Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many diseases and health issues, everything from heart disease and Alzheimer’s, to fibromyalgia, diabetes and cancer.
While many doctors are finally jumping on the bandwagon, offering anti-inflammatory diets and supplements, there are many practices you can do at home that will help in the fight.
Here’s a quick 3—prong approach to reducing all over body inflammation.
Start to integrate a few of these strategies today to see a difference within a few days. The more you do, the better you’ll feel!
1. Food matters! Upgrade your diet with nutrient dense foods
Start with these easy, sustainable ways to decrease inflammatory foods while still enjoying life.
- Aim to eat 80% unprocessed foods. Shoot for only 20% of your food coming from processed items – this would include pastas, breads, snack foods etc.
- Give gluten the heave-ho. Even people who aren’t gluten intolerant see marked changes once they eliminate this toxic grain!
- High veggie diets are the way to go. Be sure to limit the infamous nightshades that increase inflammation – such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes. (Limit to 2 times a week.)
- Choose sprouted grains and legumes. Many health food stores and even Whole Foods carry a wide array of sprouted products, from pastas to breads and even legumes. While sprouting doesn’t change the flavor of these products, it does enhance the body’s ability to digest them and unlocks the nutrients that wouldn’t be available in the un-sprouted form.
- Eliminate or greatly decrease dairy intake. There are many great tasting non-dairy alternatives, (coconut, almond or other nut seed milks, coconut yogurt, goat cheese).
- Choose organic when possible. Become familiar with the “dirty dozen” list of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. http://www.ewg.org/
2. Choose Supplementation Wisely
There’s no need for a giant supplement arsenal here. All you need are a few key products:
- Whole foods multi vitamin. This should be part of everyone’s regime, it will pick up where a less than stellar diet drops off. Even those ultra-healthy eaters should include a good multi from time to time.
- Omega 3’s. They’re THE inflammation busters when it comes to supplements. I like to include more than one and rotate every month or so. Some great choices besides the standard fish oils are seeds such as flax, chia and hemp.
- Spice it up! Spices as supplements? Yes. Two great ones that are in the forefront as anti inflammatories are ginger and turmeric – use these as often as possible! Fresh or dried, in foods or desserts.
3. Take some “Me time.”
Stress is a big contributor of chronic inflammation. One of the easiest ways to combat added stress is to get in touch with yourself and really take care of your body
Taking a few minutes out of each day to meditate or journal is a good place to start as is taking up yoga. Striking a pose not only helps with physical symptoms of inflammation like sore, tight muscles but pranayama (yoga breathing) increases oxygen and lowers stress.
Finishing up your day by soaking in a tub also helps the body release stress and by adding a few everyday items you can increase the power of the bath tenfold – try some Epsom Salt or Lavender essential oil.
While this list isn’t exhaustive and seems simple, it’s a step in the right direction and shows you that fighting inflammation can be achieved easily at home!
And to start out on your anti inflammatory quest try out this delicious anti Inflammatory drink:
- 1 cup non dairy milk alternative (coconut, almond or other nut/seed milk)
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp fresh grated ginger or 1 tsp dried
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cardamom
- Stevia to sweeten
Simply drop 1tbs Coconut oil in small saucepan on the stove. When melted, add grated ginger and turmeric.
Stir to combine and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Add non-dairy alternative, stir to combine, and finally whisk in other ingredients.
Simmer to warm and enjoy!