If you want to eat for long-term health, lowering inflammation is crucial.
Inflammation in the body causes or contributes to many debilitating, chronic illnesses — including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease,Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and even cancer.
That’s why, as a doctor and founder of the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine, I recommend my patients eat a diet focused on anti-inflammatory principles.
Recent research finds that eating this way not only helps protect against certain diseases, but it also slows the aging process by stabilizing blood sugar and increasing metabolism.
Plus, although the goal is to optimize health, many people find they also lose weight by following an anti-inflammatory eating pattern.
Here, I’m sharing the 11 principles I recommend everyone incorporate into their diet for optimal health:
1. Consume at least 25 grams of fiber every day.
A fiber-rich diet helps reduce inflammation by supplying naturally occurring anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found in fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods.
To get your fill of fiber, seek out whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The best sources include whole grains such as barley and oatmeal; vegetables like okra, eggplant, and onions; and a variety of fruits like bananas (3 grams of fiber per banana) and blueberries (3.5 grams of fiber per cup).
2. Eat a minimum of nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
One “serving” is half a cup of a cooked fruit or vegetable, or one cup of a raw leafy vegetable.
For an extra punch, add anti-inflammatory herbs and spices — such asturmeric and ginger — to your cooked fruits and vegetables to increase their antioxidant capacity.
3. Eat four servings of both alliums and crucifers every week.
Alliums include garlic, scallions, onions, and leek, while crucifers refer to vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
Because of their powerful antioxidant properties, consuming a weekly average of four servings of each can help lower your risk of cancer.
If you like the taste, I recommend eating a clove of garlic a day!
4. Limit saturated fat to 10 percent of your daily calories.
By keeping saturated fat low (that’s about 20 grams per 2,000 calories), you’ll help reduce the risk of heart disease.
You should also limit red meat to once per week and marinate it with herbs, spices, and tart, unsweetened fruit juices to reduce the toxic compoundsformed during cooking.
5. Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis — conditions that often have a high inflammatory process at their root.
Aim to eat lots of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like flax meal, walnuts, and beans such as navy, kidney and soy. I also recommend taking a good-quality omega-3 supplement.
And of course, consume cold-water fish such as salmon, oysters, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, and anchovies. Speaking of which:
6. Eat fish at least three times a week.
Choose both low-fat fish such as sole and flounder, and cold-water fish that contain healthy fats, like the ones mentioned above.
7. Use oils that contain healthy fats.
The body requires fat, but choose the fats that provide you with benefits.
Virgin and extra-virgin olive oil and expeller-pressed canola are the best bets for anti-inflammatory benefits. Other options include high-oleic, expeller-pressed versions of sunflower and safflower oil.
8. Eat healthy snacks twice a day.
If you’re a snacker, aim for fruit, plain or unsweetened Greek-style yogurt (it contains more protein per serving), celery sticks, carrots, or nuts like pistachios, almonds, and walnuts.
9. Avoid processed foods and refined sugars.
This includes any food that contains high-fructose corn syrup or is high in sodium, which contribute to inflammation throughout the body.
Avoid refined sugars whenever possible and artificial sweeteners altogether. The dangers of excess fructose have been widely cited and include increased insulin resistance (which can lead to type-2 diabetes), raised uric acid levels,raised blood pressure, increased risk of fatty liver disease, and more.
10. Cut out trans fats.
In 2006, the FDA required food manufacturers to identify trans fats on nutrition labels, and for good reason — studies show that people who eat foods high in trans fats have higher levels of C-reactive protein, a biomarker for inflammation in the body.
A good rule of thumb is to always read labels and steer clear of products that contain the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated oils.” Vegetable shortenings, select margarines, crackers, and cookies are just a few examples of foods that might contain trans fats.
11. Sweeten meals with phytonutrient-rich fruits, and flavor foods with spices.
Most fruits and vegetables are loaded with important phytonutrients. In order to naturally sweeten your meals, try adding apples, apricots, berries, and even carrots.
And for flavoring savory meals, go for spices that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, including cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, rosemary, ginger, sage, and thyme.
Posted by ANNETTE HAMLIN – Never need to do a detox diet if you incorporate these foods into your normal diet. corehealthcoaching.com.au #Weightloss #Detox
Following a detox diet also prevents chronic diseases, enhances the function of your immune system, slows premature aging, provides mental and emotional clarity, and increases energy. Moreover, eliminating toxins and feeding your body healthy nutrients isn’t difficult!
If you’re ready to begin detoxing your body, here are ten foods you should include in your diet.
#1 Wild Salmon
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help protect the heart and reduce triglyceride levels in the blood. These anti-inflammatory healthy fats are also known to reverse arterial stiffness, which is a common side-effect of smoking.
This leafy vegetable is an essential detox food your heart. Spinach is rich in vitamins A and C- both antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body, thereby keeping cholesterol levels in check. Spinach also has folate which keeps the cardiovascular system healthy and magnesium that helps lower blood pressure.
