The pesco-vegan anti-inflammatory diet is not an ‘official thing’, so you can tweak it to your preferences and needs however you like. The beauty of it is that there are no hard and fast rules. We tend to keep eggs and other foods that would be considered excluded in a strict vegan diet, but you can add or subtract these as you wish. (We think eggs are great.)
As naturopaths, we understand that getting everything you need in your diet is of utmost importance and not always that easy if you have dietary restrictions due to disease, allergy or intolerance, and that means you have to just eat what you can.
Enjoy food, enjoy life, and be a pesco-vegan of your own design by buying beautiful vegan cookbooks (there are some excellent and gorgeous cookbooks out there) and then add in seafood as you like. This website has a growing collection of pesco-vegan recipes, because we don’t think you should have to ‘substitute’ or leave out ingredients that make a recipe delicious. We just start off with great recipes that include the stuff we can eat.
If you are going pesco-vegan with reducing inflammation in mind, you’ll need to stick to a few guidelines. Being a pesco-vegan isn’t automatically anti-inflammatory, for example anything deep fried, fish or vegetable, is inflammatory by its very deep fried delicious still-pesco-vegan nature.
How it works:
All fresh whole food – whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, legumes, seafood, eggs if you want. Eat a variety of foods, avoid packaged food, reduce frozen and canned foods. Fresh is best, frozen is second-best, and canned is third best.
Raw, steamed, or lightly cooked food – as soon as you cook something to death (deep frying, frying or grilling/broiling at high temperatures) you cause it to become poisonous. Delicious, yes, but inflammatory. Be gentle with your food so it retains its nutrients and doesn’t become carcinogenic.
All sugary soda/fizzy drink is inflammatory. Just don’t do it. Sugar is inflammatory, so avoid muffins, cakes, and so on unless you make them yourself and know what’s in them.
Preservatives, colours and artificial flavours are inflammatory, because they are usually made from poison. Avoid.
Takeaways are full of sugar, MSG, deep fried things, dairy products and wheat, even if they don’t seem like it. If you want healthy takeaway food, ask for it completely bare and lightly stirfried. Asian-style is the easiest to do this with – vegetables, rice, and some seafood or tofu/tempeh.
Dairy is inflammatory, so sorry but this means no cheese, milk, or other animal milks and cheeses. No sheep, goat or dolphin milk is anti-inflammatory.
All animal products are intrinsically inflammatory, but eggs are so dense in nutrition that avoiding them isn’t always in our best interests, and seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids have more anti-inflammatory properties than inflammatory. It’s a balancing act.
Meat: Red meat (beef, pork) is really inflammatory, chicken and turkey are ok so long as they are lean, and seafood is actively anti-inflammatory.
Alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, coffee: alcohol (except red wine) is inflammatory. Drugs are often inflammatory because they are chemicals. Cigarettes are inflammatory because they contain poisons. Coffee (sadly) is inflammatory. Avoid. Your body will just spend all its anti-inflammatory energy fighting off these additives instead of other inflammation in your body that is making you unwell.
Food you can have sometimes that won’t kill you include really dark chocolate, wheat (if you don’t react), natural sugars (agave or maple syrup, etc.), small amounts of dried fruit, and vinegars.
Supplements to boost your immune system and regulate inflammation
- High-quality fish oils (500mg EPA per day – this may mean over 4 capsules)
- Vitamin D 4,000iu per day
- Take with fatty food like avocado or raw nuts – fats help digest other fats
If you have a question about the diet and what is and isn’t included, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if we can help.
Foods to go nuts on
- Leafy green vegetables
- All vegetables
- Fruits, in particular lemon and lime
- Beans and legumes (prepare properly – soak for appropriate amounts of time and cook through)
- Superfoods, green smoothie powders, smoothies with fruit and seeds and nuts (raw)
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Raw nut butter and cheeses
- Soaked/sprouted grains – wild rice, millet
- Seaweed – spirulina, nori, kelp, dulse
- Herbal teas
- Organic apple cider vinegar (with the ‘mother’)
- Vegetable juice
- Fermented foods – sauerkraut, kim chi, kefir (milk and water), kombucha, tempeh