A mother-of-four, 58, has revealed how trying an anti-inflammatory lifestyle has left her feeling healthier than she was at 35 – and suggested the healthy swaps to make to improve your diet.
Maria Borelius, 58, from Sweden, said she was feeling like ‘a frail old lady’ due to perimenopause symptoms including pain, fatigue and a general feeling of melancholy.
But after a few months of trying out an ‘anti-inflammatory diet’, she says she is ‘happier and stronger’ and feels fitter than she did in her thirties.
The author suggests which foods should be ditched in favour of healthier alternatives in her book Health Revolution: Finding Happiness and Health through an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle.
Author Maria Borelius, 58, from Sweden, credits the anti-inflammation diet with helping to rid her of perimenopausal symptoms. She writes about the lifestyle in her book Health Revolution: Finding Happiness and Health through an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle
Cut back on… Bread
Bread drives high-inflammation as it is gluten rich and contains refined flour, which has a glycaemic index. Replace it with rice cakes or rye bread
Why? It’s gluten-rich and contains refined flour, which has a high glycaemic index. This combination can drive high-inflammation.
Replace with: Rice cakes or rye bread, which contains lots of whole grains.
Cut back on… Pasta
Pasta, like bread, contains gluten which is hard to digest. Replace with more complex carbohydrates like sweet potato or quinoa
Why? Like bread, white wheat flour contains gluten, a hard-to-digest protein linked to inflammation.
Replace with: Complex carbohydrates such as sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice.
Cut back on… Crisps
For a healthy snack, ditch crisps, which contain trans fats, and replace them with olives, smoked almonds or cucumber sticks
Why? Crisps contain trans fats that drive inflammation
Replace with: Olives, smoked almonds, cucumber or carrot sticks.
Cut back on… Biscuits
Biscuits contain three ingredients which are bad for inflammaton. Try baking an alternative healthy snack at home instead
Why? Tasty as they may be, biscuits are a triple-inflammation bomb, as they include trans fats, gluten and sugar.
Replace with: Try to make your own baked alternatives using vegetables including sweet potatoes or carrots. Use coconut oil or honey for sweetness instead of less healthy alternatives.
Cut back on… Dairy products
Dairy products like ice cream contain lactose, which can be bad for digestion. Try blending frozen banana with strawberries for a dessert sorbet instead
Why? Dairy products including ice cream contain lactose, which is broken down by the lactase enzyme. People who have low levels of lactase can become gassy and bloated from dairy products.
Replace with: Products like yoghurt and kefir actually have an anti-inflammatory impact. Swapping dairy milk for almond or soy may be a good idea. Organic milk is a good source of calcium – drink a little regular milk, and try lactose-free yoghurts instead.
If you’re an ice cream addict, try out blending frozen banana with strawberries for a dessert sorbet instead.
Cut back on… Pizza
Pizzas should be avoided as they’re high in gluten. Maria suggests trying out pizza toppings in an omlette instead
Why? Pizzas are very high in gluten, which is prone to triggering inflammation.
Replace with: Maria suggests trying an omelette containing traditional pizza toppings like tomatoes, cheese or onions instead.
Cut back on… Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can be good for anti-inflammation – if it is consumed in moderation. For a healthy alternative, try mixing wine with sparkling mineral water
Why? Alcohol is basically fermented high-sugar plants and drinking wine, spirits and other alcholic drinks can affect your carbohydrate consumption.
Replace with: Try to drink moderately, as it can be linked to anti-inflammation thanks to the polyphenol resveratrol. As a general guideline, try drinking alcohol just two days a week. Try mixing a spritzer with a little wine with sparkling mineral water to lower your consumption further.
Cut back on… Sweets
Try eating one or two squares of dark chocolate, preferably with 70 per cent cacao content, rather than sweets
Why? Sweets contain sugar and can contain trans fats that also drive inflammation.
Replace with: Eat good quality dark chocolate, preferably with 70 per cent cacao content, which is rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols.
Try to limit yourself to just two or three squares, as the taste is often enough to satisfy your cravings.
Cut back on… Burgers
Ditch the burgers which are gluten-rich, and avoid buns completely. If you can’t resist, try just eating one half of the bun
Why? Sorry to break this to you, but burgers are also high in gluten – mainly due to the bun, but the pattie itself is often packed with grains and wheat to help it stick together.
Replace with: Although it’s best to try to avoid this tasty meal completely, if you’re really craving one, eat just half of the bun, like an open-faced sandwich.