Using food as a treatment isn’t about simply abstaining from what you already know is bad for you.
Ideally you should not have any food on the forbidden food list because that will just make you want it even more. Unless you have a specific illness like Celiac disease, moderation is always the key, but you should try not to let a lot of your food consumption consist of any foods high in saturated or trans fat.
These foods are usually the processed items like lunchmeat, cookies, cakes, and high sugar beverages. Instead, you want to choose foods that have a track record for reducing inflammation. Those are foods that are full of vitamins and rich in minerals. They’re foods that contain plenty of fiber and offer you the benefit of antioxidants, which can help ward off diseases.
One rule to remember when choosing food is that the closer the food is to beige, the less healthy that food can be for you. You want to load your plate with foods that have vibrant color – foods like fruits and dark leafy green vegetables. Try to avoid fruits and vegetables that are highly acidic in nature because these can aggravate an inflammation issue.
Meat is generally not the best source to reduce inflammation, however if you are addicted to it, you can consume it in moderation, as long as it’s the kind of meat that’s good for you. Meats like lean poultry, fish, or other seafood offer some of the valuable Omegas for your body.
Nuts are a protein source like meat and can be used in a diet of foods to lower inflammation. Look for nuts that are Omega-rich for the best selection. Fats are helpful for a diet that’s used to fight inflammation and you want to look for fats that are monounsaturated.
Choose to cook with olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Not only will choosing foods that fight against inflammation help you feel better, but they’re also good for your heart too, because they lower your LDL cholesterol – which in turn lowers you risk of heart related diseases.
Since I have been struggling with inflammation myself, here are a few additions I have to my nutrition:
Turmeric & Cinnamon Powder
Turmeric & cinnamon are fantastic spices with some incredible health benefits due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric actually beats cinnamon hands down but requires black pepper to be able to fully absorb and it is a much stronger taste, so I tend to use much less. Try to include a small pinch in your meals. I actually use it in my green smoothies, and only recently started to use it in my protein shakes after the gym. Cinnamon in comparison, you can shake it in like it’s going out of fashion, and I’m using it in all of my smoothies, protein shakes and muesli.
Berries are packed with antioxidants and I bought into the food industries marketing fashion of creating superfoods and hiking astronomical prices for profit. I had spent a small fortune on blueberries thinking they were a superfood. But Jonathan, my personal trainer, put me straight on the subject and told me where to find the info and go and check myself.
So instead of paying $6 on 450g of frozen blueberries I spent $4 on 2kg of frozen strawberries, and they have the same amount of anti-oxidants as blueberries. The difference is that I get four times more for 33% less dollars…
In regards to the best most powerful berries to consume, Whortleberries and Barberries are the top of the range. However Whortleberries you will have to pick in the Arctic Tundra, and Barberries are expensive and also good luck finding them. You might find them at Middle Eastern spice stores because they are used to make a Persian rice dish, but even in these stores they are rare to find.
If you can not find them, third on the list are dried Pomegranate seeds, they are expensive but loaded with anti-oxidants, but also these are more difficult to find.
If you can not find Barberries or Pomegranate seeds, and you want the next best berries in regards to the nutritional value they contain, you can go with Goji Berries and I add them to all my smoothies and muesli’s. They become more and more popular because of there high rating in regards to their health benefits and nutritional values. They become a little bit more easy to find but are more expensive than frozen strawberries. So, if you are on a budget, stick to the strawberries.
M.D. Michael Greger explains more about the scale of nutritional values for the best berries to use on his websites NutritionFacts.org.