Eating An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

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Pictured above are just some of the anti-inflammatory foods that we try to consume every day. Smoothies are a wonderful way to pack in the goodness. There are so many options available. Let your food be your medicine.

Inflammation is the body’s natural healing response to infection, trauma, and allergens.  It can help remove damaged cells, and bad bacteria from the body.  Acute inflammation occurs by releasing pro-inflammatory compounds to fight off infections, then by releasing anti-inflammatory compounds after the threat has been addressed.  Chronic inflammation happens when the response goes haywire and the immune system continues to release pro-inflammatory cells into your body.

When you have chronic inflammation, it can cause damage to healthy tissues, organs, and cells.  Over time, it can weaken the body due to repeated, and long-term stress.  Chronic inflammation is related to many conditions.  Conditions including, but not limited to:

  • Allergies
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Auto-Immune Disease

Some causes of chronic inflammation can be attributed to poor diet and lifestyle, insomnia, stress, pollution, and smoking.

There are some foods that cause inflammation in our bodies.  Removing processed foods and refined carbohydrates from our diets, and adding anti-inflammatory foods can be key in maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet and life style.  Maybe not eliminating inflammation, but surely aiding in relief of it. After living with osteoarthritis for most of my life, inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis for years, and most recently bi-lateral breast cancer in 2014, living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is not just an option, but a daily necessity. It easily becomes a lifestyle once you see how positively your body responds to eating these amazing foods.

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Great ways to reduce inflammation.

If you find that certain foods or beverages are no longer tolerated, pay attention and take note. Elimination of these foods can be very helpful in reducing whole body inflammation.  Many of the most common inflammatory foods include sugar and artificial sweeteners, dairy, gluten, soy, corn, peanuts, eggs, and grains.

Many people also experience inflammation after eating foods in the nightshade family.  These include tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and hot peppers.  If your body is sensitive to these foods, eliminating them from your diet could help relieve inflammation throughout your body.

Eating fish that contain Omega-3 fatty acids can help in reduction of swelling.  I choose to also take an organic Omega-3 fatty acid supplement.

When in the kitchen, go ahead and be generous when using olive oil in your cooking.  Studies have shown that the ingredient oleocanthal in the oil aids in reducing inflammation.  Also keep in mind that many common spices can help you prevent inflammation.  You can get doses of your favorite spices while whipping up your favorite dish.

Ginger, cloves, black cumin, cinnamon, curry, basil, oregano, garlic, cilantro, marjoram, rosemary, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cardamom, chamomile, chives, nutmeg, parsley, and turmeric are all popular spices known to reduce inflammation.

Inflammatory Foods To Avoid or Limit

  • Red Meats
  • Processed/Junk Food
  • High Fat Content Meats
  • Refined Carbs
  • Sugar
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Soft Drinks
  • Lunch Meats Containing Nitrites or Nitrates
  • Candy
  • Fast Foods
  • Fried Foods
  • Hot Dogs
  • Dairy
  • Cheese
  • Safflower, Sunflower, Soy, or Corn Oils
  • Sweetened Cereals and Snacks
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • High Sodium Foods
  • GMO Foods
  • MSG
  • Trans Fats
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Alcohol
  • Peanuts
  • Casein
  • White Pasta and Rice
  • Artificial Colors and Flavors

Anti-Inflammatory Choices To Include In Your Diet

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Flax Seed/Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Walnuts/Oil
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cold Water Fish
  • Salmon
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Seafood
  • Lean Poultry
  • Almonds
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Spinach
  • Some Whole Grains (Brown Rice and Bulgar
  • Lentils, Pulses, and Beans
  • Bright Colored Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Goji Berries
  • Coconut
  • Apples
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Guavas
  • Mulberries
  • Red Onion
  • Herbal Teas. Green, and White.
  • Water
  • Beets
  • Celery
  • Pineapple
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Chia Seeds
  • Broccoli
  • Yams
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Green Beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Grapes
  • Pumpkin
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Lettuce
  • Cranberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Brown Rice/Barley
  • Tart Cherries
  • Chard
  • Collard Greens
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Kelp
  • Greens
  • Fermented Foods
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Pomegranate Juice
  • Hemp Seed
  • Probiotic

There are many other ways to help fight inflammation in your body.  A great attitude and outlook can help.  Positivity, and surrounding yourself with happy family,  friends, and co-workers can reduce inflammation by reducing your over all stress level.  General lifestyle choices can also make a huge difference.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Diet
  • Avoiding Processed Foods
  • Eat Less
  • Sleep better
  • Exercise
  • Anti-Inflammatory Supplements  (Quercetin, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, Turmeric)
  • Earthing
  • Limiting Stress

Making changes to your diet can be hard.  If you need to ease in to eating a bit healthier, remember to go easy on yourself.  Incorporating more raw and healthy foods into your everyday diet gets easier as you go along.  Allow yourself everything in moderation.  Some side effects may include having more energy, clearer skin, reduction or elimination of stomach issues, such as GERD and Reflux, less whole body pain, and feeling better in general.

I hope this information can help get you on the right path for an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. The opinions expressed here are based on my personal experience and may not be right for everyone.  I do not work for any of the companies whose products are pictured in this article.  These are my at home products that I prefer to use, and work best for me in living a healthy lifestyle.  Shop around and find what your new favorites might be. Have any favorites you would like to add?  We always love to learn.  Please share!

Wishing you the best in body, mind, and soul.

Sending blessings and light to all.  XOXO

Dawn Ann

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