Being a citrus fruit, lemons are loaded with vitamin C, which is essential to the body in several ways. Among other uses, vitamin C is needed to make glutathione- a powerful antioxidant that detoxifies the liver, in addition to enhancing the immune system and neutralizing free radicals. Lemon also increases the production of bile which is necessary for digestion. At the same time, lemon juice controls the flow of excess bile into the digestive tract, thereby preventing the formation of ulcers. Further, drinking lemon infused water or lemon juice first thing in the morning balances out the acidity of foods consumed the previous day. Lemon juice contains anti-cancer compounds and helps maintain the body’s pH levels too.
This wonder vegetable, which is actually a flower bud, helps the liver function at its best by promoting the production of bile. Artichokes are also able to protect the liver owing to the presence of silymarin- a phenol compound. In addition, artichoke leaves are rich in anti-cancer polyphenols and also have anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
Kale is packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is highly recommended by doctors to patients with kidney-related diseases. In addition to flushing out kidneys, kale also is a nutrient-dense food, so you should eat it as often as you can.
This full-of-flavor herb is a great addition to soups, salads, grilled vegetables, and a lot other dishes. What’s more, it is rich in antioxidants and has anti-bacterial properties! Basil also expels unwanted toxins out of the body by supporting the functioning of the kidneys and acting as a diuretic.
Digestive System Cleansers
#7 Whole Grains
Whole grains such as brown and wild rice, quinoa, and steel-cut oats are complex carbohydrates that are rich in soluble as well as insoluble fiber. The high fiber content ensures regular bowel movement, thereby helping you eliminate body waste efficiently. Apart from this, fiber-rich grains also reduce the risk of colon cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders like duodenal ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, reflux, and diverticulitis.
#8 Fresh Fruits
Fresh fruits are among the most effective foods that can cleanse your digestive system. That’s because almost all fruits contain ample amounts of fiber that aids digestion. Fresh fruits are also rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that can nourish the body and help detoxify it. Some fruits that are great cleansers are apples, blueberries, cranberries, avocado, and grapefruit.
Overall Body Cleansers
A single serving of this delicious root vegetable can work wonders for your whole body. Beetroots contain abundant phytochemicals and minerals that help fight infection, purify the blood, and cleanse vital organs. They also boost the body’s intake of oxygen at the cellular level, making them an excellent overall body cleanser. Additionally, eating beetroots regularly can help fight cancer, boost the functioning of the brain, reduce arthritic pain, and more.
This cruciferous vegetable helps cleans the liver and also acts as a diuretic, flushing toxins out of your body. Cabbages also contain sulfur that helps break down toxins so that they can be eliminated easily.
Now that you know about these ten amazing detox foods, what are you waiting for? Get started on your detox diet right away! Just make sure you don’t follow fads blindly; a detox diet will benefit you only if you do it right. So eat healthy, take your detox diet slow at first, and you’re sure to bring the balance back into your life by helping your body function as well as it can.
Superfoods are foods that are high in nutrie
nts and health-giving properties.
Eating a diet rich in superfoods should help to control weight, curb hunger pangs and cravings, protect from diseases and boost the immune system.
But knowing what to eat and how to eat it can be confusing. Getting the most out of superfoods means a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in rich colours, as well as lean meats and oily fish.
Here is our top 10 must-have superfoods:
1. Almonds: Packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins and fibre. Almonds make a great addition to any salad or dessert. Almond milk is also a nutritious dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk.
2. Bananas: Rich in potassium, fibre, vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese, they strengthen the immune system as they contain cytolcin which is believed to increase white blood cells. Bananas give a natural energy boost and help to reduce stress levels because of their tryptophan content, a chemical that converts to the feel-good hormone serotonin.
3. Butternut squash: The deep yellow colour means it’s high in beta carotene, which helps to protect against skin cancer.
4. Chia seeds: The richest source of plant-based omega 3 fatty acids, loaded with antioxidants, high in protein, minerals and fibre. Chia seeds swell to more than five times their weight in liquid, so they’ll help make you feel quicker, and can help with weight loss.
5. Chocolate/raw cacao: Dairy-free 70 percent cocoa or higher elevates your mood, improves your blood flow and can lower blood pressure. It helps reduce inflammation and bad cholesterol and contains heaps of antioxidants.
Raw cacao is even better as none of the nutrients are lost in heat treatment, so make up your own raw chocolates instead. Raw cacao contains more antioxidants than acai, goji or blueberries.
6. Cinnamon: Stabilises blood sugar levels and encourages blood flow through the body.
7. Coconut oil: Quickly and easily absorbed by the body, so it’s an easy source of energy that may help you burn more fat. It helps to protect against heart disease and slightly lowers cholesterol.
It is excellent for cooking as it does not form harmful trans fats when heated, even at high temperatures. Use in place of butter and oil in cooking. A small pinch of salt can be added to savoury recipes to reduce the coconut flavour.
8. Cumin: Contains anti-inflammatory properties and also helps reduce bloating.
9. Greek yoghurt: An excellent source of calcium, potassium,protein, zinc and vitamins B6 and B12. Contains probiotic cultures and is lower in lactose than regular yoghurt, but with twice the amount of protein. Eat with fresh berries instead of shop-bought fruit yoghurt, which can be high in sugar.
10. Hemp: A good source of protein, especially relevant to vegans. Contains omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and is thought to be energy boosting.