In a world of fleeting fad diets, there’s only a handful that’s supported by science and has positive long-term effects on one’s health. The anti-inflammatory diet, a diet designed for people with chronic inflammatory conditions, is one of them.
If you suffer from conditions like asthma, allergies, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and the like, there are plenty of treatment options available. Depending on the severity of your condition, you can get medications or surgery, or seek chiropractic care.
But if you want these conventional treatments to be more effective, lifestyle and diet changes are essential. You can start by switching to an anti-inflammatory diet to complement your treatment plan.
Not sure where to start? Here are some recipes and tips you can follow:
Eating breakfast daily can help you recover quicker. Start the day right with these anti-inflammatory breakfast foods:
1. Buckwheat pancakes – if you have celiac disease or are allergic to gluten, prevent inflammation and replace your conventional cereal grains with whole unbleached grains like buckwheat, millet, amaranth, arrowroot, and flax. Make your breakfast batters, including your pancakes, waffles, scones, and porridge with these grains, and add lots of berries on the side.
2. Smoked salmon and avocado toast – omega-3 fatty acids are great at fighting inflammation, and both avocado and salmon are packed with these minerals. This hearty breakfast is not only filling, but it’s also delicious and has plenty of other health benefits.
3. Spinach and artichoke frittata – spinach is a superfood, while artichoke is rich in antioxidants and helps with digestion, plus eggs are an excellent source of protein. Toss them all up in a frittata, and you’ll have a tasty, memorable breakfast loaded with nutrients.
1. Quinoa and tuna bowl – quinoa is at the top of the list of healthy foods that are good for people with inflammatory conditions, while tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Toss the quinoa with diced cucumber and tomatoes and chopped herbs, and drizzle it with a zesty lemon and olive oil dressing. Then top it off with a perfectly grilled tuna steak.
2. Lentil and chicken soup – lentil is a great protein substitute for red meat. Plus, it’s rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium. Cook your lentils in homemade vegetable broth and top it off with leftover roast chicken and garnish with coriander.
3. Arugula, salmon, and feta flatbread – a healthy pizza substitute, this recipe is packed with anti-inflammatory goodness. Make gluten-free pizza dough using whole grain flour and top it off with smoked salmon and feta cheese.
1. Zesty chicken and roasted sweet potatoes – you can eat chicken in moderation in an anti-inflammatory diet. Make the most of it by marinating fillets in lemon, lime, and herbs and roast or pan-grill them. Serve with high-fiber roasted sweet potatoes with sour cream sauce on the side.
2. Greek buckwheat pasta salad – make your regular Greek salad and add buckwheat pasta for a fiber and protein boost. Serve it with a zesty olive oil dressing and top it off with slivered almonds for an extra crunch.
3. Chickpea shawarma salad – an anti-inflammatory diet shares the same principles with the Mediterranean diet. Foods like shawarma, hummus, couscous, and seafood are great dinner options. Start from these ingredients and experiment on recipes you’ll enjoy having for a long time.
1. Chia and berry pudding – chia and Greek yogurt make a great base for pudding recipes that are healthy and enjoyable. Explore different flavor combinations like kiwi and dragonfruit, banana and blueberry, or pumpkin spice.
2. Fruit and nuts – replace chips and sugary treats with fruits and nuts instead. Refined sugar and processed carbohydrates can cause your allergies to flare up. But always eat fruits in moderation as they can have high sugar content.
3. Smoothies – cut your favorite fruits into cubes and freeze them to make sugar-free and healthy smoothies. You can even add chia or flax seeds and spinach for an added boost of nutrients.
What to Avoid
The anti-inflammatory diet is not as strict as most fad diets, but you must avoid a few things. To avoid painful flareups, stay away from the following:
- Refined sugar
- Excessive alcohol
- Vegetable and seed oils
- Artificial carbohydrates
- Processed meat
A diet that helps fight off inflammation and other diseases is a balance of vegetables and fruits, fish, nuts and legumes, whole grains, and other foods rich in protein, antioxidants, fibers, and other nutrients. To help keep symptoms at bay and speed up your recovery, make sure to plan your meals around these food groups.