Inflammation is part of the body’s defense mechanism and plays an important role in the healing process. When the body detects an intruder, it launches a biological response to try to remove it. The invader could be a foreign body, such as an irritant, a prickle or a pathogen. Pathogens include bacteria, viruses, and other organisms, which cause infections. Oftentimes, the body mistakenly sees its own cells or tissues as harmful. This reaction can lead to autoimmune diseases, and experts believe inflammation may contribute to a wide range of chronic diseases. Examples of these are metabolic syndrome, which includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. People with these conditions often have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their bodies.
Left unchecked, inflammation will zap your energy, leaving you wearied and unable to get through the day. And in addition to fatigue are numerous other terrible symptoms caused by inflammation such as – sleeplessness, lack of concentration, night sweats, hot flashes, bloating, digestive issues, migraines or headaches, stubborn tummy fat, low libido, rashes, acne, e.t.c.
A lot of women experience chronic inflammation and if two or more of those listed symptoms are familiar to you, then you’re one of them.
It is time to bring back that spark in you again! Some simple lifestyle changes can immediately begin to reduce inflammation and restore energy: heal your brain and intestines; help you shed stubborn weight and generally help get your groove back. One of the easiest places to start is by adding highly anti-inflammatory foods to your diet:
Smoothies: Is one of the easiest ways to begin to add anti inflammatory foods to your diet. There is a long list of vegetables you can try, but if you haven’t been a smoothie fan yet, you can keep it simple. I am sure you will reconsider soon. Smoothies are easy to make, consume and even carry along.
Ingredients: Spinach, beet root (peeled and chopped), orange, ginger (grated or chopped), 1 tsp. (coconut oil).
Blend the spinach, beet root, orange with little water until smooth. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth. (You can use carrots in place of beets, if you wish). Happy blending!
Take a cup daily. You will feel stronger and really smart almost immediately after drinking a batch.
Tomato: Due to the presence of lycopene, tomato products improve antioxidant defenses and reduce risk of inflammatory diseases. Thus, increasing tomato intake is a healthful step to take if you want to keep your inflammations at bay. You can start by replacing artificial juices with fresh tomato juice. It tastes very nice when combined with watermelon.
You can also cook your tomatoes in olive oil, to help maximize the amount of lycopene one absorbs. This is because lycopene is a carotenoid, a nutrient that’s better absorbed with a source of fat.
Dice/crush your tomato and heat them up in warm olive oil under low or medium heat for 15 – 45 minutes. My favorite way of preparing this is adding onion, turmeric powder, salt and pepper. This tomato mix can be served with beans, plantain, quinoa or fish.
Tomato salads are equally very beneficial.
Ingredients: tomatoes, avocado, onion, carrots, olive.
Basil – has strong anti inflammatory properties and provides healing benefits for people with inflammatory diseases like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc. Basil contains eugenol, a compound which is said to mimic the action of over-the-counter anti inflammatory medications. The herb can be juiced, taken as tea or sprinkled over salads.
Curcumin: The naturally occurring chemical compound found in turmeric also has powerful anti inflammatory properties. And is said to regulate chemical messengers that cause inflammation in the body, suggesting that curcumin may be particularly effective in treating autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Fresh or powdered turmeric is excellent in curries, soups, vegetable juices or other dishes. Supplements of curcumin are also available.
Nuts and seeds: To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for healthy nuts and seeds like flaxseed, chia seed, walnuts and almonds. Replacing those your unhealthy snacks with these will do your system so much good.
Give your gut some rest: In addition to including or increasing anti-inflammatory foods to your diet, you must also try to avoid inflammatory foods at all costs. While inflammatory trigger foods are different for every body, most common ones are sugars, sugar substitutes; gluten, caffeine, diary; refined carbohydrates (white bread and pastries); French fries and other fried foods; soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages; red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage); margarine, shortening, and lard. Eliminating these foods will not only give your body a chance to stop the spread of inflammation but heal you too. You may give your system at least 14 days break without all of these foods so your body has an adequate amount of time to totally detoxify and reset. There is no point to say, the first few days will be a little rough because your body is doing the work of putting out the “fire” and beginning the healing process. But at the end of it all, you will shed that stubborn belly fat easily; get glowing hair and skin and balance your hormones; sleep better; have more energy, improved digestion; feel happier, calmer, less anxious and more focused.
Get enough sleep: When you have inadequate sleep, it robs you of energy and productivity and of course elevates inflammation.
Avoid stress as much as possible: In as much as we live in a stressful environment, we should endeavor to make out some time to rest. Chronic stress can spark the development of inflammation and cause flare-ups of problems like rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, depression and inflammatory bowel disease.
The sooner you begin to add these foods to your diet and incorporate the few steps mentioned above into your life, the better! Every step taken to get rid of inflammation is worth it.