Anti-Inflammatory Diet Doctors can Recommend to their Patients

The holidays are done and we must now face real life. The first order of business is to check whether we overindulged on our diet of lechon, chicharon, sweets, and other dishes that trigger inflammation, which can lead to allergies, arthritis, asthma, gout, heart disease and other illnesses.

Getting back on track and start eating healthy again is not the easiest thing to do. Regular exercise, clean living and a healthy balanced diet are the staple best practices. You can start by sharing these top anti-inflammatory diet food to help your patients make better dietary choices.

Fruits and vegetables are first on every list with recommended servings ranging from 5 to 9 every day.

Food high in antioxidants are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. These include avocados, sweet potatoes, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale), beans, whole grains (brown rice and oats) and dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa content).

Another category of anti-inflammatory food are those containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), walnuts, and food fortified with omega 3 such as eggs and milk. Fatty fish intake is suggested at least twice a week.

Certain herbs and spices are also known for their anti-inflammatory benefits like ginger, turmeric and garlic. Curcumin in turmeric is the substance that can cure inflammation. Garlic, on the other hand, has properties that stop the production of inflammatory substances in the body.

The anti-inflammatory food pyramid created by Dr. Andrew Weil presents the dietary choices in another manner, with those foods most helpful to fight inflammation occupying the base. Vegetables and fruits share the honor at the base of the 12-level pyramid.

In the next level are whole and cracked grains, pasta and beans and legumes. On level 10 are healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, nuts and avocado. Fish and shellfish are on level 9, while whole-soy foods like soymilk and tofu are on level 8. Cooked Asian mushrooms like shiitake and oyster mushrooms are on level 7 and these are recommended for consumption in unlimited amounts.

In lesser amounts going up the pyramid are protein-rich food such as dairy, enriched eggs, lean meats (level 6), healthy herbs and spices on level 5, white, oolong and green tea on level 4. Supplements that contain key antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, mixed carotenoids and selenium), red wine and healthy sweets like fruit sorbet and plain dark chocolate round up the pyramid.

The diet foods that help contain or prevent inflammation are wide-ranging, although they may not be as popular as the known “holiday” or “celebration” foods. But new ways of cooking and serving healthy foods have made these more palatable and appealing, paving the way for better choices to keep the inflammation away.

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