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Tips to start an anti-inflammatory diet

Spread of fresh colourful vegetables

Do you think inflammation could be contributing to your poor health? Here’s some tips for starting your anti-inflammatory eating plan.

Be ready and motivated to commit to an anti-inflammatory diet

  • Choose a timeframe that is realistic for you (and when there are not too many social events!) No-one likes to miss out and torturing the “FOMO gene” is not conducive to making changes.

  • Be mentally ready to dive in and commit to change. Change can be hard and unsettling (physically and mentally), and motivation and determination goes a long way to succeeding on any new quest.

  • Go slow and steady. Eating these anti-inflammatory foods may be totally foreign to some people and the adjustments can be huge. But do what you can – any change is beneficial!

Get the whole family/household on the anti-inflammatory train

  • One in, all in! There’s nothing like teamwork for support, as well as accountability, not to mention ease of implementation.

  • This may depend on the age of other house members, so do what is less stressful for you, but it may just take a little bit more planning and prepping before dietary changes become second nature for your everyday.

Get prepared for your anti-inflammatory meals

  • Plan out the meals for the week. And if the rest of the household is not on board with you, work out how/what they may eat instead – without having to cook multiple meals! For example, for kids and husbands, add some extra protein to the recipes for them (or they need to make their own meals 😊).

  • Prepare a shopping list and buy all the required ingredients so you don’t have to make loads of trips to the supermarket or lapse in the new food routine because you didn’t have something on-hand.

Use a good resource

  • There’s no need to do all the research yourself. There are plenty of resources out there that have all the hard work done for you in regards to what foods to eat or avoid and easy recipes. Just do a bit of Googling.

  • I utilised these fabulous books for their quick and easy to follow meals:

    • Calimeris D, Bruner S. The Anti-inflammatory Diet & Action Plans. Sonoma Press, 2015.

    • Black JK. The Anti-inflammation Diet and Recipe Book. 2nd ed. Turner Publishing, 2015.

The role of intermittent fasting for inflammation

Intermittent fasting, in which individuals fast on consecutive or alternate days, is also key to reducing inflammation in the body and reducing the occurrence of chronic conditions, improving health and increasing longevity.

Periods of fasting decrease inflammatory responses, improving conditions associated with inflammation, such as Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, asthma and depression. Fasting attenuates proinflammatory cytokines and immune cells, improves circulating glucose and lipid levels, and reduces blood pressure, and has been shown to facilitate weight loss, prevent the progression of type 2 diabetes and improve cardiovascular and neurological health.

List of anti-inflammatory food swaps


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