TCM has always recognized the value of anti-inflammatory foods. Conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, most heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, bursitis and diabetes type 2 can all be affected by an inflammatory diet. The same is true for some headaches, stomach aches, high blood pressure and obesity.
The top inflammatory culprits are : sugar, dairy, wheat, trans fats and poor quality cooking oils. Eliminating these things can only improve your health. Keep in mind that smoking, alcohol, and STRESS also cause inflammation.
The following are general recommendations. Consult your health care provider for details and before making drastic changes to your diet.
|Sugar (including fruits and fruit juices)||Refined starches-white bread (anything that is a white food), lactose, sucrose, fructose . Spikes blood sugar, causing inflammation.||Use Stevia as a sweetener.Try sweet potatoes instead of white.|
|Dairy Products(Yogurt, milk, cheese, ice cream)||Leads to mucus forming conditions such as frequent common colds, allergies, and sinus infections as well as abdominal pain – bloating.||Switch to almond or coconut milk. Do NOT use SOY milk or tofu. These are processed products that inhibit thyroid functioning.|
|Wheat||The gluten in wheat and in other grains is highly inflammatory||Switch to rice / quinoa, buckwheat. Commercial Gluten-Free Products often contain high amounts of sugar.|
|Tans Fats||Trans fat is in processed foods such as fast foods, fried foods, anything that comes in a box.||To eliminate completely.|
|Cooking oils||Soy, corn, canola, and sunflower contain ingredients that increase inflammatory responses in the body.||Use coconut oil for cooking at high temperatures. Cold-pressed olive oil for salads.|
DO eat PLENTY of vegetables, especially in stews, soups and stir-frys. Raw vegetables can pose digestive problems so learn how to ferment vegetables for a probiotic boost. It’s easy and fun! And I promise to write a post on how to do that sometime before the summer is over.
TCM does not recommend pure vegetarianism. In moderation, eat grass-fed, hormone-free meats and wild game and fish. Eat organic eggs and small quantities of fruit. Use high quality fish oil supplements. They are anti-inflammatory and can protect against heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
There are specific dietary recommendations according to your health diagnosis, be it Yang deficiency, Yin Deficiency, Blood deficiency, Qi deficiency, Qi Stagnation, Phlegm Excess, etc. Ask about yours.
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