Your anti-inflammatory diet
Inflammation is a cause of many diseases and illnesses in our world today. In fact, it is almost the number one cause. From cancer and heart disease to autoimmune disease and mental illnesses, inflammation is the root cause. There are two sides to inflammation; it is your body’s natural defence system when you scrape your leg or suffer from a virus where the body will move into an inflammatory state to protect and heal you. But on the other hand, over time the body can develop chronic inflammation and it is through this diseases and illnesses stem from. Chronic inflammation beings at a cellular level and expands outwards until it reaches your organs - this is where the dangers of inflammation affect the body.
How do you reach a state of chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation is caused by external factors, such as the foods you eat, environmental triggers and lifestyle choices. Food plays a massive part in causing inflammation. What we eat directly manifests itself in our body and causes a domino effect if it's not good for us. But watching what we eat doesn’t cover all basis. Our surroundings can contain stressors and chemical interactions that are also a cause of inflammation. Below I cover the main causes of inflammation and how you can reduce it.
How to implement an anti-inflammatory diet
There are many superfoods which specifically bring down inflammation in the body. Bear in mind that these foods need to be of the highest quality. Many of the foods we consume today contain chemicals and toxic substitutes, which is why it’s important to buy organic. Non-organic grown foods are sprayed with chemicals such as glyphosate, a major cause of inflammation. So make sure you check the actual ingredients before you buy. The top foods you can consume to reduce your inflammation are:
Leafy green vegetables
Dairy in its entirety is a big contributor of inflammation. As we evolved, humans have not been made to break down lactose the main substance of dairy. This is why many of us have allergies or bad reactions to dairy as our bodies can't cope with it. However, the main reason dairy causes inflammation is due to the chemicals and hormones it contains. Through the process of producing dairy, growth hormones and chemicals such as antibiotics are given to cows in order to produce as much milk as possible. The consequence of this is that these chemicals and hormones are passed into the milk and end up in your morning coffee. Cut out dairy for the next two weeks and see how you feel, with so many dairy alternatives it has never been easier to become dairy-free.
You’ve probably heard that gluten, the protein found in wheat, causes many health issues for a lot of people. Well surprise, gluten causes inflammation. Gluten irritates your gut causing inflammation which leads to digestive problems such as IBS and leaky gut. Most gluten products are grown non-organically and contain further chemicals that contribute to inflammation. Swap out your soft bread for organic sourdough bread (it has a low amount of gluten thanks to its fermentation process) and reduce your wheat-based food products.
Vegetable oils such as canola oil, sunflower oil and soy are highly inflammatory. These oils are present in most processed foods such as biscuits, fast food and baked foods. A lot of people commonly use sunflower oil to cook at home. The intake of these oils is extremely damaging and greatly contributes to inflammation. To reduce our consumption of these oils, swap your vegetable cooking oil with olive oil and become conscious of the types of food you eat that already contain these oils - replacing them with non-processed alternatives.
Stress is a major contributor to inflammation within the body. This makes sense as stress is the cause of 90% of illnesses today due to the inflammation it causes within the body. As your body goes into a state of stress through the fight or flight response, your energy changes. As this happens it affects your blood turning the pH, becoming more acidic. Full body acidity = inflammation. Read up on our tips to reduce stress here.
Have you ever had a cold shower? Well now might the time to implement it into your morning routine. Cold therapy directly decreases inflammation within the body, along with an increased immune response, better sleep and aids in increasing your metabolism. I seriously recommend adding cold showers to your regime. It might be difficult at first but carry on and persevere because the benefits are worth it. Plus it’s a great way in increasing your own willpower. The best way to implement cold therapy is to finish your showers with 30 seconds of cold water.
Get fighting your inflammation.