Okay, so I’ve quit the paleo diet for the time being because it’s a hairy pain in the butt from time to time to constantly be cooking all of your own food, and because part of me worries that it’s a fad.
That doesn’t mean that it’s a wrong diet to be on. It just means that for right now, I’m on hiatus from it.
I spent more than an hour on the phone this morning with a nurse from Shared Solutions, the care team from Copaxone, discussing multiple sclerosis, and how to treat it.
MS is a disease of inflammation, and so, if we’re going to do our part to eat well, we should eat foods that are anti-inflammatory.
You can best help your body eliminate inflammation by reducing stress, removing sugar and processed foods from your diet, and by getting more sunshine! Even if you’re not going for a walk, and you’re sitting on a computer, try to get it outside!
Foods That Help Eliminate Inflammation
- Vegetables in the Broccoli Family: Broccoli, Cauliflower, & Broccolini
- Oils high in Omega 3, such as flaxseed oil, canola oil, or hemp. Olive oil is ok too.
- Fish high in Omega 3s – Salmon, Sardines, Herring, and Black Cod
- Spinach has carotenoids, one kind of inflammation-reducing antioxidant and it also contains vitamin E.
- Onions contain quercetin, a potent antioxidant that can help your body fight inflammation.
- Garlic contains sulfur compounds that stimulate your immune system to fight disease.
- Tart cherries! They’ve got better anti-inflammatory powers than aspirin, believe it or not!
- Pineapple contains bromelain, an antioxidant that boosts your immunity.
- Soaked Walnuts. It’s important to soak them to remove the enzyme inhibitor.
- Ginger, Tumeric, Curry, Oregano, Rosemary, and Green Tea contain bioflavonoids and polyphenols that reduce inflammation and limit free radical production.”
Foods to Avoid
- Sugar – It causes inflammation. Nuff said.
- Corn, Safflower, Sunflower, Peanut and Soybean Oils that are high in Omega 6
- Trans Fats
- Dairy Products: Why? Because it has cassien, which is a common allergen that causes inflammation.
- Feedlot-Raised Meat: because the meat was fed inflammatory food, like soybeans and corn, which means when we eat the meat, we’re also eating the inflammatory agents of the legumes and grains that are in the meat.
- Red Meat & Processed Meat: Why? Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that red meat contains a molecule that humans don’t naturally produce called Neu5Gc. After ingesting this compound, the body develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies – an immune response that may trigger chronic inflammatory response. And low-grade simmering inflammation that won’t go away has been linked to cancer and heart disease. And multiple sclerosis. Much as my husband will hate this, it means no beef, lamb or pork, including hams, sausages and salami.
- Booze. I don’t think I need to qualify this one.
- Refined Grains. They are devoid of fiber and vitamin B compared to unpolished and unrefined grains that still have the bran, germ and the aleurone layer intact. This makes refined grains as good as refined sugars, which are practically empty calories. UNREFINED GRAINS ARE OKAY! As long as you are not allergic or intolerant to gluten, go for minimally processed grains. Check labels and go for things made with 100% whole grains.
- Artificial food additives/Exitotoxins: NO MSG, aspartame, or the like.
- Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes and potatoes, if you’re having real problems.
As I put this together, I can’t help but notice that there are many similarities to the Paleo Diet, but there are a few differences that are obvious, like the inclusion of whole grains if you do not have gluten intolerance, the complete exclusion of all red meat, and the exclusion of tomatoes and potatoes.
Since I quit the paleo diet, I have broken out (yay acne!) and gained weight. So it’s obvious to me that I have unnecessary inflammation going on. I think if I tried to follow these rules, I would probably feel better, lose weight, and be happier.