Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid – FACT SHEET
- Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid is a simple tool that helps today’s families prevent disease while eating well.
- The pyramid combines an educational graphic featuring categories of anti-inflammatory foods, beverages and spices with information on specific food choices and serving frequencies.
- Designed as a practical eating guide that consumers of all ages can use, it also provides tips on how to prevent aging related diseases and improve overall health.
- An anti-inflammatory diet helps counteract chronic inflammation, a root cause of many serious diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
- Age-related disorders, including cancer
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
Components of Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Pyramid:
- Vegetables – 4-5 servings per day. Lightly cooked organic dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), carrots, beets, onions, peas, squashes, sea vegetables and washed raw salad greens – all are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components.
- Fruits – 3-4 servings per day.Brightly coloredfruits, especially berries, peaches, nectarines, oranges, pink grapefruit, red grapes, plums, pomegranates, cherries, apples and pears provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoids and carotenoids.
- Whole and Cracked Grains – 3-5 servings per day. Whole grains (brown rice, basmati rice, wild rice, buckwheat, groats, barley, quinoa and steel-cut oats) that are intact or in a few pieces rather than ground into flour, digest slowly, reducing frequency of spikes in blood sugar that promote inflammation.
- Pasta (al dente) – 2-3 servings per week. Pasta cooked al dente has a lower glycemic index than fully cooked pasta and can help minimize spikes in blood sugar. Opt for organic pasta, rice noodles, bean-thread noodles or Japanese noodles such as udon and soba.
- Beans and Legumes – 1-2 servings per day. Beans are a low-glycemic-index food rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium and soluble fiber. Eat a variety of beans, such as Anasazi, adzuki, black beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas and lentils.
- Healthy Fats – 5-7 servings per day. Healthy fats are those rich in either monounsaturated or omega-3 fatty acids. Dr. Weil suggests extra virgin olive oil, expeller-pressed organic canola oil, nuts (especially walnuts), avocados and freshly ground flaxseeds.
- Fish and Seafood – 2-6 servings per week. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild Alaskan salmon (especially sockeye), herring, sardines and black cod are strongly anti-inflammatory. An option for those who don’t eat fish is taking a molecularly distilled fish oil supplement at 2-3 grams per day.
- Whole Soy Foods– – 1-2 servings per day. Tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy nuts and soy milk provide isoflavones that have antioxidant activity and are protective against cancer.
- Cooked Asian Mushrooms – Unlimited servings. Cooked (never raw) mushrooms such as shiitake, enokidake, maitake and oyster mushrooms contain compounds that help enhance immune function.
- Other Sources of Protein – 1-2 servings per week. Eat natural cheeses, organic, high quality dairy, omega-3 enriched eggs or eggs from free-range chickens, skinless poultry and lean meats, and choose organic, cage-free chicken (with skin and fat removed).
- Healthy Herbs and Spices – Consume as desired. Add flavor to foods without adding sodium by using as much turmeric, curry powder, ginger and garlic, chili peppers, basil, cinnamon, rosemary and thyme as desired. Turmeric and ginger are powerful, natural anti-inflammatory agents.
- Tea – 2-4 cups per day. White, green and oolong teas provide catechins – antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation.
- Red Wine – 1-2 glasses per day maximum. Organic red wine provides beneficial antioxidants. However, if you don’t drink alcohol, do not start.
- Healthy Sweets – Sparingly. Unsweetened dried fruit, dark chocolate and fruit sorbet are healthier options than sugared candy. Dark chocolate provides polyphenols with antioxidant activity.
- Supplements – Daily. A daily high-quality multivitamin/multimineral can help fill nutritional gaps in the diet when circumstances make it difficult or impossible to fulfill the daily requirement for micronutrients from food sources alone. Dr. Weil recommends choosing a supplement with key antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, mixed carotenoids and selenium; co-enzyme Q10; 2-3 grams of a molecularly distilled fish oil; and 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. For consumers interested in learning more about which vitamins are best suited for them, log onto www.DrWeil.com and select Dr. Weil’s "Vitamin Advisor" page.