Inflammation NationFebruary 5th, 2014 by David
Inflammatory processes in the body characterise many conditions across the spectrum of disease. From heart disease, to cancer, from eczema to asthma, so many of the illnesses that debilitate our body and sabotage our health stem from inflammation.
The problem is that the modern western lifestyle and diet fuels inflammatory processes like logs on a fire. Sugar, alcohol, dairy, red meat, wheat and stress exacerbate inflammation – all of which are common features of life as we know it!
Rather than vowing to become a sugar-free vegan and moving to a mountain side yoga retreat to calm the inflammatory storm inside you, it is best to help strike an inner equilibrium. By eating the ‘right’ anti-inflammatory foods and supporting it with smart lifestyle choices, you shall be better equipped to manage natural inflammatory processes and fight disease…
- Eat oily fish 2-3 times a week. Fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel contain oodles of omega 3 oils which are nature’s anti-inflammatory. Supplement with a high quality omega 3 for daily anti-inflammatory protection.
- Spice up your food and frequently enhance flavour with cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and garlic. The fresher the better – and eat liberally! These are potent anti-inflammatories. Garlic and ginger are easy to find fresh so stock up and stick into everything. Add to your dishes at the end of the cooking process as the anti-inflammatory oils are vulnerable to heat.
- Cut out refined sugar as much as possible
- Eat lean fish (white or oily) over meat when you have the choice –
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it is easier to digest and therefore sparks less inflammation in the digestive tract.
- Wheat can cause inflammation in the digestive tract and therefore creates a domino-effect in the body. Try not to rely on bread, cereals and pasta, and strive for more variety in your meals. You can get wheat and gluten free versions of these foods, but do watch the label, as a lot of artificial ingredients and sugars can creep in, in its place!
- Vegetables are naturally anti-inflammatory. Fill half of your plate with a rainbow of vegetables, and include plenty of kale, spinach, rocket, watercress and cabbage in your diet. Greens are powerful anti-inflammatories and also very alkalinising on the system – which helps to create an inner peace in more ways than one.
- Green tea is an anti-inflammatory super brew. Swap black tea and coffee for green tea, and even soak oats in cooled green tea overnight to make a potent porridge that is swimming with goodness for your morning meal. Add berries and cinnamon for additional anti-inflammatory power.
- Peppermint, nettle and camomile teas are all peace-enhancing on the mind and digestive tract and therefore send ripples of calm throughout the system.
- Dairy foods are inflammatory in nature, so relying on too much milk, cheese and cream in your meals is a nutritional no-no. Dairy foods are really quite acidifying too, so if you suffer with inflammatory conditions, such as eczema, acne or asthma you may find great relief in cutting down on dairy, or even eradicating it from your diet entirely. Nut milks like almond milk provide good dairy free alternatives to cow’s milk and greens, sesame seeds, nuts and fish provide plenty of calcium which may even be more bioavailable than from dairy.
- Eat lean, preferably organic red meat over processed meats, and limit to 2 times a week.