Katherine Thurer, MD explains “Diet is HUGE! It has an enormous role in every aspect of our health across the board. Switching to an anti-inflammatory diet is the number one thing I recommend.”
The quote above sums up the importance of eating to combat inflammation. Plants have an incredible alkalizing effect on the body, which fights inflammation. A diet high in whole plant foods can help rebalance the body’s estrogen levels since all that fiber helps rid the body of excess substances it doesn’t need, including detoxified hormones. Plant-based diets can also reverse obesity, which is linked to diabetes and high blood pressure.
Before we dive into what to eat, please take note. If you have not eaten like this before your body has adapted to eating meat, dairy, and processed food. Much like a long term smoker goes through a detoxification, you will also go through a detoxification in which your body may develop rashes, headaches, shakes, phlegm, sleeplessness, constipation, diarrhea, or other forms of discomfort. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS.
Don’t get overwhelmed with the lists of foods to eat. We have included a simple meal preparation chart further along.
Let’s dive into what to eat.
I bet you didn’t see this one coming. A plant-based alkalizing diet’s staple is… PLANTS! Sounds boring right? WRONG! Plants are one of the most exciting things on this earth. Make sure to get plenty of variety with vegetables, as colors are your friends to get those phytochemicals we discussed earlier.
Instead of thinking of vegetables as sides, they need to be your main dish. When picking vegetables to eat, focus on leafy green vegetables taking up most of your plate. The healthiest options are organic frozen vegetables then organic fresh vegetables. Frozen is healthier due to the fact it is flash frozen right after being picked and doesn’t have time to lose nutrients on the way to you.
What vegetables to eat (not an exhaustive list: Spinach, Kale, Mustard Greens, Watercress, Hearts of Romaine, Raw Broccoli, Bok Choy, Swiss Chard, Collards, Dandelion, Boston Lettuce, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Peas, Carrots, Peppers, Celery, Corn, Tomato, Asparagus, Green Beans, Cucumber, Zucchini, Squash, Sweet Potatoes.
Experiment, experiment, experiment with these exotic foods to add an extra super-power punch to your dishes. These include unemboshi plums, miso, parsnips, rutabaga, burdock root, daikon, lotus root, fermented vegetables, and sea vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are included in super-powered foods and are included in the above list.
Don’t be intimidated by the weird names. Sea vegetables are filled with vitamins and minerals and include nori, hijiki, arame, wakame, and kombu. They are also high in protein, help alkalize the blood, are a great detoxifying agent, reduce blood pressure, and inhibit cancerous growths.
Fermented veggies contain probiotics which are great for healing the gut (stomach, intestines, and colon). Probiotics help your body absorb nutrients, boost your immune system, and are great antioxidants.
Pickled vegetables include pickles,sauerkraut, andkimchi. However DON’T buy these in the grocery aisle as they are full of preservatives, but instead look in the refrigerator section for unpasteurized products, which will contain many more probiotics and be better for you.
These can be added to any meal to add a little bit of flavor, tang, crunch, or salt.
Whole grains are considered one of the best forms of energy that we can eat. Believe it or not, these little gems are packed with protein, fiber, and other good for you nutrients. They help us break down protein, cleanse and detoxify our system, protect our cells, release energy, and keep our hearts healthy. They are also rich in B-complex vitamins.
Grains to eat includequinoa,millet,spelt,brown rice,wild rice,farro,barley,oats, andbulgur. Mix these up so you are not consuming the same grains every week. Start with quick cooking grains first to allow for easier digestion then move to the regular ones as your body adjusts.
Beans, beans, the magical fruit… Literally, these things are magic. There are a variety of ways to eat beans as well, such as in hummus, tacos, burritos, soup, chili, and more.
Beans to eat include navy beans, black beans, chickpeas, cannellini beans, red kidney beans, lentils, tofu, and edamame.
Fruit does wonders for your body and contains vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. It can help protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, but must be consumed in moderation. Also, avoid juices which do not contain the fiber of the fruit therefore just giving you a heavy dose of sugar. When eating whole fruit try to limit this to two to three cups daily.
ORGANIC fruits to add to your diet include strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mango
banana, no-sugar-added pitted dates, no-sugar-added apricots, no-sugar-added raisins, grapes, apples, oranges, melon, pineapple, kiwi, peaches, plums, papaya, pear, and coconut.
Dr. Travis Zigler