An anti-inflammatory diet plan can reduce joint pain, reset and heal your gut, provide more energy and mental clarity, and offer more healthful benefits.
Your reasons for considering an anti-inflammatory diet can vary from losing weight to natural pain relief medicine to alleviate your symptoms. Autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer are the leading reasons people consider one of these diets. Eating for your health can never be wrong.
Is It The Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean Diet is one of the most common anti inflammatory diets, focusing on fruits, vegetables, fish, healthy oils, nuts, and whole grains. Olive oil and tomatoes are key components of the lifestyle, both of which have well-researched anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is not the only one. Most diets do not have specific names, and the Mediterranean Diet wasn’t created to be anti-inflammatory; it simply contains plenty of foods that share those properties.
Your root cause can affect key elements of an anti-inflammatory diet plan. Inflation in your body can vary from the inflammation in another person’s body. While diet plans are easy to follow, you should consider your inflammation and research possible culprit foods. For example, if someone has celiac disease, they need to consider which whole grains they can and cannot consume to maintain 25g per day.
7 Key Features You’ll Find in an Anti Inflammatory Diet
Whole grains are at the center of this lifestyle. They are filling but also contain vital nutrients like fiber to keep you full and keep things going. You should avoid heavily processed foods labeled with whole grains as a marketing ploy. These foods contain little if no more benefit than their white flour cousins (think pasta). Instead, consider including more oatmeal and barley for whole grain sources.
Fruits and Vegetables
Be mindful of the fruits and vegetables you choose because some are notorious for causing inflammation. Berries are a great choice because they contain high amounts of antioxidants and polyphenols. The same applies to dark leafy greens and tomatoes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have plenty of science to support their addition to your anti-inflammatory diet. Diets rich in these essential nutrients will help you combat depression and anxiety, reduce inflammation, and much more. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are genuine superfoods.
- Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids
- Fatty fish like salmon, cod liver oil, sardines, and anchovies
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
Meat, eggs, and dairy from actual grass-fed operations also contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids; however, these might not be suitable for an anti-inflammatory diet.
Fats are not created equal. An anti inflammatory diet limits saturated fat to 10%, which your body still needs, and contains anti-inflammatory properties. This does not mean your diet will be fat-free. Instead, you will consume natural, unprocessed sources of unsaturated, monounsaturated, and those omega-3 fatty acids.
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Wild-caught fish
- Pasture-raised chicken
No Processed Foods
Processed foods contain large amounts of salt, sugar, chemicals, and empty calories. Many ingredients in processed foods have been linked to inflammation or are questionable. While everyone should do their best to avoid them, if you are on an anti inflammatory diet plan, they won’t be allowed.
Light to moderate exercise is a crucial component to any healthy lifestyle. However, if you suffer from inflammation, you shouldn’t exercise more than one hour daily. Some studies suggest beyond an hour is when exercise becomes inflammatory.
If you’re a workout junkie, you should consider smaller sessions spaced throughout your day instead of long, vigorous sessions as part of your anti inflammatory diet. For those who don’t exercise, consider adding light walking, aerobics, or any activity you enjoy.
Some people experience remission when they switch to an anti inflammatory lifestyle. Others will see a vast improvement. More and more people are making the diet switch to prevent future diseases like cancer, dementia, or heart disease. One key component people have in common is seeing results on one level or another.
Few diets or lifestyle plans have the science to back them. An anti inflammatory diet does because it does not revolve around gimmicks or supplements, just natural whole foods in normal quantities. There is credence to filling your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins while still consuming moderate amounts of healthy fats.