In Chinese Medicine there are lots of different underlying causes for inflammation. These would all require a different slant with any dietary recommendations.
What I’ve tried to do here is to identify a diet that would help reduce inflammation across the board.
Later on I’ll give some tips to customise things for different situations
So, here’s the list of things to avoid!
Processed foods – the more processed a food is the more you’d want to avoid it. Most processed food uses the worst of available ingredients then disguises it with lots of fat, salt and sugar. Try to buy single ingredients. You can then chose yourself how to combine them,what to add and how much of it.
Sugar – you need to really look out for where this has been added, it’s often where you’d least expect it! I’ve been trying to find a muesli or granola which doesn’t contain added sugar in some form and it’s really difficult. Look out for dried fruit that’s been crystallised or soaked in syrup or sugar and flakes that have been malted. I’m making my own now or having porridge with added dried and fresh fruit.
Wheat – Hmm, I know it’s really difficult to avoid this with a Western diet, but once you’ve got the hang of doing things differently its really not so bad!
High gluten wheat is the worst-the sort of bread that stays in a lump if you squeeze it! Spelt is the best. I’m avoiding it altogether but having a bit of something I love at the weekends and this is often a croissant or pain au chocolate with a large cappuccino! Oh or a thick slice of buttered toast with honey because I‘ve collected my first ever honey from my bees this year!
Steer away from other wheat containing things like cous-cous and pasta. Look out for wheat being added as a thickener to things.
As always, you don’t have to be too austere!If you’re dying for some pasta or can only find a sandwich when you’re out, then have it! skipping a meal would be worse!
Chinese medicine is very clear on this point-going hungry is never a good thing if you can avoid it. Try to see it as, as unhelpful as overeating.
Dairy products – especially cow’s milk and cow’s milk products. Eggs are fine
What, no cheese?! ‘Fraid not!
Stimulants – like caffein, and alcohol. I’ve stopped tea and wine (except for some red wine at the weekend), but good coffee is my one big struggle! But I’m having some days without it and I’m never having more than one, and its mostly decaff!) I feel I could do better with this one!
Swap stimulants, screens (like computers, tablets and phones) and wine with nibbles for earlier nights most days (unless something exciting is calling you out of course!)
Bear in mind that you can have loads of:
Avocados, nut butters (crunchy almond and hazelnut are really nice), hummus, pulses, fish, lots of types of oat cakes and black bread, oats, quinoa, rice, all veg (I’m limiting potato and concentrated tomato), and all fruit, nuts and seeds, eggs, oils especially hemp, olive and pumpkin, sleep!
I’ll post some meal examples and other lifestyle changes that you could make to help things along next week!
Oh and for my clients who are struggling with fertility issues or going through IVF for whatever reason – this is all for you too! Especially keep up a higher than usual amount of good quality protein and aim to keep your blood sugar on a level.