Dr Oz brought onto his show one of my favorite people, Dr Andrew Weil, who shared 5 foods to help us live longer and reduce our risk of diseases, as well as to discuss Dr Weil’s Alternative Medicine overall. Doctor Oz called this the Optimum Health Diet, but Andrew Weil called it the Anti-Inflammatory Diet, although it is not really a diet but rather an eating plan for life. Dr Weil explained that this is basically another version of the Mediterranean Diet. All chronic diseases of aging start as inflammation in the body, so by reducing your inflammation, you also reduce your risk of Heart Disease, Brain Diseases and Cancer.
Anti-Inflammatory Food #1: Cooked Asian Mushrooms
Dr Weil told Dr Oz that that cooked Asian mushrooms like Shiitake Mushrooms, Maitake Mushrooms, Oyster Mushrooms and Enoki Mushrooms all help to increase your immune function and protect you from Cancer and Viral Infections. Weil said not to eat mushrooms raw though, because your body cannot digest them raw or get any nutrients in that form. Also, Dr Oz pointed out that mushrooms are low calorie while being high in protein, vitamins and minerals.
Anti-Inflammatory Food #2: Whole Soy Foods
Dr Weil is not talking about fake meat products with isolated soy protein or soy derivatives. Whole Soy Foods include products like edamame, soy nuts, tofu, tempeh and soy milk. These products are a great source of protein and help to protect against hormonally driven cancers like Prostate Cancer and Breast Cancer. Eat 1-2 servings of whole soy foods each day, and one serving is 1/2 cup tofu, 1 cup soy milk or a few TB soy nuts.
Anti-Inflammatory Food #3: Cruciferous Vegetables
Dr Oz asked Dr Weil to define exactly what Cruciferous Vegetables are, which are vegetables from the cabbage family such as red cabbage, purple cabbage, green cabbage, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts or bok choy. Eat 4-5 servings of Cruciferous Vegetables daily for strong cancer protective properties. Dr Weil said you can eat an unlimited amount of cruciferous vegetables daily.
Anti-Inflammatory Food #4: Healthy Fats
Dr Weil said that some fats protect against inflammation, while other fats promote inflammation in your body. Dr Weil’s main cooking oil is olive oil, but if he does not want the taste of olive oil then he uses organic canola oil. He also told Dr Oz that you can use Walnut Oil or Hazelnut Oil in salads, but these oils cannot be heated. Other options for healthy fats include cracked help seeds, whole eggs or ground flaxseeds. You should get 5-7 servings of healthy fats daily.
Anti-Inflammatory Food #5: Whole Grains & Cracked Grains
Dr Andrew Weil said there is a big difference between whole grains or cracked grains and pulverized grains like flour. Your body can turn flour and pulverized grains into sugar a lot easier. You should be able to see the actual grains in whatever you are eating, because this will not raise your blood sugar in the same way. Some of Dr Weil’s suggestions include basmati rice, wild rice, buckwheat, barley and groats. You should aim for 2-3 servings per day.
Dr Oz also pointed out that in Dr Weil’s Food Pyramid (which you can see here), there is a category for Al Dente Pasta. Dr Weil said as long as you do not overcook your pasta and make it mushy, you can even eat regular pasta (as opposed to the whole grain pasta) because your body tends to digest it slowly. Just don’t overeat pasta – no double portions!