Reduce your inflammation with healthy food choices – What often begins as an occasional feeling of stiffness in joints or general bloating, without changes in diet, can exacerbate into chronic symptoms of fatigue, body pain, mood disorders, frequent illnesses, and weight gain.
Small Changes in Your Diet can Reduce Inflammation
While a few foods, in particular, are frequently recognized as causing an inflammatory response in the body, there are several more that are often overlooked. Fortunately, small changes in the diet can reduce inflammation and the associated emotional and physical symptoms.
Additionally, some foods are naturally anti-inflammatory. Consuming these beneficial spices, fruits, and vegetables on a regular basis can also alleviate the body of unwanted inflammation.
Start with these 5 switches in your kitchen and on your plate…
Oils. Maintaining a 1:1 balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids minimizes inflammation. However, many common oils produce ratios closer to 1:20.
To restore better balance, trade your canola, soybean, corn, and grapeseed oils for olive, coconut, or avocado oil. Also, switching to a good quality grass-fed butter can help balance omega ratios.
Fried Foods. The typical ‘Western Diet” is laden with greasy favorites from French fries to donuts, to chips, to fried chicken and fish. Yet, frequent consumption of these foods quickly increases inflammation (not to mention increased risk of heart disease and diabetes).
Instead, opt for baked, grilled, or roasted to decrease inflammation symptoms.
Artificial Sweeteners. Sugar may get more press coverage, but artificial sweeteners are linked to a long list of negative health effects: weight gain, inflammation, brain tumors, fatigue, and cancer just to name a few.
Watch for labels reading “zero sugar,” “no sugar added,” or “sugar-free” as a warning to take a closer look at the ingredients for Splenda, Equal, Acesulfame Potassium (ace-K), Sucralose, Sweet n’ Low, or NutraSweet. Of course, copious amount of added sugar aren’t beneficial for our health either.
Try sweetening baked goods or tea with raw honey, Medjool dates, fresh/frozen fruit, or pure maple syrup for natural sweetness that contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Processed Meats. Another “Western Diet” staple that adds to chronic inflammation is processed meats: found in the form of hot dogs, salami, jerky, cold cuts, chicken nuggets, sausages, and bacon. Meats with an extended shelf life typically means they’re stripped of nutrients and loaded with sodium, nitrites, and preservatives.
That’s not to say there aren’t better options for some of your favorites. Talk to your local butcher or farmer to ask about the quality of their meats and how their products are preserved. Instead of cold cuts, buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a turkey breast or spiral ham to use for sandwiches.
Processed Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are actually one of three macronutrients (along with protein and fat) that we need in “macro” amounts on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the majority of “Western diet” carbohydrates are consumed in the form of packaged bars, candy, cereals, breads, pastas, sodas, and ready-made meals. Companies like to make consumers believe that they’re doing us a favor with quick foods and prepared dinners. But, many of these packaged foods are nutrient-void and contain large amounts of added sugar and sodium which can lead to inflammation, obesity, and diabetes.
Rather than overly processed food-ish carbohydrates, opt for whole grains, fresh/frozen fruits, and vegetables, dried beans & legumes, steel-cut oatmeal. Quinoa, rice, and faro.
In addition to these ingredient swaps, some foods naturally contain anti-inflammatory properties. Try adding garlic, turmeric, avocado, ginger and cumin into your meals throughout the week. Proper hydration also plays an essential role in minimizing inflammation in the body.
We believe in Health through Awareness to bridge the gap between your current health and your best health.
If inflammation, chronic illness, reducing risk factors, or simply living your best life are a priority, it’s time to discover how healthy food choices will enhance your well-being. Reach out to us at 856.596.5834 with questions.
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