After our trip to True Food Kitchen yesterday where the menu is based on the anti-inflammatory diet, it got me thinking more about the concept and how it could be beneficial to me and my poor strained groin. A muscle strain generally occurs when the muscle itself has been over-stretched or torn, damaging the muscle fibers. This can cause inflammation in the tissue surrounding the muscle. It’s inevitable that inflammation in the body will lead to ill-health and disease in extreme cases. Inflammation can be swelling, redness, heat and pain produced in the body. Your diet can change that. I’m a firm believer that your diet and the food you consume is the best medicine to better health. So why not consume more of those anti-inflammatory foods and speed up this recovery before I go potty from not working out!
Here’s my top tips for an anti-inflammatory diet:
Stuff yourself to the brim with vegetables at every meal – 1/2 your plate – YES HALF should be filled with vegetables. Leafy greens, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini.. there are so many! Vegetables will NOT make you fat. Eat them, and lots of them.
Fruit – well if you’re not already eating blueberries where have you been?! Here’s some more to try – blackberries, strawberries, peaches, oranges, pink grapefruit, red grapes, plums, pomegranates, cherries, apples, and pears. I eat an apple everyday.
Eat lean protein sources such as turkey, chicken (skinless), beef – i like going for leaner cuts like tenderloin, top loin and sirloin tip. Pork – I’ve been cooking more of recently and found it super tasty.
Eat plenty of fish, oily fishies rich in omega-3 fats – salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies.. I’m thinking the more it stinks, the better it is!
Go Nuts! Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds.. again lots to choose from. I LOVE roasted nuts and put them through most meals for added good fats. Avoid salted nuts, go for raw/roasted.
Good old dairy. I don’t know what I’d do without eggs honestly. I eat them everyday. Cottage cheese, plain yogurt and natural cheeses such as feta, ricotta are often found in my meals. I always buy full fat options as what’s the point in eating a non-fat yogurt? All the calcium and goodness that you’re eating it for has been stripped away and replaced with a chemical of some description when being processed. Portion control is key!
Spice up your life with herbs and spices! Again, not sure what I’d do without my spice cupboard when I’m cooking. I chuck anything in. My favs are cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, chilli flakes, black pepper and thyme. Basil, chamomile, cilantro, thyme, and rosemary are useful not only for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity but they have clinical benefits in conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Oils are great not only for cooking but as dressings on your salad! I also buy fresh olives and put them through salads and mediterranean style dishes. I use grapeseed oil for cooking most days as it has a high smoke point, very light and is high in polyunsaturated fats and loaded with antioxidants.
Eat some whole grains. Go easy on the portion size but add them to your diet. Brown rice, basmati rice, barley, quinoa, buckwheat.. they take a wee while to digest so great for leaving you feeling fuller for longer.
AVOID PROCESSED FOODS – CEREALS, FRIED FOOD, CANDY, READY-MADE MEALS, BISCUITS, BREADS.. notice I say avoid. The reason being that it’s okay now and again to have these foods just limit them. I love chips and dip and I also love ice-cream. Life would be boring if you didn’t indulge in the things you loved!