An Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle That Will Get You Healthy, Happy & Glowing
Inflammation is a hot topic right now. And with good reason. What we now know about chronic inflammation and the adverse health effects it can lead to, it’s no wonder we want solutions to get our bodies as healthy as possible.
So, what is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s response to physical injury, stress, inadequate nourishment and imbalance. It’s actually the body’s way of trying to create health and balance. It will respond to viruses and infection and attempt to repair damaged tissue (like when you sprain your ankle) and respond to foreign invaders.
In this case, inflammation is a healthy response.
Systemic or chronic inflammation is a different story. This kind of lingering or long-term inflammation is the body’s response to poor diet, chronic stress, inflamed emotions, excess weight (especially around the belly), lack of exercise, smoking or excess alcohol consumption. All of these factors can put the body into a chronically inflamed state and this can open the door to all kinds of unwanted conditions. Cancer, autoimmune disease, Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, MS, arthritis, allergies, asthma and depression, are just a few of the conditions that can express when inflammation runs rampant in the body.
So, how do we clear up inflammation in the body? Here are some of the best ways to put out the flames.
- Check your thoughts. Are you angry? Stressed? Anxious? Do you have unresolved feelings running the show? Inflammatory thoughts lead to inflammatory conditions in the body. Meet those feelings with curiosity and see if you can decrease their potency. Feelings gone unchecked will sit in the body and take up more and more space when left unmet.
- Add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Ginger, tumeric, greens, lemons, cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts and cauliflower – all of these have incredible properties to lower inflammation.
- Take your shoes off. Walking barefoot on the earth (on grass or dirt) is now scientifically proven to lower inflammation in the body. I wrote about the benefits of earthing or grounding in a previous blog post. Have a read and go barefoot before the snow flies!
- Increase your consumption of good fats and get out the bad fats. Can we finally put the low-fat craze to rest? For good?! Fat is a macronutrient, which means we need large amounts of it. The good fats to focus on are Omega-3’s, which are found in oily fish and are supplemented with cod liver oil. More good fats are avocados, olive oil, saturated fat (yes, you read that right…we need saturated fat to keep our hormones working properly AND to lower inflammation) which is found in meat and dairy products; and coconut oil. The bad fats to remove from your diet would be all trans fats and vegetable oils, such as canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower and soybean. Vegetable oils are pro-inflammatory and should be consumed only on occasion.
- Remove genetically modified foods from your diet. Completely. GMO’s contain components that our biology simply doesn’t recognize. More specifically, Roundup Ready crops such as corn, soy, canola, alfalfa, cotton, sorghum (with wheat in the works), contain an ingredient called glyphosate. Glyphosate is not only wreaking havoc on our environment, but it’s wreaking havoc on our bodies. Check out this link on the disastrous effects of glyphosate and I guarantee you’ll never touch a food treated with it again. https://gmo-awareness.com/resources/glyphosate/
- Exercise! Movement for the body is like catnip to a kitten. The body was born to move. It loves to move. It needs to move. When a body is sedentary, all systems become sluggish, more prone to toxicity, and impaired. As an added benefit, exercise curbs depression, keeps you young and keeps your weight down. Find something that’s fun for you and go do that several times a week.
- Sleep! Getting adequate sleep is a game-changer. When we sleep, our cells repair themselves, the stress of our day drops away and we get a chance to recalibrate before starting anew the next morning. To get proper sleep, keep your alcohol consumption low (alcohol impairs our ability to get deep sleep), have a snack before bed (hunger causes insomnia in animals and in humans), write down your worries before bed so you’re not trying to solve the world’s problems while also trying to relax enough to sleep.
- Take a good quality probiotic. Probiotics shift the balance of good to bad bacteria into the good category. Eating fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut are also great ways to create a better balance in your digestive health. Good digestive health keeps inflammation at bay.
- Lose the gluten. Gluten is being increasingly associated with an astonishing number of diseases and health conditions. To name a few: Epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, schizophrenia, type 1 diabetes, depression, asthma, hypothyroidism, and the list goes on. The gluten of today is very different from the gluten of 40 years ago. Give up the gluten and I dare you NOT to feel better.
- Hydrate! What’s better at putting out flames than water? And that’s what inflammation is. It’s the body in flames. Aim to drink a minimum of 2 litres of spring water a day. Your inflammation will decrease and your skin will look terrific.
An inflamed body is one that is in an uphill battle. It’s relatively easy to bring down the inflammation. Living well, eating well and tuning into your inner world will all go a long way to keep you healthy, happy and glowing.
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