The Standard American Diet (SAD), high in fat, high in red meat and high in processed foods is likely to increase inflammation. However, switching to a healthy anti-inflammatory diet made up of organic, fresh, whole foods that contain the right type of fats (Omega-3 essential fatty acids found in cold water oily fish, walnuts, flax and pumpkin seeds), staying away from the starchier carbohydrates, and avoiding sugar, for example, will impact pain and inflammation in a positive way.
Following an anti-inflammatory diet (and reaping its numerous benefits) doesn’t have to be difficult. Shopping and eating the anti-inflammatory way can be a snap if you remember some very simple starter steps:
- Fresh is best, and buy organic whenever possible! Take advantage of local produce stands or farmers’ markets – a good choice for organic, fresh, regional and seasonal foods.
- Shop around the block. Typically, the perimeter of a grocery store has the freshest foods and produce, as well as those with the lowest glycemic loads. Have you noticed this? Try to focus most of your shopping on this area for the healthiest, fresh whole foods.
- “Eat your colors.”Picking fruits or vegetables from every hue in the rainbow. Some vegetables for each color could be:
- White/Gold: Cauliflower, garlic, onions – can also include different grains such as oats, rice, millet and quinoa.
- Blue/Purple: Eggplant, purple cabbage, blueberries, plums.
- Green: Lettuce, dark greens, broccoli, green beans, avocados.
- Yellow/Orange: Oranges, bananas, carrots, yellow squash, sweet potatoes – can also include different seeds and nuts such as sesame, sunflower, and almonds.
- Red: Tomatoes, red peppers, red apples.
- View preparing and eating meals – as a way to enjoy and communicate with family and friends.
Explore the Find a Natural Cure section of the Natural Cures website for in-depth information on eating a Whole Foods Diet. A whole foods diet provides a selection of foods specifically aimed at optimal health and healing. This diet omits foods that can undermine your healing process. The whole foods diet plan, which includes the principles of the anti-inflammatory diet, also benefits diseases such as Allergies, Fibromyalgia, Heart Disease, Obesity, and Osteoporosis, to name a few, all found in the “Find a Natural Cure” section. Give yourself time to enjoy the transition from your SAD diet, as you start traveling the perimeters of your grocery store finding foods that will have a positive effect on your energy levels, your overall health, and your ability to heal.