Armed with the information that my body was hurting due to inflammation I looked out for an anti-inflammatory diet.

I already knew that changing from a standard diet to one that contained more vegetables and fruit had made a difference.

At that time it was without exercise. The food change alone helped.

As soon as I went back to my old ways of eating the pain returned. When I went back to juicing and eating a plant-based diet the pain disappeared. It was at that point I put two and two together.

What is an anti-inflammatory Diet?

Long-term inflammatory responses in our body result in illness and disease. An anti-inflammatory diet includes foods that will help us reduce these inflammatory responses.

To eat an anti-inflammatory diet you must avoid processed, fried and junk foods. Remove sugary processed foods and eat refined, nutrient-rich, whole foods.

It is a long-term approach to active, healthy eating rather than a diet. A lifestyle change forever is the best way to look at an anti-inflammatory diet.

Some of the ways of eating you might want to follow include:

Mediterranean Diet

Rich in Omega oils and other fats that are great for our body, fish, whole-grain vegetables, fruit and even some red wine this way of eating is popular to help remove inflammation.

It is a diet that is free from refined oils, avoids highly processed meats/foods and is low in trans fats. All the things that are shown to cause obesity, cancer and diabetes.

Vegan Diet

A very popular way of eating is going 100% plant-based by avoiding all animal products. Eating nothing but plants definitely has amazing benefits for our health. There is so much scientific evidence out there it is hard to ignore. I could never go 100% vegan because I believe “a little of what you fancy…”

Raw Food Diet

Another 100% way of eating but it contains more live, fresh raw foods. There is very little cooking involved and a dehydrator is a necessity if you want to avoid boredom. I love including raw food into my way of eating.

Flexitarian Diet

This is my preferred way of eating because it offers me more choice. I eat 100% plant-based at home but every now and again I like to eat fish or meat.

I limit meat and fish to once a week or less whenever possible.

If I am at someones home and they offer me food I will eat what I am given. If I am out I will choose a plant-based option if it is available and a vegetarian one if it isn’t.

I still enjoy the odd egg but dairy is totally out for me and I avoid it at all costs. Even milk in my tea is not acceptable anymore. I would rather go without tea or bring my own soya.

Doing It Your Way

You can of course make up your own anti-inflammatory diet. All you have to focus on is eating wholefoods, live foods, nutrient rich foods, and foods of all colours.

Dark foods are important – dark red and green are the best. Things like spinach, broccoli, kale, plums, red/black grapes.

Also include red/yellow vegetables and fruit plus white vegetables like cauliflower.

Include a mixture of vegetables and fruit. Do your best to mix in new things rather than sticking to the same ones over and over.

Eat plenty of legumes including chickpeas, black beans, lentils etc

Get your oils from avocado, coconuts and olives

Eat pine nuts, walnuts, almond etc

Make sure your fish is healthy (not farmed) and enjoy eating salmon, sardines, mackerel

Enjoy using herbs and spices in your cooking

Add dark chocolate and red wine in moderation

When it comes to cooking foods steamed and baked is always better than fried whenever possible. Including raw foods (e.g. a green salad with each meal) is also recommended.

My personal preference is to avoid anything processed whenever possible. For me this includes bread and pasta. I eat rice and potatoes but do my best to avoid pasta and eat bread in limitation. This is my own preferred way of eating.