Anti Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan | Beat Silent Inflammation & Disease

What Is An Anti Inflammatory Diet?

An anti inflammatory diet meal plan aims to reduce chronic inflammation in the body. This type of inflammation is also known as “silent inflammation”. Research shows that silent inflammation contributes to a wide range of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. It also affects the ageing process. Silent inflammation is different from acute inflammation which results in an immediate and obvious condition such as acne, arthritis or asthma. With silent inflammation, the body is silently attacked over time until a disease manifests. The foods recommended in an anti inflammatory diet meal plan fight and even reverse inflammation. By including these foods in a healthy diet, you can reduce your risk for these diseases.

Dr Weil Anti Inflammatory Diet

One of the pioneers of the anti-inflammatory diet is Dr Andrew Weil. He designed a diet that reduces chronic inflammation in the body through dietary and lifestyle changes. Dr Weil’s explains that the anti inflammatory diet meal plan is really a way of eating that provides the body with the necessary nutrients needed for long term health. Dr Weil’s anti inflammatory food pyramid is based on on eating food prepared from fresh ingredients, with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. It includes whole grains, healthy fats, oily fish, spices and green tea. At the same time, Dr Weil advises that processed foods should be kept to a minimum.

How To Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is closely related to the level of prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins are molecules made in the body from essential fatty acids. While some prostaglandins have an anti-inflammatory effect, others actually worsen inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet aims to bring the different types of prostaglandins in the body into balance. Nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, fibre and plant-based phytonutrients reduce inflammation. Processed foods such refined sugars and fatty red meats increase inflammation. Therefore an anti inflammatory diet meal plan has a high level of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and fibre included.

Anti Inflammatory Foods That Reduce Inflammation

Food Group Foods Properties
Healthy Fats
Olive Oil; Nuts (walnuts, almonds); Seeds (flax, chia); Oily fish (salmon, tuna, sardines)
High level of Omega-3
Fruits & Vegetables
Berries, oranges, cherries, pineapple, avocado, broccoli, carrots, spinace, kale.
High in anti-oxidants and flavanoids
Healthy Spices
Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, garlic, chill, cloves, tumeric and ginger
Contain anti-inflammatory compounds
Beverages
Green Tea
Contains polyphenols and flavonols
Whole grains: barley, bulgur, brown rice, whole grain breads.

Foods That Cause Inflammation

Food Group Foods Properties
Sugar & Processed Foods
Cakes, pastries, sugary drinks, biscuits,corn syrup, white bread & sugary cereals.
Can lead to high blood sugar and sticky formations of sugar and protein
Unhealthy Fats
Saturated fats (butter, lard) and trans fats (some margarine); deep fried food.
Causes imbalance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Dairy Products
Milk, cheese and products containing these.
High levels of Omega-6 which is pro-inflammatory.
Meat & Meat Products
Meat from grain-fed animals, processed meat products like sausages and polony.
High level of Omega-6
Beverages
Excessive Alcohol
Regular use inflames the liver and larynx

A Sample Anti Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan

Meal Idea Details

Breakfast

anti-inflammatory-meals-breakfast

  • Oat porridge made with low-fat milk, topped with blueberries
  • Cup of green tea

Lunch

anti-inflammatory-stir-fry

  • Stir-fry of vegetables and chicken, flavoured with ginger.
  • Glass of fresh orange juice

Snack

anti-inflammatory-foods-walnuts

  • A handful of walnuts
  • Cup of green tea

Dinner

anti-inflammatory-food-oily-fish

  • Grilled salmon with olive-oil drizzle, topped with herbs and roasted vegetables
  • Glass of sparkling water

Dessert

anti-inflammatory-foods-dark-chocolate

  • A square of 80% dark chocolate
  • A handful of strawberries

Arthritis Diet Foods

Arthritis is a form of inflammation. Therefore, an anti inflammatory diet would help reduce arthritis. However, there are additional tips that can alleviate symptoms: 

  • Increase intake of Omega-3 fats (e.g. oily fish) and reduce intake of Omega-6 fats
  • Have at least 4 cups of green tea daily. Studies have shown that green tea contains polyphenols
  • Increase intake of fruits and vegetables. The exception to this is vegetable of the nightshade family (e.g. peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes)
  • Switch to whole grain foods like brown bread and brown pasta instead of white refined products
  • Reduce intake of acidic products such as sugar, coffee, red meat, most grains, nuts, citrus fruits as these may increase and stiffness of joints.
  • Dairy products and other calcium inhibitors such as salt and preservatives that are high in salt, pepper, vinegar should also be avoided.
  • Foods containing saturated fats such as fatty meats, baked foods increase weight and pain in arthritis. They should be eliminated.

A simple rule of thumb is to include as much variety as you can into your anti inflammatory diet meal plan. Choose fruits and vegetables that are in season and fresh produce wherever you can, Add some healthy spices, and you can’t go wrong.

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