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Doctor Suggests: Reduce Inflammation Through Your Daily Dishes

10 June 2020

Often found to be the root of or a significant contributor to many cancers, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease, chronic inflammation in the body is something to become aware of when interested in improving your overall health and longevity.

HOW CAN I CONTROL INFLAMMATION?

A major factor is what we eat and drink daily. In steps, Dr. Andrew Weil, a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, explains how to curb unnecessary inflammation in the body through simple and tasty adjustments in your meals.

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While all benefit from this nutritional approach, the doctor says it is especially crucial for those with certain conditions.

“Anyone who has a condition in which inflammation plays a role – arthritis or an autoimmune disease, are examples – will see the benefit of following an anti-inflammatory diet. Some people will lose weight on it, even though it’s not the stated intent,” said Dr. Weil, who added it also helps relieve digestive issues.

BEGIN AT HOME

“It’s an eating plan for life,” he says, “not a diet that you try for a time then go off it,” said Dr. Weil. “The first step of the anti-inflammatory plan is to eliminate refined, processed and manufactured foods. It’s that simple. Stop eating food made by others and food far removed from the way nature produces it. The more you can phase that out of your life, the better.”

Take note to curb your consumption of pizza, chips, candy, bacon, hot dogs and burgers. As for drinks, overconsumption of alcohol and sweetened beverages of all kinds are also key contributors to inflammation.

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR GROCERY ITEMS

From your home to your weekly visit to the grocery store, the doctor suggests a simple action while doing your shopping – avoid certain aisles with the biggest culprits.

“It’s mostly all of the stuff found in the middle of the supermarket – snack foods, fast foods, processed foods, refined foods. Avoid the middle and work around the edges,” said Dr. Weil.

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Other significant contributors to chronic inflammation include sugar, polyunsaturated vegetable oils (soy, corn, sunflower safflower), hydrogenated oils, fried foods, artificial sweeteners, refined flour, and fatty poultry (unskinned chicken, duck).

THE IDEAL MEAL

For the doctor, an easy-to-prepare meal can be a delicious broiled salmon dish. Accompany this with steamed broccoli dressed in olive oil, garlic and salt along with a green salad with a dressing of olive oil and lemon or vinegar.

As for additional meals, the doctor suggests taking time to learn about foods you may love that also decrease inflammation.

“You want to learn which fish are good; which fish are not good. You want to learn which fats are good for you and which are not, which forms of carbohydrates are great and which are worse,” said Dr. Weil.

For easy reference, the doctor shared his anti-inflammatory food pyramid with the proper foods to include in your daily meals.

THE EARLIER THE BETTER

The sooner you start, the better this will be for your health, which is why he suggests teaching these dietary principles to children.

“The earlier in life you begin to eat this way, the better. This is your best shot at overall health, longevity, lowest risk of disease… and it absolutely doesn’t mean giving up everything you like. In fact, it allows for a lot of pleasure in food,” said Dr. Weil.

As for the short- and long-term benefits, the longer you stick to this lifestyle the more benefits you will reap, but for those looking for a specific range, Dr. Weil says most feel the benefits within 6 to 8 weeks.

For more information on the anti-inflammatory approach to your meals, click here.