Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response; without it, we can’t heal. But when it’s out of control, it can damage the body. So if you have any conditions that cause inflammation like, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or even cancer following these rules will help. Even if you don’t have any of these things, it would be in your bests interest to follow these guidelines.
1. WATER YOUR BODY
You always here dietitians say it. And they’re right. Water is the first thing anyone should go to when they’re ill or just feel under the weather. Drinking water also helps the skin do it’s job of regulating the body’s temperature through sweating. It also uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues. Water serves as the body’s transportation system. When we are dehydrated things just can’t get around as well.
The benefits of water include:
- Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue
- Promotes Weight Loss
- Flushes Out Toxins
- Improves Skin Complexion
- Maintains Regularity
- Boosts Immune System
- Natural Headache Remedy
- Prevents Cramps & Sprains
2. FOOD IS GOOOOOOD
Food is your friend…it’s just picking the right friends. Choose wisely and your friendship will bloom and last forever. Foods high in sugar and saturated fat can spur inflammation. It can cause overactivity in the immune system, which can lead to joint pain and fatigue. Vitamin E may be key in protecting the body against pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. One of the best sources of this vitamin is dark green veggies, such as spinach, Swiss chard, kale and broccoli. Dark greens and cruciferous vegetables also have higher concentrations of certain nutrients—like calcium, iron and disease-fighting flavonoids—than veggies with lighter-colored leaves. There are certain foods that may curb inflammation. I could go all day long talking about food and how it is important to eat the right foods and how to know what is right for YOUR body. But the following veggies are what matter the most. Add these items to your plate today:
- Cruciferous Vegetables! Sounds weird right? I’m not even sure i’m pronouncing it right. But the vegetables in the family of Brassicaceae also called Cruciferae have many species; such as cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, chard, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. I’m not a fan of baked brussel sprouts, only pan fried. A couple of my favorite leafy greens are Chard and Bok Choy. A lot of options for both in many types of recipes. Just the other day I made a Toscana soup with chard. I always cut up bok choy and put it in my light soups or fried rice dishes.
- Herbs ‘n Spices! These herbs deserve a special consideration because, on an ounce per ounce basis, herbs and spices are extremely potent; adding a few carefully preserved herbs to your food can amplify the antioxidant power of your meal, and add good flavor too. These spices include turmeric, cayenne(all things spicy!), ginger, cinnamon, cloves, sage and rosemary. If you’re eating an anti-inflammatory diet and not including ample amounts of spices and herbs, you’re missing out!
- Fruits! Best snack during the summer too! I don’t know how anyone could deny fruit. It is such a natural sugar that nobody should feel guilty over eating something so good for you. Just recently have I implemented papaya into my diet. I live in Washington so it’s not always in season. But when summer rolls around it seems all kinds of fruits are up for grabs. Papaya is a good detox fruit as well; it collects bacteria residue on its way down and pushes all the toxins out of your body(so be sure you have a safe place to use the bathroom lol). Also papaya really clears up the skin! So all my eczema and psoriasis friends, cheers! Some good fruits to eat for these benefits are: papaya, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, oranges, pineapples(all things vitamin C related). Basically, no fruit can do you harm. Eat as much as you want.
- Seeds or Nuts! Unfortunately I am allergic to peanuts so I cannot eat almonds or walnuts(best for inflammation) 😦 but I can have seeds like pepita seeds, hemp seeds sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds and soy. Which are better for you actually! I highly recommend to add pepita seeds in your diet next grocery trip. Search for pepita seeds not an actual pumpkin. Here’s Why.
- Fatty Fish! Do not—I repeat—DO NOT buy tilapia fish. Not only is it a bottom feeder fish but it has less omega 3 fatty acids than most other types of fish. Omega 3 fatty acids are an important nutrient because they can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. Tilapia also has a lot of omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are bad for you and can actually cause inflammation. Now, what you CAN eat: salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines; all are high in omega-3 fatty acids. The difference between Salmon and Tuna are mediocre. The difference between Mackerel and Sardines are similar.
(Photo by Amy Johnson)
3.Keep The Blood Pumping
Let’s get real. Working out is hard and nobody actually wants to do it. Walking on sore feet and aching backs don’t sound appealing – Although an aching back could mean you just need to stretch your hips more – But we do it to be healthy. To live longer. To be able to see your great-grandkids. To be able to enjoy life, worry free. Getting into regular movements are the most potent ways to help normalize your insulin levels and avoid insulin resistance. The key difference is this: long periods of exercise tend to promote acute inflammation. However, when done regularly over the long term, it can decreases chronic or systemic inflammation. The oxidative stress from the exercise forces your body to build up your antioxidant defenses. So even though sweating may feel uncomfortable for you at that moment, the results are benefiting you more and for the long haul. If you can, avoid processed foods as much as possible. They are high in inflammatory ingredients such as refined sugars and processed fats like trans fats and vegetable oils.
I am not a professional athlete; I go to the gym, maybe 3 times a week. My skin is extra-extra sensitive to many things. Sweating is one of them. I don’t really tell people that my sweat makes me itch or make me uncomfortable (because it does every time and I hate when they check up on me to see if “im ok”. It gets old fast). If my diet isn’t a clean one (like eating processed foods) my body will push out the toxins through my sweat glands. So let’s say I ate fried fish and chips with soda one day and cheesy fries a couple days later and nachos the day after that. Going to the gym next week will actually cause a reaction to my skin. The “toxins” or “greasiness” from such modified foods get stored into my cells and eventually gets sweated out. What happens next isn’t pleasant… >> Read more of my personal story on my health and habits in my Diary. <<
Breaking It Down
There are so many things that help reduce your body or skin from inflaming. This is my TOP 3. Each of these things are vital to keep a stable relationship with your body. There are so many things that can cause inflammation without us really knowing. Sun burns are an obvious one. But sometimes aren’t aware of how hot the sun is. 27 Million Degrees Fahrenheit to be exact. Food allergies are another common reason to cause inflammation within the body; inside and outside. Crohn’s disease or IBS both create a reaction in the intestinal tract which results in swelling to the intestines and major dysfunction.
Inflammation is the body’s attempt at self-protection. The goal is to remove harmful stimuli; something like damaged cells and irritants – which will want to begin the healing process. And like a healing scab, it itches. Only your insides can get itchy too; but instead of being able to scratch itself, it reacts in a different way – swelling, painful stabs or tingles – it can be an uncomfortable time.
So how do you know if you should go on a Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
Well, everyone should consider it regardless of how healthy one may seem. These 3 things are key. Honestly though, it really is ideal for the people out there with celiacs, food allergies, IBS, if you have arthritis, Crohn’s disease or you may be looking for something to balance your current diet. I am sure there are more things that causes inflammation and more things to help, just ask your doctor.