Did you know that an anti-inflammatory diet – Mediterranean Diet – can help you to prevent diseases such as obesity and also alleviate conditions such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes?
Improve your health and wellbeing by following the 10 tips in your daily lifestyle:
1. Reduce unhealthy fat intake. Eliminate oils high in omega-6 (corn, soy, sunflower), as well as margarine, deep-fried foods and any foods that contain trans-fat (palm oil). Reduce intake of foods high in saturated fat (butter, red meat more than twice a week, cold meats, etc.).
2. Increase intake of monounsaturated oils such as more extra-virgin olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, fish oil, walnut and walnut oil, flax and flaxseed oil, and hempseed and hempseed oil.
3. Reduce unhealthy carbohydrates. Substitute refined flours, sugars and other foods that are high on the glycemic index with low glycemic foods (quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, bread that is high in fibre etc).
4. Increase intake of fruits (at least two portions per day) and vegetables (400gr daily). Blueberries, strawberries and dark leafy greens are excellent sources of antioxidant foods.
5. Eat more anti-inflammatory herbs and spices. Add onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper to your favourite soups, salads and stews (preferably at the final stage of food preparation).
6. Increase water consumption – 1½ litres of alkaline water a day (pH>7) between meals.
7. Reduce drinks with a high caffeine contents.
8. Eliminate food that causes sensitivity. Limit the quantity of food to which you are sensitive or intolerant to or that causes allergies. If you are not sure which food you are eating that is causing a problem, a food intolerance test is an easy way to find out.
9. Manage your stress levels. Anti-inflammatory foods can help to balance mood swings, irritability, give you energy and improve resiliency to stress.
10. Try to add 30 minutes of daily walking.
Step by step, your overall health will improve and you will feel rejuvenated from inside out!
By Ana Rita Horta
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Ana Rita Horta is a Dietitian at the Hospital Particular do Algarve