The Anti-Inflammatory Diet - A Quick Guide
“Inflammation” is one of those health words that gets thrown around a lot… but do we really know what it means? We know when something is ‘inflamed’ - it swells up, turns red… DEFINITELY not a good thing, and we need to find out how to get rid of it…
But the rest? Still a bit mysterious.
What IS Inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural process that helps your body heal and defend itself from infection, illness or injury. Think of when you have a cut - the swelling and pain is how our bodies work to fight infections, germs, toxins or other causes. But when inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to a lot of health problems.
FOODS YOU SHOULD EAT
Introducing The Anti-Inflammatory Diet, with a Mediterranean twist!
My baked Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Garlic. For more healthy recipes get my Cookbook here.
An important way to reduce inflammation is through your diet. If my name ‘Sabri’ didn’t give it away, I come from a Mediterranean heritage (dad is Cypriot). My roots meant I've been eating Mediterranean food all my life.
Experts have long vouched for the Mediterranean diet as being one of the healthiest diets around, due especially to its consistent use of anti-inflammatory ingredients, like:
- Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, including bell peppers and chilli peppers
- Fruit: Go for berries especially!
- Healthy fat: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and olives
- Fatty fish: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies
- Nuts: Go nuts on this! 🐿
- Chocolate: Of the dark variety mmmm
- Spices: Turmeric, fenugreek, cinnamon, etc.
- Red wine: A glass a day helps keep the doctor away! (... okay, perhaps not a glass a day, but in moderation 😉)
The crazy benefits of a Mediterranean diet include:
- Reduces bloating
- Clearing of acne/inflamed skin
- Helps with fat loss
- Accelerates healing process
- Lowered rates of chronic diseases
- Prevention of Type 2 diabetes
FOODS TO REPLACE
Certain foods cause more inflammation in the body than others, and you should try to reduce your intake of them. But I totally get it, sometimes when that craving hits it’s hard to say no!
Below i’ve listed down some great alternatives to common favourites that you can try to slowly incorporate into your diet:
- Refined carbs like white bread & white pasta - replace with whole grain carbs like oats, quinoa & couscous or potatoes
- Desserts made with added sugars - replace with natural sugars like berries
- Processed meat like hot dogs & sausages - replace with lean meats like fish, chicken or turkey
- Processed snack foods like crisps & cookies - replace with homemade snacks like hummus or guacamole
- Processed seed & vegetable oils like corn oil - replace with olive oil or coconut oil
- Sugary drinks like cordials & sodas - replace with fresh drinks without additives
How I Avoided Surgery Through My Diet
It wasn't until I injured my knee in late 2018 that I personally encountered how POWERFUL this Mediterranean diet is in healing your body.
On my first ever ski trip, I had an accident which resulted in me rupturing my right knee’s medial collateral ligament (MCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). These are 2 of the 4 major knee ligaments that help stabilise your knee joint - in other words, I effed up my knee BAD.
A complete rupture in the ACL usually requires surgery - only 1-2% of ACL tears heal themselves.
I fell in this 1-2% category.
MRIs of my knee, where my ACL tear re-connected after 10 months of eating well and sticking to my rehab.Not discounting the fact that my baseline fitness level was good, and that I was strict with my rehab, I believe food played a HUGE role in this healing.
And now, I want to share the recipes I used to heal my own body with you.
Get The Anti-Inflammatory Cookbook: 38 Mediterranean Recipes For Healing Your Body Everyday here!
If you’re recovering from an injury, or even suffer seemingly everyday pains like headaches, poor sleep quality or inexplicable bloating, try out the Mediterranean diet for a couple of months!
How would you know if it works? If you’re feeling much better.Observe how you feel (do you feel a stomach ache? Constipated or bloated? Have dark circles? Or do you feel more energetic?). Everyone’s food triggers are different, but trying out an anti-inflammatory diet gets you on the right path of improving your quality of life.Love, Lilly x