Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 7:30 PM

The first challenge to a truly anti inflammatory diet  is quitting those things that are causing inflammation:  sugar, dairy, meat and trans fats, refined flours such as in processed foods, food additives such as MSG, and low quality (and GMO) cooking oils,   Nightshade vegetables (potatoes tomatoes eggplant tobacco) can also be inflammatory.

Allergens can also be very adept at causing pain and inflammation.  Finding out what allergens might be causing you trouble is not always that easy.  

The most common food allergens are:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Wheat
One way to identify if you have allergens is to adopt a VERY simple diet of one or two foods (yams and brown rice are sometimes considered non-allergenic) and slowly add a new food for a few days and see how your body reacts.  A food diary can also help you pinpoint these pain-causing allergens.

A lot of time when one tries to eliminate all these foods listed above, the allergens and inflammatory dietary ingredients and one finds that it is very difficult.  There are emotional and physiological rewards for eating these foods. Try to have healthy alternatives for the cravings you anticipate.  Also, check out Sarah Wilson's blog, or her book I Quit Sugar.

 Realize you are working with multiple layers of biochemical processes.

Take, for example, Milk:

Milk is digested through the casomorphin pathway.  When an infant mammal is nursing, of course we would want the milk it is getting to keep it calm.  When human adults eat milk every single day this morphin pathway is constantly sated.  Quitting drinking it becomes very similar (though certainly less intense) to quitting other morpines. 

If a person is dairy-allergenic, further complications in the allergenic response can bring further pain and inflammation to the point of anaphlaxys...

Giving up dairy for a period can help you find out how your body feels without it.  When you give up all these allergenic foods all at once, it's very important to have a diet in place that can bring you the feelings of satiety that these foods bring.  Sometimes, the feeling of emptiness in your gut, when I stop eating wheat for example, is less mucus, which at first feels odd.  If one wants to try an anti-inflammatory diet, it is more effective if one give up these things one at a time and stabilize without them.   Sometimes it's also good to get rid of them out of my diet, one after the other until I feel a little better.  

There are excellent products made from few ingredients that can help you make the transition off of these inflammatory foods.  With milk, for example, there are wonderful grain and nut based 'milks' that can effectively fill that slot in your diet.  

Amasake fermented rice drink tastes just like a shake but is made from brown rice and has health benefits instead of damage.  It's kind of expensive in the health food store but can make it yourself.

You can make raw crackers, which have no gluten or flours or sugars or transfats (and are DELICIOUS!)

There are some dairy free, refined sugar free frozen treats, or freeze your easy to make SUNSHINE RAW PIE

If you love sugar, dates, cherry juice and Sweet Vegetable Drink (link below) are helpful!  Think of sweet whole foods like apple or pecans that can help satiate your cravings without causing you pain.  If whole grains are chewed long enough, they taste sweet.  Stevia helps some people.  

Really, the first step toward an anti-inflammatory, healing diet that makes you feel great is making the decision to find other ways to feel satiated for a while.  Initially, as you eliminate allergens and foods that create pain in the body (described in the first paragraph) you may have intense emotions, digestive symptoms, anxiety, cravings and other symptoms.  It could be argued that these foods have drug like affects in the body.  The problem is, that no matter what the reward of these 'drugs' is for you, it is very likely that the cost to your health and feelings of viatality greatly outpaces these rewards.  For a while you may have to treat it as a drug you are quitting.

For me, this makes it easier.  "I'm a little high-strung, but I'm kicking chocolate.  I think I'll give myself a break."

Also, for sugar cravings, my wonderful Macro Coach Candice recommended Sweet Vegetable Drink.

It's weird, but it totally works.

When you come to a place where your desire to have health, or be pain-free, outweighs your desire for foods that are inflammatory, you have reached step 1.  Welcome.  It's not always an easy road, but it's totally worth it.

Categories: Healing Herbs and Food

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