When it comes to diets, it can be easy to dismiss them as the current fad. And people jump on the fad train all the time. More and more gluten free foods are hitting the stores which is great for people with celiacs. But what good is a diet for the sake of being on a diet? And why should anti-inflammatory diets be any different?
Now I’m not here to tell you how to live your life or what diet you should be on. As someone who has made adjustments over the last year to help heal my body, I know a one size fits all diet doesn’t necessarily work. So my goal this year is to educated both myself and you dear reader. And today that’s starting with anti-inflammatory diets. Let’s break it down, shall we?
What is an anti-inflammatory diet?
An anti-inflammatory diet takes the approach of focusing on eating whole foods, whole grains and healthy fats. Rather than eating lots of meat, sugar, flour, oils and package products, the diet relies on making the most of the nutrients found in the foods you’re eating. Essentially, it’s a minimal processed, whole foods diet. The goal is to eat a diet very low in or completely removed of the foods that cause or enhance inflammation within the body.
What does it look like?
Unlike other diets that count calories or macros (carbs, fats & proteins), the anti-inflammatory diet focuses on the micronutrients. This means eating lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, healthy fats and a limited amount of high quality meats. Sugar, dairy, flour, meat, oils and processed foods aren’t allowed. Instead of looking at eating 1000 calories per day, the anti-inflammatory diet looks at the nutrients you get in that 1000 calories. And then it looks at how the foods consumed impact your body.
If you were on this diet, your pantry would be void of all processed foods, anything with hydrogenated oils, white flour or rice and no sugar drinks or juices. Instead your pantry would contain whole grains such as millet and quinoa, quality fish and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s not a vegan/vegetarian diet but there is a heavy focus on loading your meals with vegetables.
What are the benefits?
If you’re someone who is constantly tired, on a lot of medication or dealing with chronic disease, an anti-inflammatory diet might be something to consider. With the focus on whole foods, people on this type of diet tend to weigh less. It’s also been known to help with managing diseases such as ms, pcos and other chronic issues. Anti-inflammatory diets focus on using foods to heal your body. There is also the potential that someone on this diet might need less medication and have a longer life expectancy.
Where can I learn more?
There are a lot of goods books and great bloggers out there living the anti-inflammatory life. If you want to read more about it, I’d suggest Clean Cuisine* or The Plant Paradox* as far as books. But Kate, the found of Root + Revel, is also one of my favorite sources and a true testament to how an anti-inflammatory diet can change your life.
Are you currently living an anti-inflammatory diet or lifestyle? I’d love to hear about it! And if you have any requests on what diets you’d like me to break down next, leave me a comment below and let me know. Happy Sunday friends!