Chronic inflammation can cause different diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. While some foods can promote inflammation, other foods can actually prevent or decrease the inflammatory process in the body. Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet is a science-based detailed meal plan for people who want to slow down or reverse inflammation.
In general, recommendations for an anti-inflammatory diet are simple. You should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables of all colours, including three to four servings of fruits and four to five servings of vegetables per day. Eliminate or minimise all processed and fast foods, instead you should eat a wide variety of fresh whole foods, choosing organic foods whenever possible. It is also important to drink plenty of pure water throughout the day.
Calories, Carbohydrates, Fat and Protein
Most adults need between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day depending on body size and physical activity. This must include 160g to 200g of carbohydrate per day for women and 240g to 300g for men. Increase whole grains in the diet and reduce or eliminate foods made with white flower, sugar and high fructose corn syrup to provide your body with healthful carbohydrates. Eating plenty of whole grains will also increase your fiber intake. Try to eat 40g of fibre a day when following an anti-inflammatory diet. While some fats are essential and have anti-inflammatory properties, the other fats can actually promote inflammation. Dr. Weil recommends reducing intake of saturated fats, such as butter, cream, cheese, fatty meats and palm kernel oil and avoiding vegetable and corn oils, margarine, shortenings and all foods made with them. Try using extra-virgin olive oil as your main cooking oil and include nuts and avocados in your diet because omega-3 oils play an important role in an anti-inflammatory diet. Eating salmon, sardines, herring and other fatty fish as well as omega-3 fortified eggs, hemp and flax seeds regularly will provide a sufficient amount of this essential anti-inflammatory fatty acid. Protein is vital for overall health; however, the sources of protein in the diet matters. To minimise inflammatory processes in the body, decrease animal protein, with the exception of seafood, eggs, yoghurt and some cheeses. Get the majority of protein from vegetable sources like beans and especially soybeans.
Phytonutrients are naturally occurring chemicals in plants that can protect against inflammation and some chronic diseases. Besides fruits and vegetables, Asian mushrooms, such as shiitake, maitake and oyster, are exceptionally rich in such chemicals. Soy is a good source of antioxidants and also a good source of protein. Eat whole soy foods like tofu, tempeh, edamame and soy milk daily. White, green and oolong teas are rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Enjoy two to four cups daily for optimal health. Use culinary herbs and spices in unlimited amounts, as many of them are powerful natural anti-inflammatory agents. In addition, red wine and dark chocolate have beneficial antioxidant activities, but you should consume them only in moderation.
In addition, Dr. Weil advises to use supplements on a daily basis. Among the most important are high quality multivitamins and multiminerals, co-enzyme Q10, fish oil and vitamin D3.