I have met no one in my life who has been totally immune to inflammation. Even the healthiest of the lot is most certainly in the position to get it through the means of the common cold or flu. But for the rest of us, inflammation is pretty chronic. It returns in forms of pains, allergies or respiratory problems, some autoimmune conditions, cardiovascular diseases, etc. All of these conditions involve inflammation.
Inflammation has affected millions of people around the world and costs even more dollars to get it treated. However, you can turn the tables by taking some precautions and going on some great anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle which will play a huge role in controlling such conditions and managing any symptoms that you have. Also, you do not have to compromise on the taste.
If you can’t wait to step up and know all about the anti-inflammatory diet, this is a good place to begin. Our anti-inflammatory guidelines would help you prepare for the following days.
Once you read it through, make sure you share it with someone you know who is going through a similar phase and let them discover some great tips and tricks to lead a better life.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle
We do understand that dietary changes take time and not to forget a lot of effort. So, do not feel under pressure to ace in every portion at a single go. Try and incorporating small changes in your daily lifestyle with a pace that feels comfortable to you.
1. Eliminate All the Gluten Sources
Gluten is the number one reason that you have inflammation. It is found in wheat, barley, and rye. and can greatly affect the intestinal walls. It can happen when the food particles break through the bloodstreams and go places where they are not supposed to go and builds an immune response.
Gluten has become quite a controversial topic in itself and you can see most of the people avoiding it even when they don’t exactly know what gluten is! Studies show that only those who have celiac disease may eliminate it completely, however, it is not totally true. Many inflammatory conditions, especially autoimmune diseases, can benefit from avoiding gluten and living a gluten-free lifestyle instead.
There are no hardcore nutritious substances that are present in gluten products and that we can’t find anywhere else in the diet. In most of the cases thus, cutting out on gluten involves eliminating things such as white bread, pizza, pasta, baked goods, etc, from the diet.
If you really want to see a difference in yoru body, try living gluten-free for at least 2 weeks and notice if you feel better.
2. Ditch the Dairy
Dairy products can be specifically difficult to digest because many of us do not really produce the enzyme to digest it. The lactose in the milk, especially cow’s milk, is hard to digest and the lactase enzyme is responsible for it. Because it is not enough in our bodies already, the undigested milk can lead to bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. It can also aggravate the condition of people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Some people also react to whey and casein (kinds of protein in milk) in the same way, they respond to milk because their structure is very similar to gluten.
Besides this, milk and its bi-products also exacerbate skin conditions eczema, atopic dermatitis, and acne conditions. It can also trigger problems for asthmatic patients and especially children with symptoms of asthma. In addition to this, milk also affects children suffering from rhinitis.
Studies also show that just like gluten, milk can also trigger an immune response which can lead to autoimmune diseases. Some shocking facts suggest that a diet high in milk and milk products has been linked with greater inflammation in the body, an increase in fractures, and a higher risk of mortality in general. In fact, just a cup of harmless milk can increase the chances of breast cancer by 50 percent.
Here are some topics that might interest you to find your ideal milk substitute:
- 5 Reasons You Are Drinking Milk The Wrong Way (And How To Avoid Them)
- 4 Amazing Ghee Benefits: Why Not To Fear Ghee
- An Easy 101 Guide To Homemade Nut Milk and Seed Milk
- 5 Healthy Dairy-Free Baking Alternatives
3. Avoid White, Refined Sugar
Refined sugar is white poison; and that might not be breaking news for most of us. The intensity of damage that white sugar causes is remarkable. Excess amounts of sugar can spike insulin levels and increases inflammation in the body. Don’t forget that sugar is also related to other conditions like obesity, diabetes, cavities and other oral issues, and mood swings, etc.
However, there are many sweeteners that are available in the market like dates, coconut sugar, stevia, maple syrup, honey, etc that can serve as a healthier substitute. The natural sugar found in fruits is the best kind of sugar out of all. So, make some tropical desserts instead.
I have written about each kind of sugar and how it affects your body in detail before. While you are at it, it is only prudent that you learn about what kinds of sugar you must add to your diet for optimal health. Read The Sugar Meltdown: Each Kind Explained & Why Should You Quit to know all there’s need to know about sugar!
4. Mind The Nightshade Family
This one might be new to many of us and many of us are unaware that foods in this category like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, white potatoes, goji berries, and tobacco triggers inflammation. A component or a phytochemical called solanine is the reason behind such sensitivity that most people are allergic to.
