Decrease Inflammation with Your Lifestyle, Part 1 - What You Eat
In my last post, I explained the good, bad, and ugly of inflammation. Did it make sense to you? Do you believe me when I say chronic low-level inflammation is a big problem? I'd love to hear your thoughts down below in the comments, or you can hop over to my Facebook page, Instagram feed, or Twitter feed and we can chat! I'd love that. Cool.
Alrighty, I promised some tips for lifestyle changes so let's get this party started.
First off, do not underestimate the power of your actions.
You have heaps more ability to make serious changes to your physical AND emotional health than you may have been led to believe. As I mentioned when explaining inflammation, paying better attention to your body's reaction to your environment can lead you to some simple fixes that make you feel massively better.
Done underestimating your power? Ok, now let's dig in.
Today I'm going to cover four of the most inflammatory food groups and some of the ways inflammation/reaction can make themselves known when you indulge in them. Next week I'll cover two other environmental factors that affect inflammation levels, but food is really a very good place to start.
FOODS THAT INFLAME
Some of the highest inflammatory, and therefore most react-y, foods out there include:
- dairy - try avoiding this one if you seem to constantly be getting sinus infections or have lots of upper respiratory symptoms.
- gluten - brain fog, headaches, sore joints--these are more commonly seen than outright tummy troubles with gluten.
- bad fats - got high (or low) cholesterol, high triglycerides, pre-diabetes/metabolic syndrome, or have concerns about dementia or other neurological dysfunction? Stop using canola/vegetable oil and stop cooking with olive oil. Cook with coconut oil, lard, tallow, or duck fat (mmm, duck fat...) & drizzle olive oil over salads or already cooked foods, because it really is great for you unless you heat it up. Eat lots of wild-caught fatty fish.
- All fats have smoke points--stay way below those with any fat or oil you use.
- sugar & processed anything - with processed food, it's hard to pinpoint how your body is reacting and what you could be reacting to--there's just so much there. Trust everyone out there who knows about nutrition: sugar & processed foods massively increase your inflammation.
So, if you notice a particular symptom when you eat a particular food/food group, remove it from your diet for 3-5 days and then try adding it back in and see what happens. No need to keep taking allergy medicine when you can stop eating egg yolks and solve the actual problem at the ROOT. (I just discovered that I react to those. The sneezing! The stuffiness! So eggs are out for awhile. Hey--I told you simple isn't always easy!)
Removing foods you adore may sound a little bit like torture, but really, let's all think long-term here instead of always wanting immediate gratification. If you knew you could avoid autoimmune conditions or cancer or brain disease, wouldn't you do what you could at any cost? More and more often, research and clinical evidence are pointing toward that very real possibility. And on the spectrum of "at any cost", lifestyle changes, including changing the way you eat, are pretty non-invasive and low-cost.
That's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg with food, because you are indeed your own special biochemical soup and I couldn't possibly cover the specifics for each and every one of you in this blog post. But you know what? If you are in Illinois and are interested in figuring all the nitty-gritty details out alongside your new healthcare bestie (that's me!), schedule a consultation with me and let's talk about it.
If you aren't in Illinois and want to chat me up, you can leave me a comment below this post or find & follow me on social media:
I am best at Instagram--not gonna lie--and would love to have some fascinating conversations with you! Tell me what you've tried, what works for you, or what you think is a load of bunk. I'm up for it all because We Are Stronger Together even when we disagree. <3