#130 Eat anti-inflammatory foods

There is growing evidence that out of control inflammation in the body is causing a lot of serious health problems, and many doctors advice their patients to follow an anti-inflammatory diet.

An anti-inflammatory diet is probably quite close to a Mediterranean diet, the basics are generally:
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish or fish oil supplements and walnuts.
  • Avoid sugar and sweetened foods
  • Watch your intake of refined carbohydrates such as pasta and white rice.
  • Eat plenty of whole grains such as brown rice and bulgur wheat.
  • Eat lean protein sources such as chicken; cut back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods.
  • Avoid refined foods and processed foods.
  • Minimize saturated and trans fats.
  • Spice it up. Ginger, curry, and other spices can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
What I like about this diet plan is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can gradually reduce your intake of food that provokes inflammation without having to make any huge lifestyle changes.

If you are interested in this you can check out a wide range of books on the subject. Pain Pathways magazine wrote about this earlier this year, and they recommend Dr. McIlwain's Diet for a pain-free life which investigates the "overweight-inflammation-chronic pain connection". Dr. Vijay Vad was featured in the New York Times earlier this year with his book "Stop Pain" which has lots of great advice for this lifestyle.