Foods in this group can have a severe impact on inflammation and arthritis.
The foods in this group can be real tricky and that is because despite being allergens, they have a lot of nutritional benefits. If you are suffering from any kind of inflammation, try cutting out the nightshade group from your diet for at least 2 weeks and notice a difference. Similarly, you can also try and rotate this food group as opposed to having them on a daily basis.
5. Load up on Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Anti-inflammatory foods and recipes do not have to be tasteless at all. The good news is, in fact, they are rather delicious! You would find all these anti-inflammatory foods easily at your local grocery store:
- Green Leafy Veggies: Green leafy veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help eliminate inflammation. They also have important minerals and vitamins like Vitamin B, iron, magnesium, and calcium to provide your relief.
- Winter Squash: This vegetable contains a compound called cucurbitacins which helps to stop the production of an enzyme responsible for inflammation. Besides this, winter squash is also loaded with vitamins and minerals like vitamin A and C that helps boost immunity.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: You might stop avoiding cruciferous vegetables after knowing that these vegetables help to lower inflammation. Veggies in this group are broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. So, if you are on a detox spree, make sure to include these veggies in your diet.
- Root Vegetables: This group of veggies is often called the “comforting family of vegetables” because they are super-rich in antioxidants which helps boost immunity and protecting our body against inflammatory compounds. They also contain immune-supporting vitamin A and C.
- Allium Family: Garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, chives, etc are all part of the allium family of vegetables. So when you are the grocery store, make sure that you do not avoid them. These veggies contain sulfur compounds that help to reduce inflammation. They are also rich in Vitamin C which will help increase your immunity and fight against inflammation.
- Berries: Berries have been known to rich in fiber and antioxidants which helps to detoxify our body from various pollutants.
- Fish: Fish is known to have the best kind of fatty acids, that is, omega-3. Omega-3 is a well known anti-inflammatory compound. Besides, fish is a great source of protein which is essential for healing and preparing tissues and muscles.
- Nuts and Seeds: So if you are a vegetarian or vegan and looking for a fish-free option for omega-3 and other healthy sources of fat, nuts, and seeds like hemp seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, etc, are great for you. Besides, these are also a great source of protein and are rich in fiber too.
6. Add Some Herbs and Spices
Adding herbs and spices to your diet can be a great way to curb inflammation. It does not only eliminate inflammation but prevents it from recurring. In addition to this, it is a great taste enhancer for yoru food. It is a great idea then to start with a few basic ones like ginger, turmeric, fennel seeds, parsley, cumin, etc and experiment by adding to your food and note which one you like to use better.
7. Drink Water – And Lots of It
Hydration is important for you and you must have heard this in each nook and corner of every fitness related blog. This is because proper hydration is great for the proper functioning of the digestive system and urinary tract. It also helps to keep our joints and skin healthy. Besides drinking sufficient water would also boost energy and help in weight loss.
Although you must make sure that you skip the bottled water and choose other sources of water instead. There is more than one source of having clean water to drink which is either by installing a water filter or get it from a local spring if you can. You have to be prudent about the kind of water filter you buy. I’d suggest not to compromise with health.
You can also try and jazz up your plain old water which does not feel much appetizing by infusing it with fresh fruits or herbs. You can add berries, cucumber, a slice of lemon, or even mint. The options are endless.
8. Move Your Body
Nobody has ever suffered any ill effects by exercising. Thus, for inflammation too, exercising is pretty great. In fact, studies show that exercising can help boost anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body which will help reduce and prevent inflammation.
Begin with easy exercises like walking for 20 to 30 minutes. You don’t really have to run miles to get all the benefits. If you have extreme pain, you would want to go for more gentle exercises like walking, swimming, yoga, or anything else that you would enjoy doing and would involve shaking a leg!
9. Lower Stress Levels
It is a true fact that stress can have a lot of negative effects on our health in general, and inflammation in particular. If your ish tor reduces all your inflammation symptoms, aim for lower stress levels. There are myriad ways that can help you reduce yoru stress levels.
Try doing yoga, or filling out a journal, be in nature, or meditate a bit. You can also try some stress-busting foods like dark chocolate! So get going and search out for all the dark chocolate recipes that are available on the internet!
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