Is Inflammation an Issue?
Do you have excessive inflammation in your body? If you are experiencing chronic pain or disease, inflammation is part of the problem.
There is a lot we can do to take control of inflammation in our bodies, one way is to address dietary contributors.
Common Dietary Contributors to Inflammation:
- Low quality oils such as canola, vegetable, soybean, corn, sesame, safflower, sunflower (soybean oil is found in many salad dressings, processed food/snacks and margarine)
- Sugar which has many names on ingredient lists including: maltose, sucrose, fructose, malt syrup, agave, cane juice, cane syrup, beet sugar, carob syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate
- Fruit juices
- Processed food that is made in a factory
- Fried food
- Gluten and grains in general such as wheat, oats, corn, rice
- Standard factory farmed meats
- Healthy oils and fats such as extra virgin live oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, avocado oil, grass fed butter, grass fed ghee
- Dark leafy greens such as spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard, arugula
- Grass fed meat
- Fatty fish such as wild caught salmon, sardines and anchovies (also krill oil supplements)
- Eggs (pasture raised are best but there are benefits to standard eggs too, also the yolk is the healthiest part and even better for you if you don’t oxidize it by overcooking it-eggs with a loose runny yolk are more beneficial, or lightly scrambled eggs)
- Low carb fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, avocados
- Low carb vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, asparagus, celery
- Nuts that are not roasted in unhealthy oils (look for raw nuts or dry roasted nuts)
- Dark Chocolate! (80% or higher, avoid alkalized or dutch processed chocolate)
- Sprouted grains offer more benefits than standard grains (such as Ezekiel Bread compared to typical grocery store bread) but even the sprouted grains should be eaten in limited quantities
- Small amounts of raw organic dairy if not sensitive to it (you can find some raw organic cheese choices at grocery stores and you can purchase a cow share at local farms to get raw milk)
I highly recommend making your own salad dressing, it is easy and tastes much better! It is a lot healthier for you when you use extra virgin olive oil compared to the inflammatory oils found in most store bought dressings.
Try eating frozen berries as a snack. You can stock up and not worry about them going bad.
Cauliflower rice is a great healthy alternative to regular rice and you can find it in the frozen section of most stores.
Sometimes I make chocolate pudding out of avocado by blending an avocado with coconut milk or almond milk, several drops of liquid vanilla Stevia, cocoa or cacao powder and a dash of salt. Amount of liquid varies based on how thick you want your pudding. It is a really filling dessert that can help you avoid searching for snacks in the evening!
Intermittent fasting can be helpful to give your body time to repair and restore without digesting food. You can start by not eating 3 hours before bedtime. And try not to eat for 3 hours after you get up in the morning. Having black coffee or tea does not break your fast. Some people allow pure fat in their coffee to help them feel full (such as Bulletproof coffee with grass fed butter/ghee and MCT oil blended in).
Don’t get overwhelmed by this advice. You can focus on eliminating one inflammatory food at a time and adding in one healthier option to replace it. Or “clean up” one meal such as breakfast for the first week. Then make lunch and dinner healthier during subsequent weeks.
Be aware that a food that is considered healthy for most people may cause symptoms in others. Try to be aware of any symptoms that may appear after eating generally beneficial foods. Some symptoms take a while to emerge but this is a place to start.
Eating properly can reap the benefits of having more energy, better sleep, less pain and sickness! Choose to feed your body based on what it needs to be fueled properly and you will feel the benefits!
I also recommend addressing your lymphatic system to help get toxins flowing out of your system more effectively (see previous blog on lymph). Learning stress reduction techniques can help with inflammation as well, why not start with going for a walk outdoors daily?
Depending on your immune system type, there are certain supplements that may benefit you as well. I do not recommend focusing on anti-inflammatory supplements if you are not going to reduce inflammatory foods first.
I hope you are inspired to change some habits and excited to reap the benefits!