If you missed the talk, see my notes below!
Inflammation is such a hot topic these days, and for good reason – it is a signal from your body that something is out of balance. However, inflammation is not always a dirty word! “Inflammation is part of the body’s natural defense system. This normal type of inflammation is a good thing. It helps your body protect and heal itself. However, when your immune system shifts out of balance, inflammation can run rampant — causing a chronic, smoldering fire inside your body that contributes to disease and weight gain.” (Dr. Mark Hyman)
The great news is that it’s easy to identify common inflammation triggers: diets heavy in processed/packaged/fast foods, stress, lack of exercise, hidden allergens to food or environment, and environmental toxins.
Our bodies talk to us all the time – a smoldering fire will be mentioned, and it’s our job as homeowners of these bodies to listen to the feedback we’re given. For example, if you have regular skin rashes, fatigue, swelling or pain in your joints? Your inflamed body is most likely telling you that you have gluten intolerance.
Its common sense that a leaking roof won’t be fixed by putting a bucket under the drip - and our bodies are no different! Medicines like prednisone may calm the symptoms of inflammation, but if the source of the inflammation is never identified, full healing cannot occur.
Food is such a profound tool for healing! In general, the best anti-inflammatory diet is a whole foods diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats. When possible, choose local produce grown by a farmer you trust and/or organic produce so your body doesn’t have the extra work of filtering out inflammatory toxins.
See below for a lists of foods that help and foods that may contribute to inflammation in your body. Be an informed and wise caretaker of your body – it’s the only place you have to live!
Foods that Reduce Inflammation (In general, whole foods!)
Fruit: blueberries, cherries (sweet and sour), currants, elderberries, goji berries, grapes and pineapple
Vegetables: Beets, bok choy, cabbage, celery root, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, nopal (cactus), onion, seaweed (all varieties), yams and naturally fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut
Herbs, Spices and Tea: Turmeric (I love TumericALIVE drinks for their hearty doses of anti-inflammatory turmeric, a powerful ancient healing spice), alfalfa, bay, cardamom, cilantro, garlic, ginger, green tea, pepper (black)
Nuts and seeds: Brazil nuts, hemp seeds and walnuts
[“How do you reduce your consumption of inflammatory foods? Here’s an easy technique: Note your symptoms when you eat inflammatory foods. Next, compare that level of discomfort with how much better you feel when you’re eating well. From there your renewed well-being will clearly inform your future choices.” Rebecca Wood]
Avoid Foods that Increase Inflammation: Conversely, there are foods that encourage inflammation and so, to the best of your ability, you’ll do well to minimize or avoid:
Excess sugar in all its forms (including white flour products, cereals, sweets, breads, canned foods), Highly processed foods containing preservatives, dyes, artificial flavorings, Refined cooking oils (corn, safflower, sunflower, soy, cottonseed oils), factory-farmed meat, processed meats, alcohol, cold breakfast cereals, packaged snack foods, soft drinks, fruit juice, candy, additives, trans fats, butter substitutes and all artificial sweeteners. Some highly sensitive people with autoimmune disease find that the nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers) are inflammatory.