March is nutrition month. I know, you’re absolutely thrilled. Nutrition is a topic that is forever polarizing, and forever evolving. What’s ideal to eat one year seems to be demonized the next.
It’s frankly exhausting, as you well know.
But the good news is that there is one nutritional lifestyle that fits with all ways of life, and is standing the test of time, and will benefit you in numerous ways if followed on a regular basis.
Drum roll… it’s the Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle. Eating to reduce inflammation is a surefire way to improve your overall health - from brain health, to digestive health, all the way to skin health.
Inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. Short-term, acute inflammation is designed to protect and heal the body from injury and foreign invaders. Short term, on-purpose inflammation is necessary. Chronic inflammation is the bad guy.
Chronic Inflammation is Serious
Inflammation is at the root of almost all diseases. It contributes to hormonal imbalance, mental illness, arthritic symptoms, cardiovascular disease and pages of other diseases.
Some call silent inflammation (chronic, undetected) inflammation the silent killer.
What causes Chronic Inflammation in the body?
So we want to do everything we can to reduce our inflammatory load. You don’t always have control over some of those inflammation-contributors, but what you CAN control is what you put in your mouth and how you care for yourself.
Top Hacks to LOWER Chronic Inflammation
Remove processed sugar.
Sugar is a key driver in the inflammatory process. Cut or severely limit the white stuff, and all the stuff the white stuff is found in: processed carbohydrates like breads, cereals, sweets and those heavily-sweetened Starbucks drinks.
Gluten, found in grains like wheat, barley and rye, is extremely inflammatory to the gut (and therefore the brain). Even if you don’t feel like it affects you, you owe it to yourself to eliminate it for a month to see if you notice improvements.
Eat a ton of vegetables.
Raw or lightly cooked. Half of each plate should be veggies. Not only do they provide fibre, but they provide a ton of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals damage cells, leading to inflammation.
Take a decent dose of Omega 3.
This is a inflammation-hack essential. EPA and DHA are the potent anti-inflammatory omega 3s, and they’re found in high concentrations in fish and fish oil (they’re what you read on the back of the bottle). You want to get 2500-3000 mg EPA and DHA combined per day to get the best effect.
Recognize the importance of SLEEP.
Sleeping is necessary for all aspects of health. A sleep-deprived state contributes to inflammation, brain fog and weight gain. Make it a priority. You want 7.5 - 9 hours per night. Find tips to sleep better here.
Make turmeric your friend.
Turmeric is a wonderful inflammation-hack. Either add it into your regular spices and cooking routine, or invest in a good turmeric supplement and take daily. I like Theracurmin by Natural Factors or Turmeric Strength by Mega Food.
Take 5 deep breaths, every hour.
This activates your parasympathetic nervous system, your rest and digest state, the state that lowers inflammation and promotes healing.
Try this technique: Breathe in for 4, hold for 6, breathe out for 8.
These are just some of the many hacks you can apply to reduce your inflammatory load. I highly encourage you to start consciously thinking about the way you eat… is it more pro-inflammatory filled with processed foods and lacking vegetables and good fats? Or is it more on the anti-inflammatory side of things?
You have the power, and I have full confidence in it.
Be good to yourself, till next time!