Inflammation is right there with sugar regarding scary wellness words. You have probably heard the list of ailments it’s tied to: sleeping problems, gut issues, skin problems, arthritis, diabetes, and even life-threatening condition, like heart disease. Inflammation isn’t all bad. Inflammation is the way our immune system responds to an injury perpetrated against our cells, whether it’s a blow to our body or infection in our blood. Inflammation signals the release of white blood cells (leukocytes) that help clean up an injury site by taking away pathogens and signal to the body that something’s wrong.
Sometimes, inflammation can spread out of control and cause pain and swelling even when there’s no immediate injury to stabilize. There’s so much evidence to suggest that eating the wrong kind of foods can send out the inflammatory cavalry when there is no invading pathogens or injury. For example: sugar and/or saturated fat, when consumed in excess, have been tagged as substances that push the immune system into over-activity.
The good news is that we can eat our way to better health, as long as we’re filling up on the right foods.
Tip #1: Leafy Greens and Healthy Fats
What is the most important food for lowering inflammation? Leafy green veggies. The more spinach, broccoli, cabbage, chayote, and kale, the better. The reason is greens are loaded with antioxidants, which rejuvenate weak cells.
Besides leafy greens, the most powerful inflammation-fighting foods are healthy fat foods, like: Avocados, Nuts (Walnuts, Macadamia, Cashew), Coconuts (And coconut oil), Olive oil, etc. For a better result, eat a balance of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acid (Which available in our Udo’s Oil product).
Tip #2: Produce That Pulls Double Duty
If you’re serious about addressing inflammation, eat pineapple, banana, beets, ginger, flax, and blueberries.
Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple and papaya, is both and inflammation-fighting agent and digestive aid. Quercetin, a flavonoid in blueberries is so powerful that it’s been linked to fighting cancer. As for beets, they help repair damaged cells. Drinking ginger tea and incorporating flaxseed into your daily salad will tweak what you’re already doing.
Tip #3: Say No To Nightshades and The Bad Boys of Inflammation
Not all vegetables fight inflammation. In fact, it’s best to limit consumption of nightshades (Eggplants, tomatoes, red peppers, and white potatoes). Some people have no problem at all with them, but not everyone. Nightshades have glycoalkaloids in them as their own natural bug repellent. Because of that mechanism, they can cause inflammation in some people. The best way to know? Cut them out of your diet for a couple weeks and see if you notice a difference.
And how about the bad boys of inflammation? Wheat, dairy, sugar, corn, soy, and peanuts. It’s absolutely essential to avoid processed and refined foods. If you’re a meat eater, make sure you’re eating grass-fed meat. Meat that is commercially raised with hormones, antibiotics, and fed with soy and corn, can contribute to inflammation.
Please keep in mind, though, that the tips should be used as a helpful guide, not something to stress over. After all, it mostly comes down to one thing: eating nutritious whole foods and filling up on a lot of greens.