One of the things that appeals to me so much about the nutrition and health industry is that research and findings are continuous and as time progresses our knowledge progresses as well.
I spend a good portion of my free time catching up by reading articles, books and journals relating to the nutrition world. I came across an article recently that discusses findings on how inflammation can affect our mental health that I was particularly eager to read as I am currently placing a strong focus on healing and being mindful of inflammation in my own body.
Inflammation is seen by many as the common denominator to a strong number of our modern day ailments. Mood, chronic pain, diabetes, compromised organ function and digestion can all be impacted by chronic inflammation in our bodies. This of course, is just a quick short list of major impacts inflammation can have that can impede on our daily lives and overall state of health.
A lot of chronic inflammation suffers may be totally unaware that the array of pesky symptoms they experience on a daily basis could be related to inflammation. Inflammation itself is a natural immune system response our bodies have in order to protect and control our bodies from what it deems as potentially harmful or infectious. However, when the inflammation becomes prolonged and chronic, our immune function becomes compromised and we begin to pave the path for our modern day ailments.
Inflammation can sneak up on us. Unknowingly, a lot of what we are consuming and doing on a daily basis feeds the problem. Most of us likely have no idea the problem we are contributing to or the repercussions that can follow.
Short List of Common Contributors:
- High food allergens such as dairy and wheat
- environmental toxins and pollution
- high stress lifestyle
The good news is that once we start acknowledging that inflammation is likely present for many of us by reflecting on what we choose to eat and how we conduct our lives, we can start to heal our bodies through diet and lifestyle changes that will not just help with the inflammation but bring with them a variety of additional benefits.
Below are 10 straight forward additions I have been implementing into my everyday in attempt to be continuously mindful of my body’s overall state:
- Giving my body a break from sugar. This is high up there in one of the best things you can do for your body, and easily one of the toughest. It takes a lot of commitment and resolve but I promise it is so worth it.
- Cutting out high allergen foods: peanuts, dairy, wheat are common allergens
- Skipping on alcohol. This is not out of the norm for me but given that holidays are coming up I am even passing on the occasional for right now
- Adding healing foods: cold water fish, walnuts, flax, aloe vera, green tea/matcha, dark green leafy vegetables, lemon… There are SO many options here!* I highly suggest doing a quick google to discover foods that lead to inflammation and those that can help heal
- TURMERIC! add it wherever you see fit. I also take capsules of curcumin, as noted below.
- My easy, daily drink that I start my mornings with: a tea made with fresh lemon, ginger and lemon grass. Occasionally with honey and turmeric too. Recipe will be posted soon!
- Consistent exercise. Beyond building muscle mass and reducing risk of things like heart disease, exercise can also contribute to lowering inflammation and stress that ultimately leads to inflammation in the body.
- Chaga Tea: Chaga is actually a medicinal mushroom, and it tastes better than you might think!
- Reducing stress by practicing yoga, meditation or whatever else helps you chill out like making time for yourself and your hobbies.
- Supplementing Vitamins and Herbs: Omega 3’s, Vitamin E, Curcumin, Pau D’arco (I drink mine as a tea) are some of the supplements I take on a regular basis. Please note however that supplements should be individualized to your own personal needs and therefore you should consider consulting a professional to help determine what and how much you should take. My recommendations have come from my nutritionist, naturopath and doctor.
*Once you have given your body an appropriate break from sugar, anti-inflammatory enzymes called bromelain and papain can be found in delicious pineapple and papaya
There is a bigger picture at hand to consider when it comes to what we consume and how we choose to life our lives. Being more mindful of our consumption and lifestyle is the first step to recognizing the potential root of our problems. I highly encourage everyone to implement diet and lifestyle switches and additions that promote anti-inflammatory responses in our bodies. Recurring symptoms you put up with for far too long might just start to heal! Your body will thank you.