and eat more 100% stone-ground whole-wheat flour, buckwheat, or kummut, beans winter squashes and sweet potatoes for your carbohydrate choices.
  3. Reduce your intake of saturated fats by eliminating or greatly reducing butter, cream, cheese, and other full fat dairy products, un-skinned chicken, fatty meats and products made with coconut or palm oil.
  4. Use extra virgin olive oil as your main cooking oil. Avoid regular safflower and sunflower oil, corn oil and mixed vegetable oils.
  5. Decrease consumption of animal protein except for fish, and eat more vegetable protein, especially from beans. Eat less protein if you have liver or kidney problems, allergies or autoimmune disease.
  6. Try to eat at least 40grams of fibre
  7. Drink 6-8 glasses of pure water per day or drinks that are mostly water.
  8. If you are not eating oily fish at least twice per week, take a supplemental fish oil in capsule or liquid form, of 1-2 grams/day.
  9. Exercise a minimum of 5 times per week, by performing a mix of cardiovascular (getting the heart rate up to a moderate to high intensity level) and some kind of lean muscle mass increasing activities (weight training, strength based yoga, fitness classes that incorporate the use of weights/tubing/self body resistance)
  10. Choose fruits and vegetables from all parts of the colour spectrum, especially berries, yellow and orange fruits, and dark leafy greens for the phtyonutrients.

Top 10 anti-inflammatory diet foods:

  1. Use avocado or hummus generously (chickpea spread) on sandwiches and crackers instead of butter or margarine or mayonnaise as good source of low density cholesterol (LDL’s) and dietary fibre.
  2. Add ground flax or flax/chia blend to fruit shakes for fibre and for the omega – 3 boost
  3. Bake sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes – lower glycemic index, and are higher in fibre and good sources of beta carotene, Vit C and B6.
  4. Use canned salmon occasionally in sandwiches instead of turkey or chicken for the omega – 3 boost also because it doesn’t release Series 2 prostaglandins (inflammation causing hormones)
  5. Use whole wheat pasta and rice instead of white pasta, to add dietary fibre.
  6. Drink green tea to increase the intake of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
  7. Eat foods that increase the Series 1 and 3 prostaglandin (anti-inflammatory hormones)– salmon, tuna, halibut, sardines, seeds, nuts (walnuts, almonds, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame)
  8. Make soups using buckwheat or whole-wheat noodles for fibre and anti-inflammatory aspects.
  9. Substitute unpasteurized honey for sugar in baking and hot drinks.
  10. When buying all foods check the labels carefully, many foods have added sugar, refined oil, and saturated fats which will increase the amount of inflammation internally. E.g. store bought tomato pasta sauces – many have sugar added.