Just submitted a sweet article on anti-inflammation diets to a major online publication! In the meantime, I wanted to hook you up with some of the details. I’ll be sure to send you to the full article when it runs, but here’s a little excerpt to tide you over…
Inflammation Causing Foods
- Grains: wheat, pasta, cereal, chips, crackers, sweets, etc.
- Vegetable Oils: Another improperly labeled “health food”, canola oil (soybean oil), cottonseed oil, safflower, sunflower oil, corn oil, peanut oil, and products that contain this oils like crackers, chips, packaged foods, and margarines.
- Factory Farmed Animal Products: Entire books and documentary films have been created to cover this topic so I’ll be brief. Factory farmed animals are subjected to unnatural diets, cramped and miserable living conditions, and often times numerous hormones and antibiotics. These animals are sick and unhealthy, but having them gain as much weight as fast as possible makes the farmers more money. These animals store their toxins in their adipose tissue (fat cells) just like humans. Since they’ve basically been “bulking” their whole lives they have plenty of storage space for these toxins. This is what you’re eating. STOP EATING THIS.
- Refined Sugars: You shouldn’t be eating this anyway. But if you are, STOP! This goes for sodas and all other sugary beverages as well. Be wary of foods sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup as well. This man-made sweetener shows up in many packaged and processed “health foods” that we’ve already discussed eliminating.
- Trans Fats: Commonly found in pastries, desserts and sweets, biscuits, fried foods, and margarines. This bad boy is another man-made creation that helps normally liquid lipids (fats) remain solid at room temperature. Peanut Butter is a prime example. When you buy a jar of natural peanut butter, remove the lid and turn it upside down, what happens? Oil runs out. Now do the same thing with Captain Hook or Jippy. Nothing happens now. Why is this? Well, those companies have added hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils to the mix to help it remain solid and prevent the natural oils from separating. Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils = trans fats.
Inflammation Fighting Foods
- Wild-Caught Fish: This is important. The fish must be wild caught. Farmed fish fall into the category detailed above. Salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, roughy, snapper or whatever you like or have access to. It just needs to be wild, not farmed. I can’t emphasize that enough.
- Grass-Fed, Organic, Cage-Free Animals: Beef, poultry, and eggs that have been pasture-raised and allowed to eat natural diets in comfortable setting have higher CLA and omega-3 levels with a lower total fat content than factory farmed animals. Wild game also falls under this category, assuming the hunter wasn’t feeding the animals from a corn feeder all summer long.
- Fruits & Vegetables: A word of caution here: Pay attention to the Top 10 list of most contaminated foods by chemicals and pesticides. Blueberries, potatoes, apples, kale, spinach, and a few other favorites should ALWAYS be purchased organic or from a local farmer you know and trust. A Greens or Superfood supplement is always a good option here. I usually mine to a protein shake to lower the acidity from the protein and oats that usually accompany it.
- Raw nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts are all great choices. Peanuts are not actually nuts, so someone following an anti-inflammation plan to the “T” would avoid peanuts and peanut products.
- Water: Often overlooked, water is the best beverage and a great health food. The quality of the water is paramount and alkaline water is best. Anything higher than a pH of 7 is perfect. Fiji, Icelandic Springs, and Essentia have great bottled waters with pH’s that range from 7.7-9.5 respectively. You can simply add a teaspoon of baking soda to a gallon of water to make it at home.