Eating a diet rich in dairy, gluten, and other highly reactive foods means you’re likely to suffer from chronic low-grade inflammation and not even know it. This can result in problems such as joint pain, bloating, brain fog etc. A diet high in sugar can also cause chronic inflammation, as well as consuming inflammatory fats and oils in fast food and packaged goods.
So here are my 7 ways to curb inflammation that you can incorporate today:
- Choose your oil wisely. Stay clear or deep fried foods which are likely going to be fried in canola oil or vegetable oils (which have been used more than once) and opt for coconut oil or avocado oil (which stand high heat much better). Ghee is also a great option and super easy to make at home (click here for a video tutorial from Wellness Mama).
- Eat more fat! Yes that’s right, I said eat more fat BUT it needs to be from a grass fed source if you are consuming butter (my absolute favorite food by the way). Eat more raw nuts (that’s means not salted or dry roasted etc.) such as almonds (these can be hard on your digestion so stay clear of these if you can’t digest them well), walnuts, macadamias and wild caught fish such as salmon, sardines or herring.
- Curb your sweet tooth! Choose foods with a low glycemic load (both fruits and vegetables) and opt for more savory foods, your body will get used to it after a short time. If you do find you need something sweet opt for a healthy version such as avocado chocolate mousse or Melissa Ramo’s fat bombs (they are delicious by the way). We want to keep our blood sugar stable in order to balance our hormones and lose the weight.
- Go as organic as possible – or at least ditch the GMO’s! Look for Non-GMO labels on packaged products (these should be limited anyway) and go for mostly organic fruits and vegetables where possible (here is a quick reference guide as to what to buy organic). If you can get a hold of local products that are not necessarily organic simply wash them in an apple cider vinegar and water wash.
- Eat breakfast! I can’t stress this enough. Eating a well-balanced breakfast with fat, fibre and protein will keep you satiated for longer, your blood sugar stable and will reduce inflammation. You can go for a quick and easy smoothie (bearing in mind to add in some warming elements on these cold mornings, so pop in a knob of ginger or add some cinnamon), or you can go for scrambled eggs with avocado and a side of sauerkraut if you are feeling adventurous. If you like oats in the morning choose a gluten free steel cut oat and have it occasionally, so not every morning. I love steel cut oats so have them a couple of times a week in the colder months.
- Sleep – this is by far one of the most important aspects of not only inflammation but also hormone balancing. By getting a good 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep you are setting yourself up for a balanced, stress reduced day. Do what you need to do to get a good nights sleep, take a warming Epsom salts bath before bed (no longer than 20 mins in the tub however), diffuse some lavender essential oils in the bedroom, keep the room dark with no electronic devices and slightly cool perhaps with the window slightly open. If you need to use a mask and ear plugs to really get the rest you need right now.
- Reduce your stress! Easier said than done I know. But chronic stress fuels inflammation and I should know! Moving house was extremely stressful for me and I paid for it by dealing with inflammation on a daily basis. Prioritize your day, write a list of what you want to accomplish that day – but no more than 3 items, then highlight the first one and make that your priority, the rest can wait.
You may, after doing all of the above, need to take an anti-inflammatory supplement to jump start your healing process. I urge you to seek advice from a professional nutritionist such as myself or visit your local health store who should be able to provide you with advice. Do not take just any supplement that you might have heard from on the Dr. Oz show or you find in Costco. Your health and wellbeing matters and so should your supplements, take the time to research your options and ask questions. Traditionally curcumin, the active part of turmeric has been used to calm inflammation. Making a golden tea from turmeric etc. can be an effective in home treatment to be used on a daily.
Find more anti-inflammatory recipes on my Pinterest Board here.