The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Want To Feel Better?

Carefully Pick What You Eat & Drink

Have you ever noticed that some days your body and joints hurt more than other days?

There may be several reasons for this. Maybe it was a change in the barometric pressure or weather, a difference in activities from the previous day OR maybe it was actually what you ate or drank!

Many experts are advocating a relatively new eating plan, called the “anti-inflammatory diet”. You may not lose weight following this diet but you will feel better.

Numerous books have been written on the subject and even more websites are promoting this concept.

Andrew Weil, MD, the Harvard trained natural & preventive medicine physician and well respected expert says that the anti-inflammatory diet is ideal for overall good health. Advocates of this diet plan say it can reduce heart disease risk, keep existing cardiac problems in check, reduce blood triglycerides, lower blood pressure and reduce pain from arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a debilitating disease that affects up to 47 million Americans in one form of another.

Dr. David Angus in his excellent book entitled “The End of Illness’ says that controlling inflammation in the body promotes a healthy well-being and reduces the risk of a variety of illnesses.

Dr. Andrew Weil declared that chronic inflammation is the “root cause of many illnesses such as heart disease, some cancers, Alzheimer’s Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

The average American diet includes too many foods that are processed, fried, high in omega-6 fatty acids, with too much red meat, processed carbohydrates, trans-fats, bad fats and too few foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

So, What Should You Eat:

  • Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (wild salmon, tuna, sardines, Alaskan black cod)
  • Plenty of fruits (especially berries, cherries, oranges, apples)
  • Lots of vegetables (broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, seaweed, brussel sprouts, leafy greens)
  • Healthy fats (olive oil, walnuts, avocados, flax seed, almonds)
  • Whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, barley, millet, wheat berries)
  • Healthy herbs & spices (garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry, cinnamon)
  • Healthy proteins (skinless poultry, lean meats, eggs, yogurt)
  • Whole soy foods (edamame, soymilk, tofu)
  • Tea (green, oolong, white)
  • Healthy sweets (dark chocolate) sparingly
  • Wine (red wine but not more than 1-2 glasses per day)
  • Lots and lots of water

Foods to Stay Away From:

  • Fried foods
  • Processed meats
  • Fast food
  • Syrup & soft drinks
  • Red meat & diary (reduce consumption)

Most experts say more research is needed to determine the exact effects of diet on specific illnesses but until then I’m watching very carefully what I’m eating & drinking!

Several Key Points to Reduce Arthritis Pain:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight(lighter is better

  • Active lifestyle (walk)

  • Exercise (find a type & level of exercise you can do without pain)

  • Exercise has been shown to reduce pain!!

  • Get enough sleep

  • Reduce alcohol consumption

  • Wear proper shoes (for knee & hip arthritic pain)

  • Good lower extremity alignment

*Next month we’ll discuss and exercise program for the lower extremity osteoarthritic patient.

For more information regarding anti-inflammatory diets go to:

    Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid