Updated: Nov 18, 2019
A large part of inflammation in the body is caused by the foods you are eating. Inflammation can cause many different symptoms in the body including but not limited to: chronic pain, anxiety, poor sleep, autoimmune conditions, arthritis, heart disease and many other diseases in our modern day.
Try this diet plan for 6 weeks. You should see a decrease in your symptoms.
Food Plan for Reducing Pain and Inflammation, Supporting Structural Health, and Healing Musculoskeletal Conditions The purpose of this food plan is to help you achieve and maintain health by decreasing foods that lead to inflammation and pain, decreasing your intake of harmful chemicals, and optimizing your intake of healthy protein, fat, and carbs. It can also aid in weight management and in the prevention of heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, cancer and strokes. The plan may be modified if you have food allergies or are gluten sensitive. Grocery Shopping Healthy food is really better for your body; it is not just a fad. It is best to do most of your food shopping at a market that offers a lot of organic and natural food choices. Buy organic fruits, vegetables, milk products, and free-range, grass fed eggs and meats whenever possible. Non-organic fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats contain pesticides, and may contain other chemicals or harmful metals. These chemicals can be stored in your body, where they stimulate pain receptors, create inflammation, increase free radical production, and make it more difficult to heal. Use Environmental Working Groups' clean 15 and Dirty Dozen guides to help decide when this is the most important. Proteins Goal: to get sufficient healthy sources of protein to supply the amino acids that help to preserve and build muscle, and heal musculoskeletal tissues. Protein is made from amino acids. Adequate protein is needed every day. It helps to maintain your muscles, and amino acids are a building block for many important cell reactions. Everyone needs at least .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (weight in pounds divided by 2.2). Protein needs:
· For sedentary individuals: .8 gms/Kg.
· When doing aerobic training that is moderate to vigorous: 1.2 grams per kg of lean body weight.
· When weight lifting to make body shaping or hypertrophy gains: 1.4-1.6 grams per kg.
· While healing from surgery: 1 – 1.2 g/kg.
· For healing a tendon or ligament from an injury: 1.2 gms per kg of lean weight.
· Based on this scale, your protein needs are______________. Protein guidelines:
· Have protein with each meal and snack if possible.
· Limit red meat or eliminate it unless it is free-range, grass-fed beef or lamb.
· Avoid charring/browning proteins/meats.
· Use organic meats or free-range meats and poultry (chicken and turkey) when possible.
· Use free-range eggs for protein but avoid browning the eggs.
· Avoid lunch meats that have sodium nitrate or nitrites. Nitrate-free turkey is a good protein source.
· Use walnuts as a protein source for snacks and for the omega-3 fats.
· Use mixed nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower).
· Consider nut butters (almond, cashew, macadamia) that you add to breakfast cereal, bread, crackers, apples and celery.
· If you are going to use milk products try to use organic milk products (milk, cheese, and yogurt).
· For milk substitutes, you can use rice, almond or coconut milk.
· Consider beans and grains as a source of protein and fiber (millet, quinoa, lentils and other beans).
· Get at least 1/3 -1/4 of your daily protein need at breakfast by using a protein powder with pea or collagen protein to make protein smoothies. You can blend 2 scoops in 10-12 ounces of a liquid with some organic berries (frozen can be good).
· Minimize large fish such as tuna and swordfish because of mercury. Be careful of farm-raised salmon because of PCBs - Whole Foods says that their Farm Raised Salmon is not dangerous; river trout is usually OK.
Fats Goal: Eat healthy fats and decrease unhealthy fats. Your fat intake is directly related to inflammation. Follow these guidelines:
· Use coconut oil, ghee for cooking you can add them to olive oil (extra virgin is best) but use low heat for olive oil alone.
· Make your own salad dressing with 2 parts flax oil, 4 parts extra virgin olive oil, and apple cider, red wine or balsamic vinegar (may add a small amount of toasted sesame for flavor) .
· Use sources of omega-3 fats, including flax seeds and oil (don’t heat flax), sardines, wild ocean salmon, and walnuts.
· Use a daily supplement of 1-4 grams of high EPA/DHA fish oils (capsule or liquid) purified to eliminate mercury, pesticides, etc.
· Use dry-roasted or raw nuts.
· Eliminate deep fried and breaded fried foods (french fries, Chicken MC Nuggets, etc.).
· Avoid all partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats by reading labels (“partially hydrogenated oil” “0 grams trans fats” means it has trans fats in it so leave it on the shelf, they wouldn’t say grams if it were 0)
· Decrease saturated fats (e.g., ice cream). Do not use low fat dairy. Use only grass fed dairy if you have done an elimination and found it not to increase inflammation in your body.
· Choose grass fed meats.
· Avoid highly heated fats such as crispy bacon and french fries cooked in vats of oil.
Carbohydrates Goal: limit non-nutritive carbs and use healthy complex carbs as an energy and vitamin source.
· Have a daily intake of healthy and colorful fruits (berries, pomegranate, apples, pears, and citrus fruits) and veggies for fiber and beneficial phytochemicals to help your body quench free radicals and bio-transform (detoxify) toxins. Eat all 7 colors of the rainbow daily.
· Eat healthy vegetables (organic when possible): including Cruciferous vegetables daily (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale) as they help your body detoxify.
· Eat other vegetables for their nutrients and fiber: chard, spinach, celery, squash, zucchini, cucumber.
· Eat from the onion family daily (onions, leeks, chard, garlic, chives) as it is good for connective tissue and detoxification.
· Consider juicing organic vegetables to improve your intake of phytochemicals: consider celery, apple, carrot, kale, broccoli, spinach, beets, with some lemon or lime and some protein powder. Avoid sugary juices like carrot or orange. Celery Juice is very anti-inflammatory.
· Limit cookies, cake, scones, muffins, potatoes, starches, sugars, rice, pasta, and breads even if you are an athlete, choose to increase your vegetables and fruits instead.
· Eat beans (kidney, black, pinto, garbanzo, etc.) for soluble fiber and to limit colon inflammation.
· Reduce or eliminate bread and use a bread that has at least 3-5 grams of protein and fiber per slice without added gluten. Look for sprouted grain and seed breads but read the label as these often are filled with preservatives. Use whole grain sources for carbs, such as quinoa, millet, wild rice etc.
Try to avoid artificial colorings and diet beverages with aspartame or other artificial sweetener.Minimize and avoid foods containing ingredients that have MSG or hidden MSG. To get a current list of hidden MSG in foods, do a search for MSG, Hidden. Steps for Healthier Food Choices Start where you are and proceed step by step toward the goal. Follow these overall guidelines:
· Minimize or eliminate (ideally) partially hydrogenated oils in processed foods (use foods labeled “No Trans Fats” but not food labeled “0 grams trans fats” because they wouldn’t use grams if it were none).
· Minimize or avoid eating at fast food restaurants. At restaurants choose butter based toppings on the side, eliminate sour cream and cream based dishes. Choose salads (with oil and vinegar or vinaigrette), vegetables and avoid deep fried entrées.
· Minimize or avoid deep fried and breaded foods.
· Minimize or eliminate sugars and starches (crackers, potatoes, rice, scones, cookies, etc.).
· Increase healthy fruits such as apples and berries (have 2-3 servings per day).
· Use healthy veggies such as those in the veggie list above (Carbohydrates section). Have a minimum of 5 servings per day.
· Try to choose organic fruits and veggies when your budget and the availability of these items allows.
· Eat protein at every meal.
· Try to purchase free-range poultry and grass fed meat (if you are not vegetarian).
· Do not use low-fat, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.). If you eat dairy products make sure you are not increasing your inflammation or affecting your digestion with them by doing a trial elimination for 7-21 days. Then use only dairy from grass fed animals because of natural fat balance.
· Use a good multivitamin mineral supplement (taken at meals) that requires at least 2 per day with minerals (calcium 500 mg per day and magnesium 500 mg per day) and antioxidants (A, C, E, selenium).
· Try some green tea daily (other teas such as white and red are also healthy).
· Minimize drinks with fructose and corn syrup or white grape juice. Watch your empty carb load.
· Get at least ¼ of your protein needs met at breakfast.
· Protein Smoothie (see protein section above to make it). Use enough protein powder to get 20-25 grams.
· Use breakfast cereals that are high in protein and fiber, such as Nature’s Path Optimum Slim or Kashi Good Friends. Consider adding mixed nuts and fruit to cereal (blueberries, banana, etc.).
· Better yet try Chia seeds for breakfast. ¼ cup to 1 ¼ cup water, soak over night or add hot water and wait for it to absorb. Excellent with coconut milk (natural forest brand has no bpa in the can) nuts and berries. Try it with cacao nibs and mulberries for variety and antioxidant power.
· A 2-3 egg omelet or egg scramble with veggies such as spinach, leeks, broccoli, tomatoes, or chives is a good breakfast choice. So is fish and vegetables, don’t get caught in the culture of carbs for breakfast and set your self up for a day glucose rollercoaster induced stress.
· Have a sandwich or wrap with high fiber, high protein sprouted grain bread (see carbohydrate section above). In your sandwich have nut butter (such as almond, macadamia, or cashew) or turkey or chicken (with no nitrates) with veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, olives, cucumber, onions) or organic cheese with veggies.
· OR have a salad for lunch, add healthy protein such as beans (kidney, garbanzo, pinto), sliced nitrate-free turkey, wild ocean salmon, or organic cottage cheese. Use numerous colorful veggies in your salad and try to include cruciferous veggies such as broccoli. Use an oil and vinegar salad dressing or make your own (see fats above).
· Better yet, have leftovers for lunch or make a new meal, lunch does not have to be a sandwich.
· Try to have 2-3 servings of healthy veggies.
· Minimize desserts (other than fruit).