[Topic: Anti Inflammatory Diet Plan]
Our gut health is our everything, and if it’s out of whack – so are we. And who would want that?
If you’re new to the gut health game, let me catch you up real quick!
Our gut – the part of the digestive system containing our stomach, small intestine, and large intestine – regulates so many processes in our body, containing, but not limited to:
➯ Healthy Digestion
➯ Weight management (and weight loss)
➯ Skin Health
➯ Nutrient Absorption
➯ Heart Health and Cholesterol Levels
➯ Brain Clarity and Mental Health
➯ Hunger and Appetite
➯ Bloating and Inflammation
➯ Chronic Illnesses
And our gut is lined with bacteria – which usually seem as if it’s a bad thing, but in reality, can be a really beneficial aspect of our body – in fact, it’s essential that we need good bacteria in our digestive tracts in order to thrive and have these processes operating properly.
Hang with me and I’ll show you the top 8 anti-inflammatory foods that are filled with this beneficial gut bacteria that will not only help to restore your gut health, but allow you to thrive and feel incredible!
Food Is Energy
You’ve probably heard the saying before “food is medicine” – and it’s true!
Well, it can be. Or it can be poison.
Think of it this way…
We are putting something in our bodies that our bodies then have to work to be able to identify and figure out, “what in the world do we do with this?”
If it is filled with rich nutrients, detoxifying antioxidants, and proper nutrition, our digestive systems are able to then use this resource as ENERGY.
If not, it becomes more of a strain on our bodies as our digestive systems try to figure out how to process something that cannot be used for proper energy, leaving you feeling sluggish, bloated, and with a slew of digestive issues.
So we want to ensure that the foods we are eating are properly supporting our bodies because not only are they going to add those beneficial strains of bacteria, but they will support our bodies with the proper energy source to keep us fueled.
Anti Inflammatory Diet Plan: Top 8 Foods to Consume
1. Whole Grains
Too many diets jump to the conclusion that carbohydrates are bad for you.
And here are common misconceptions…
➟ Carbs will store as fat
➟ Carbs will make you gain weight
➟ Carbs will leave you feeling sluggish
All of the above are true IF you consume processed whole grains – like wheat.
See, our foods became heavily processed during the industrial revolution when we fought to feed the growing population with the resources that were available (factories).
But it’s our generations today that are taking the hit from the chemical additives, artificial flavorings, added sugars, and all the other “fake” ingredients that are found in the food products sold today.
Notice I say “products” as opposed to food. This was intentional, as we are moving away from whole ingredients that are recognizable to our bodies.
So what is best is to incorporate healthy whole grains like gluten free oats, brown rice, quinoa, and amaranth into you anti inflammatory diet plan that experience very little processing.
Your body will be able to recognize these carbohydrates as a healthy resource and provide you with short term energy (the fuel source carbohydrates should provide).
2. Healthy Fats
There’s not a shock that people see results when they are on the Keto diet – which emphasizes your energy source coming from fats as opposed to carbohydrates.
This premise is great, as fats are supposed to provide our body with a long-term energy source, but we need to ensure that we are incorporating the RIGHT kind of fats into our diet.
For instance, healthy fats are unsaturated fats and include foods such as olive oil, avocados, salmon, coconut oil, seeds, and nuts.
Aim to decrease the presence of processed carbohydrates in your diet while increasing your intake of healthier fats.
This provides your body with incredible results such as weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, reduced bloating and inflammation, and ultimately works to repair your digestive system (since these foods are easily recognizable by the body).
3. Fermented Foods
Remember how we said that healthy foods = healthy bacteria = healthy and happy gut?
Well this is where fermented foods begin to shine!
Fermented foods like kombucha, yogurt (I highly recommend nonfat Greek Chobani yogurt – other flavors are too high in added sugar), sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, and kefir water are rich in these natural probiotics, which replenish our gut with trillions of strains of healthy bacteria.
These fermented foods make for great snacks and are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
For instance, you can start your day with a nice cup of yogurt, flavored naturally with organic honey, gluten free granola, and your favorite fruits.
This kick starts your metabolism, provides an incredible energy source, and jump starts a healthy, happy day ahead!
Sugar – the fear of so many people and usually the last thing on anyone’s minds when designing their anti inflammatory diet plan.
And sugar should be feared. In fact, it should be avoided with a ten-foot pole.
But it’s the TYPE of sugar that matters.
Remember when I mentioned how processed our foods have become?
Well the food industry LOVES to fill their products with something called “added sugar” which is very difficult for the body to process, but our taste buds absolutely adore – and keep us coming back to buy more.
This sugar is exactly what it sounds like – “added” during processing.
So while we want to minimize our consumption of added sugars, natural sugars – the kind found in fruits – have a drastically different effect on our bodies.
Fruits can be rich in fiber and antioxidants – which are incredible when fighting our body’s inflammation.
So do not fear the fruit – in fact, add some colorful flavor to your diet with apples, blueberries, pomegranates, or bananas!
Vegetables are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and phytonutrients (plant chemicals design to fight inflammation).
My best recommendation would be to choose vegetables you enjoy to design your meals.
If you’re not a fan of carrots, that does not mean you have to hold your nose and swallow them.
Instead, try a roasted vegetable dish of zucchini, squash, and sweet potatoes!
Just be sure that you are either roasting or grilling the vegetables, and not deep frying. This ensures that the nutritional content remains intact and you reap the most benefits.
6. Beans and Legumes
While beans and legumes are an incredible source of plant-based protein, they also contain fiber, magnesium, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Examples of beans and legumes are chickpea, split pea, pink bean, black bean, lima bean, black eyed pea, kidney bean, split mung, green pea, roman bean, red bean, mixed bean, mung bean, soybean, and lentils.
A great life hack is that many pastas are now being made with bean and legume options. Red lentil, yellow lentil, and chickpea pasta are some of my favorites.
Not only does it satisfy my craving for pasta but provides me with an incredible source of nutrition.
And that’s always a win – win in my book!
7. Bone Broth
Bone broths make for an incredible soup with a huge boost of anti-inflammatory properties!
These broths are rich in minerals, amino acids (proteins), and even work to boost your immunity.
Adding bone broth into your anti inflammatory diet plan is incredibly easy, especially if you have an Instant Pot and are used to steaming your foods!
My personal favorites are Kettle and Fire or Vital Proteins Bone Broth Powder.
8. Herbs, Seasonings, and Spices
The healthiest meals are the ones that involve real ingredients and are made by you.
This way you know exactly what is going in your meals, and you feel confident eating these anti-inflammatory ingredients.
So, while the meals may be simple, your seasonings really give the great boost of flavor!
I highly recommend forming meals that are made from lean proteins, healthy fats, unprocessed carbs, and lots of your favorite fruits and veggies!
But the seasonings are where it all personalizes and customizes your meal.
Some seasonings, like turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, or garlic work to fight inflammation – all while spicing up your meals!
Take With You When You Go!
These foods listed are awesome ways to incorporate nourishing foods into your routines, but they will not solve the problem.
Our stomachs become bloated from experiencing issues with our gut health, and having foods being “backed up” or “triggering” gas production.
The great thing is – you can easily restore your gut health! And the foods listed above are a great start!
By incorporating wholesome ingredients into your anti inflammatory diet plan, you begin to heal your gut by increasing the presence of healthy gut bacteria.
But you need the right equation of anti-inflammatory meals, probiotics, superfoods, and self-care to really thrive.
It sounds complicated, but I made this super easy for you in the 21 Day Gut Health Challenge!
If you’re interested, be sure to check out the challenge HERE!