Are you looking for some healthy eating tips to reduce inflammation in your body? By following some simple steps you can make a significant impact in reducing harmful inflammation that could be causing much of your pain.
Inflammation in itself isn’t all bad. It is the body’s immune response. When the body senses harm or an injury, the immune system reacts to try and fix the damage. You may feel pain, warmth, swelling and redness. The body is using the inflammation to heal itself. The problem occurs when inflammation gets out of control. This is when damage and disease go on their destructive course leading to obesity, heart disease and even cancer.
When inflammation is doing its proper job helping the body to repair, all is good. But when it is raging like a fire running wild, inflammation becomes the enemy, no longer the body’s friend and protector.
Acute & Chronic Inflammation – What’s the Difference
Acute inflammation is what happens when you twist an ankle, stub a toe or cut a finger. The swelling and inflammation is the body at work healing itself as it sends the white blood cells to the injured area to do their job.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is the same reaction, however, the fight persists lasting weeks, months or even years. The white blood cells that are sent as soldiers to fight the injury continue to arrive and end up fighting healthy tissues and organs.
The Impact of Diet on Inflammation
The problem intensifies as we put poor fuel into our bodies multiplying the inflammation issues. We know the quality of the fuel we put into a car impacts how it runs. Why would it be different for our bodies?
Some of the worse foods that are culprits in creating inflammation are foods high in sugar, processed foods, gluten and the wrong kind of water.
Before addressing the food culprits that worsen inflammation, let’s focus on water – a healthy eating tip to reduce inflammation that is often neglected, but one that may give you the best and fastest bang for your buck in getting the results you are looking for.
Can I Reduce Inflammation by Changing What I Eat and Drink?
The best way to quickly reduce inflammation is to change our water.
If we really believe that we can only live a few days without water, but we can go days and even weeks without food, possibly changing the quality of our drinking water can have a more dramatic impact quickly than changing our food habits. (This is not to give us license to eat a horrible diet.)
Most of the water we drink is oxidizing meaning it encourages inflammation. When something oxidizes the human body, it is stealing electrons from the cells. Antioxidants, on the other hand, have extra electrons to donate to the cells. This is why we are encouraged over and over to eat foods rich in antioxidants and to take antioxidant supplements.
There are only a few sources of antioxidant water. The problem is that the sources that are occurring naturally in nature are few and far between in only pockets of places around the globe.
The bottled water industry has tried to get in on the antioxidant band wagon. Our grocery stores are filled with bottled water claiming to be loaded with antioxidants. Just because the label says it has antioxidants doesn’t mean it is a true statement. Antioxidants in water are something that can’t be stored in water over periods of time. Antioxidants dissipate out. So, bottled water will not be antioxidant water.
The best source of antioxidant water that is readily available and inexpensive for the long-term use is Kangen® Water. This antioxidant rich water is tasty and more easily absorbed than most any other water. To learn more about Kangen® Water go to: www.PortlandKangenWater.com.
Other Healthy Eating Tips to Reduce Inflammation
+ Salmon and tuna, foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids
+ Berries – Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, goji berries, acai berries, cranberries and grapes. They are each a wonderful source of antioxidants, but for different reasons. Blueberries are rich in vitamins C & K, manganese and are a good source of polyphenols. Acai berries are extremely rich in polyphenols and may contain as much as ten times more antioxidants than blueberries. So, the best plan would be to eat a variety of berries. I would highly recommend getting an organic source.
+ Dark Leafy Greens such as spinach, broccoli and kale which have a high vitamin and mineral content.
+ Foods with a lot of color such as peppers and tomatoes which are rich in capsaicin and lycopene respectively. (However, peppers are a nightshade plant. If you have a food sensitivity to nightshade plants, then you want to avoid eating these foods as they most likely exasperate inflammation, not help reduce it.)
+ Beets – they are rich in vitamin C and plant pigments called betalins providing wonderful antioxidants
+ Ginger, Garlic, Onions – these foods can shut off the pathways leading to inflammation
+ Turmeric – Curcumin which is found in turmeric (the ingredient which gives it its yellow color) has been heavily documented in research to help fight inflammation. The problem with curcumin is that it can be difficult to digest. Combining fall turmeric (which is heavy in curcumin) with spring turmeric (which is heavy in essential oils) can increase absorption up to 95%.
+ Olive Oil – The key here is to make sure you get a quality source as many olive oils are adulterated, mislabeled or rancid as they have sat on the shelf too long. Two brands that I would recommend are Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Trader Joe’s Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Trader Joe’s brand has some of the highest levels of oleic acid which is extremely good. Also, you want to make sure if you buy are buying a larger bottle of olive oil (Costco size), then you want to make sure you are using it up quickly. Olive oil isn’t something you want to store on your shelf for too many months because it can go rancid.