‘You are what you eat' is one of life's classic truisms. Quite literally, our bodies and minds comprise bits of the foods we eat and liquids we drink. Not a very scientific explanation, admittedly, but still essentially correct.
Diet is an essential part of good health for everyone, especially those struggling with chronic illness. Inflammatory-based illnesses, such as most forms of arthritis, can massively benefit from what is known as an anti-inflammatory diet.
It makes sense really: if your issue is caused by inflammation, you should consume foods which reduce inflammation and, as importantly, avoid those that are inflammatory. And it's not one of those punitive diets that are trendy from time to time. It includes lot of yummy and even quite indulgent foods.
Based on years of experience with the anti-inflammatory diet, here are our top tips...
- Eat LOTS of vegetables and some fruit
- Eliminate added sugars and avoid processed foods (if you are buying processed foods, read the label)
- Reduce your intake of vegetable oils and eliminate trans fats - use these instead: butter (organic where possible), extra virgin olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil
- Consume omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish, fish oil supplements and walnuts
- Eat less grains overall and make sure the one's you have are whole grains, such as brown rice or oats
- Cut back on processed meats, like salami and ham (sorry!), especially if they are not organic
- Use spices, such as ginger, cardamon and turmeric, which are known to have an anti-inflammatory effect
- Limit alcohol intake, especially carb-heavy beer and sugary mixers
- Switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate
- Avoid low-fat dairy products and choose full-fat (organic if you can)
- If you crave sugar and carbs, increase your protein and healthy fat intake - it will keep you fuller for longer and reduce blood sugar crashes
Start rebuilding your body with the right foods, just like a craftsman creates each masterpiece from the right materials. One well chosen ingredient at a time.
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