Dr. Levin’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Supplementation Regimen
With so many patient’s and friends asking me about aches and pains in their neck, back, shoulders, knees, etc… I decided to offer some guidelines, which will help you to maintain healthier inflammation levels throughout your body. And remember…
More Inflammation = More Pain
Less Inflammation = Less Pain
Research is showing that many common diseasesof aging including Cancer, Heart disease, Joint pain and Alzheimer disease are associated with elevated inflammation levels.
With the above in mind, the pursuit of healthier inflammation levels seems to be a worthy goal.
Keep in mind that some inflammation can be normal and good. For instance, I recently sprained my ankle playing basketball. It blew up, turned red, got hot, and then turned various shades of black, blue, purple and green. This was a normal appropriate healing response. The inflammation subsided over the course of a few months as my ankle healed.
When we have inflammation at appropriate times, that subsides after the injury or infirmity is resolved, it is normal. However, when we have ongoing inflammation, for prolonged periods of time, in an area or throughout our bodies, this is an abnormal state, and can lead to pain and disease.
We can control inflammation by using non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s), however they have serious side effects. On the other hand, we can effectively control inflammation in our bodies by making better nutritional choices and utilizing healthy supplements.
First the don’ts.
Minimize your use of junk food, especially any food high in sugar or deep-fried (if you can call it food).
Minimize or eliminate trans-fats or partially hydrogenated fats from your diet. There are no safe levels of these fats and most researchers consider them to be the most dangerous foods of all. These include most types of purchased donuts, muffins, chips, candy, cakes, french fries and the like, along with margarine and vegetable shortening.
Reduce your use of omega-6 rich vegetable oils like: corn, sunflower, safflower and cottonseed (for more on this subject see my article: Is Fish Oil Really That Important).
Don’t overdue the alcohol. If you do drink, try to enjoy your alcohol in moderation.
bowl of broccoli
perfect multi super greens
Now for the do’s.
Take fish oil and or krill oil Let me repeat that more emphatically. Take Fish Oil And Or Krill Oil!! This is so important as they supply the essential and anti-inflammatory omega 3 oils that are in very short supply in the modern American diet. Make sure your omega 3 supplement supplies at least 1000 mgs of Eicosapentaenoic Acid – EPA and Docosahexaenoic Acid – DHA per day.
Take a curcumin supplement daily. Curcumin comes from turmeric and is powerfully anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant along with supporting our physical strength as we age and supporting brain and heart health. The new technology is far better absorbed with wonderful anti-inflammatory effects. Recent studies show that subjects were more comfortable and could walk four time farther up hill on a treadmill in just 3 months using this advance curcumin technology – The supplement is called: Clinical Curcumin which you can view on my website.
Use extra virgin cold pressed olive oil as your main oil on salads and to flavor up your food. Use regular olive oil if cooking at low heat and coconut or avacodo oil if cooking on high heat.
Eat lots of healthy fruits and vegetables (choose organic whenever possible). They are full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Shoot for all the colors of the rainbow. The brighter, deeper and darker the better. Women should shoot for 7 servings while men should shoot for 9 servings per day. Fruits and vegetables help to balance inflammation levels in your body. If you don’t feel that this number of servings is possible, use a scoop of Green powder daily as a supplement. There are several phyotnutrient drinks on my web site made with the most nutrient dense super fruits and vegetables. Many are organic and all are pesticide free. They are a great way to insure that you are getting enough phytonutrients.
Take a good multi-vitamin, multi-mineral daily to insure that you are getting adequate nutrients as current industrial farming methods have radically depleted the soil. Any nutritional deficiency will have a dramatic negative effect on many systems and organs in the body. I take The Perfect Multi Super Greens by Purity Products. It’s formulated by my friend Bill Sardi who has included all the most important nutrients in their proper proportions. It has a full 2000 IU of vitamin D, which is especially important in the winter (less conversion by the skin from sunlight). He has also included many fruit and vegetable extracts for superior antioxidant protection (5000 ORAC – the antioxidant power of about 9 servings of fruits and veggies).
If you’re looking for a relatively healthy snack, indulge in dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa content as your dessert. It’s high in healthy phytonutrients (not too much please as it is also high in calories).
Drink adequate water daily. By the time you are very thirsty you are already getting dehydrated which can decrease the effectiveness of many enzyme pathways in the body. Tea, seltzer water and sparkling water are fine choices as well.
Adopting these changes will have a dramatic, positive impact on your health and help to control inflammation throughout your body. You don’t have to make all of these changes at the same time. Then again, the more of them that you do utilize, the better off you will be. You might try picking the 2 or 3 that seem easiest for you. After you have successfully installed them into your daily routine, pick 2 or 3 more, etc…
Dr. Neil Levin DC, CN, CFT.