Inflammation has been at the top of my mind since aggravating my shoulder while skiing this long weekend. Usually we don’t give much thought to inflammation unless we have physically injured ourselves and are feeling the aching pain or seeing redness and swelling, but inflammation can easily be happening inside the body with out us being aware of it.
Researchers are now discovering that inflammation is the cause of the beginning of most disease processes including cardiovascular disease, dementia and diabetes.
The most influential factor on triggering an inflammatory reaction in the body is the food choices you make. Foods can either cause inflammation or help reduce inflammation and help you achieve wellness. Unfortunately, the typical diet of most North Americans is based on foods that are all inflammatory – red meat (or excess animal protein), dairy, wheat, hydrogenated vegetable oils and sugar.
Think about it – bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, roast beef sandwich for lunch, muffin in the afternoon, creamy pasta for dinner and chips in front of the tv.
Every time you are choosing what to eat, whether it’s a snack or a meal, is a new opportunity to add to or reduce the inflammation inside your body.
Here’s a simple look at some of our most
INFLAMMATORY FOODS you SHOULD REDUCE/AVOID:
Milk is designed by nature to make calves gain weight quickly. And since we are not calves, or even babies any longer, our bodies do not require milk. Contrary to popular belief and advertisement, bone strength does not come from consuming milk and other dairy products, but from plant foods. In fact, dairy is a highly inflammatory food for most people.
With each gulp of a sports drink/pop/juice or spoon full of cereal or handful of crackers, simple carbohydrates are quickly dismantled into simple sugar molecules (glucose) that pass directly into the bloodstream. Increasing the blood sugar dramatically and causing insulin to be excreted. Poor regulation of glucose and insulin is a breeding ground for inflammation.
These should be avoided altogether, along with milled, fortified, and sweetened grains as they quickly turn in to sugar in they body. Limit your intake of pasta to once a week, and avoid refined grains in bread, cereal, crackers and pizza.
Grain-fed animals that are kept in concentrated animal-feeding operations (CAFOs) are sick and unhealthy because they are not doing what comes naturally to them; grazing and living outdoors. This grain based diet which is unbalanced in omega fats creates inflammation in these animals and in turn in us when we consume these inflammatory meats. They are kept alive by antibiotics, hormones, and other drugs. As well, processed meats are laced with preservatives, colourings, and artificial flavourings.
Plants in the nightshade family include some of our most popular vegetables; tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers of all kinds. The inflammatory effects of these foods are especially felt by people with arthritis.
Vegetable oils, like corn, soy, and canola, are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. This means their chemical structure has been altered by man creating an inflammatory, disease causing oil. Avoid the use of any of these oils and avoid using any oil other then coconut, butter ghee, or avocado when cooking.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS you should EAT MORE OF:
- Dark Leafy Green Veggies – kale, collards, swiss chard, dandelion greens, spinach, bok choy…
- Herbs – fresh are best – be adventurous, try new flavours.
- Garlic and Ginger – add to stir-fry, into home made sauces or salad dressings.
- Legumes – beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils
- Omega 3 Fats – flax oil, fish oil, nuts and seeds, hemp hearts…
- WATER – clean alkaline filtered water
If you are already feeling the effects of inflammation in your body or want to be proactive at reducing your inflammation I’d love to help. Contact me at drkasternd.com.
Written by Dr. Jennifer Kaster ND
Read more of my blog posts at drkasternd.com
Helping you achieve wellness…the natural way.
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