The anti-inflammatory diet has been the topic of many conversations since Dr. Andrew Weill recently promoted it on the Dr. Oz Show. Created to reduce overall inflammation in the body, it is thought to help reduce chronic diseases.
The meal plan itself is filled with plentiful vitamin rich foods that offer variety and taste — two musts for any long term lifestyle change. But is it family friendly, and will your kids eat it?
Here is the science behind how it works for better health, taken straight from Dr. Weill’s website:
It is becoming increasingly clear that chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious illnesses – including heart disease, many cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. We all know inflammation on the surface of the body as local redness, heat, swelling and pain. It is the cornerstone of the body’s healing response, bringing more nourishment and more immune activity to a site of injury or infection. But when inflammation persists or serves no purpose, it damages the body and causes illness. Stress, lack of exercise, genetic predisposition, and exposure to toxins (like secondhand tobacco smoke) can all contribute to such chronic inflammation, but dietary choices play a big role as well. Learning how specific foods influence the inflammatory process is the best strategy for containing it and reducing long-term disease risks.
The five main components of the diet include Asian mushrooms, soy, cabbage, healthy fats, and whole or cracked grains. While that may sound limiting, there are a wide variety of combinations you can make. For example, if your child doesn’t like cabbage, you can use broccoli. Other kid friendly selections include fresh fruit, pasta, eggs, and tea. Click here for a full list of the anti-inflammatory food pyramid.
I like this approach because it’s a commonsense approach and it offers a wide selection of daily meals and meal combinations. It is similar in content to the typical Mediterranean diet. Since we are recent vegetarians, I love that the plan doesn’t necessarily include meat. For moms or dads trying to lose weight, Dr. Weill suggests the best way is to cut out any foods made with flour or sugar.
As Dr. Weill points out, it’s not a diet although people do tend to lose weight on it; rather it is more a lifetime healthy eating plan. If we can off set inflammation and avoid disease in our children by eating fresh and natural foods, it’s worth pursuing.