As it turns out, the statement you are what you eat, has some merit. In fact, what you eat contributes to the aches and pains you deal with on a day to day basis. Once an alternative medicine theory, the anti-inflammatory diet is now widely accepted. The basics are pretty simple.
- High-quality protein
- Low-glycemic index carbohydrates
- Healthy fats
- Anti-oxidant rich foods and beverages
So, what makes a good protein? Proteins are made from amino acids. A few of these amino acids need to be consumed in the food we eat because they are the building blocks of all of the others. Most animal proteins are complete proteins meaning they supply all of these “essential” amino acids. Unfortunately, they also tend to have a high level of fat and cholesterol. When you don’t get “good” quality protein or inadequate amounts, you are less able to fight disease, recover from injury or heal your body on a daily basis.
Recommended Proteins include:
- Poultry (Free range if possible)
- Omega 3 organic eggs
- Low fat dairy products
What makes a good carbohydrate?
We have all seen the diets and articles pushing low carb, no carb, anti carb guidelines. This current fad is just that…a fad. It would be more accurate to say, avoid some carbohydrates. Blood sugar and insulin levels are directly related to inflammation and storage of fat. High sugar levels cause damage to every cell in the body. Just look at the many problems encountered by those struggling with diabetes. Bursts of sugar lead directly to the release of insulin. Insulin in turn results in fat storage. So, the fat free cookie may not contain fat, but if it has a high level of sugar, the end result is the same.. fat.
So what do we look for in a carbohydrate? A low glycemic index. The glycemic index is a number given to foods that rates how quickly they turn into sugar once eaten. When thinking of a low number food, think broccoli not snickers. The goal is to avoid foods with a glycemic index>70 and eat in moderation foods with a glycemic index between 55-70. Foods with a glycemic index <55 are ideal.
Fat is good.
Fat helps you absorb necessary vitamins and nutrients. Healthy fat is good for your mind and body. It minimizes wrinkles and keeps your brain sharp. Omega 3 fatty acids are one example of a healthy fat. Evening primrose oil, black currant oil and omega 9 fatty acids are others.
Best Choices for Omega 3 Essential Fatty acids (Linolenic Acid)
Cold water fish: wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, shad, herring, halibut and trout
Flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed meal, hempseed oil, hempseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds
Best Choices for Omega-9 Essential Fatty Acids (Oleic Acid)
Olive oil (extra virgin or virgin), olives, sesame oil
Avocados, almonds, peanuts, pecans, pistachio nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts
Anti-oxidants fight cell damage by picking up all the damaging free radicals that circulate in our body. Free radicals are a result of body processes. Unfortunately, they cause inflammation and aging. Including foods rich in anti oxidants in the diet is very helpful in fighting inflammation and boosting the immune response. Green tea with its polyphenols, citrus fruits with their vitamin C and green leafy vegetables with their Vitamin E are some examples. Infusions such as glutathione are also a helpful way to get an extra boost of anti oxidants.
Certain supplements are known to fight systemic inflammation. Dr Weiss has taken all of her routine recommendations (turmeric, bromelain etc) and formulated a powder specifically geared toward fighting inflammation in the body. Formula FTS combines a series of all natural ingredients that when taken twice a day drastically reduces inflammation and pain. We have tested and fine tuned the components by monitoring inflammatory blood test markers. The results are consistent and sustainable.
Obviously, this is just an introduction to using nutrition to fight inflammation. With that said, these easy steps have the potential to make massive differences.