Dr. Larson, who is not opposed to using prescriptions to treat inflammatory conditions, has seen the benefits of dietary changes firsthand in many of his patients. For example, a 59-year-old woman had asthma for over 25 years, and was taking up to four different medications daily. Since she began following the Gold Coast Cure, she now only occasionally uses medication.
Dr. Larson explains that one reason inflammatory diseases are on the rise is because our modern diet is far more pro-inflammatory than our ancestors'. "Most of us eat too many processed convenience foods," he explains, "many of which are advertised as being ‘healthy.' But because the human body wasn't designed to process these fake and chemically altered foods, if you eat too many of them, as Ivy did, you set up a chain reaction in your body that causes inflammation." The Larsons advise people to focus on a few key dietary changes.
Modern, Meet Mediterranean: What to Add to Your Diet
Omega-3 Fats. "The omega-3 fats are the most powerful anti-inflammatory substances available without a prescription," Larson says, because your body uses them to make anti-inflammatory substances called prostaglandins.
Sources of omega-3 fats: Fatty fish like salmon and sardines, fish oil supplements, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil (flax is a good alternative for people who are allergic to fish).
Eat at least 2 servings of fatty fish a week, plus supplement with ¼ teaspoon of high-quality fish oil a day for kids less than 50 pounds; ½ teaspoon a day for kids over 50 pounds (Nordic Naturals ProEFA Liquid); 2 soft gels a day for adults (Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega).
Eat 1 serving of flax a day. Either sprinkle 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds into low-fat yogurt or old-fashioned oatmeal (not quick-cooking), or mix them into a smoothie. Or, use 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil (Barlean's) to make a salad dressing. Note that flaxseed oil cannot be heated and must be refrigerated.