Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid: 3 Tasty Ways to Fight Inflammation

Top of the List
By: Olivia Schneider | Segun Oduolowu | Victor Padilla Posted: 10:22 AM, May 9, 2019 Updated: 10:38 AM, May 10, 2019

Inflammation is regularly linked to health problems and many of them are serious. But there are ways to take control of your body and one of them is through food. If you’re looking for a guide to anti-inflammatory foods, the anti-inflammatory food pyramid created by Dr. Andrew Weil is the place to go. We teamed up with nutritional specialist Will Armijo to learn which foods – and how much of them! – we need to follow the pyramid.


1. Antioxidants


Let’s start in the anti-oxidant section of the anti-inflammatory food pyramid. “Anti-oxidants are super important, if not the most vital aspect of this entire pyramid,” says Will. “They take free radicals and they eliminate them from your body, so it’s like taking out the trash.” Free radicals attach to cells and that cause symptoms of inflammation. Will says berries contain the highest levels of anti-oxidants. Notice they’re at the bottom of the pyramid, which means they’re the most anti-inflammatory; the placement isn’t just about how much you should eat. But if you’re wondering how much to eat, there are recommended servings, too. “Three to four servings a day is ideal to pack that anti-oxidant punch that you’re looking for,” says Will. For reference, one serving is a half a cup of berries.


2. Good & Bad Carbs


The next stop on the anti-inflammatory food pyramid is good carbs. First, you should know the difference been good carbs and bad carbs. “Your typical bad carbs are gonna contain processed sugars, enriched flours, those and some whole wheats,” Will informs. “Your absolute best carbs on an anti-inflammatory diet are gonna start with things like your beans. Secondary to that [are] root vegetables. Those are loaded with energy-packed carbs that are very anti-inflammatory for you.” Will says you should have three to five servings a day of these.


3. Healthy Fats


Our last stop on the anti-inflammatory food pyramid focuses on the healthy fats from omega-3s. But what on this pyramid constitutes a good fat? “The main thing you need to know is omega-3s pack the biggest punch when it comes to anti-inflammatory,” advises Will. “What you’re gonna see on this pyramid that we have here is pumpkin, avocado, and sardines. Sardines are the most concentrated form of omega-3.” The pyramid recommends 5-7 servings of healthy fats a day.


Feeling hungry yet?! Now you’ve got three ways to eat your way through the anti-inflammatory food pyramid.


Tune in to The List weekdays for everything that’s new, now and next! Check your local listings here.