Are You Eating an Inflammatory Diet?
From the outside, it can feel as though the anti-inflammatory diet is the new gluten-free. Us Sakaralites are an ambitious bunch and we know that the more we clean out our insides, the brighter we can shine at work, in the bedroom, and on the dance floor. So anything that may help us experience our days without without being slowed by bloat, brain fog or chronic pain, is worth a try, no?
Like any new trend, there is a lot of talk about inflammation, but far less information on how and why we should minimize it. So we'd like to dive in a little deeper.
Essentially, inflammation occurs when our super-intelligent bodies get weighed down by daily doses of processed snacks, self-destructing stress, and toxic substances from alcohol to pollution. Rather than fight just the infections or toxins that sneak in, our bodies get confused, turn on themselves, and plot a powerful attack against skin, joints, thyroids and guts.
These years-long internal battles destroy cell tissue and and, in a nutshell, age us. They show up as physical ailments including celiac disease, arthritis, thyroid disease, and autoimmune disorders in which the body launches an inflammatory response without any trigger. Growing evidence shows that inflammation also shows up in mental disorders including depression and schizophrenia.
These are some seriously scary results from something as seemingly innocent as an afternoon donut break, but processed breads, meat and dairy aren’t the only sources of inflammation. Stress, stagnation and exposure to toxins waiting steps out your front door exacerbate the cause of these debilitating states.
These serious ailments often appear as daily discomforts that many people rush to cover up with painkillers that might get us through the day, week or even month, but do nothing to heal the root of pain.
Truly healing an inflamed body means a commitment to a delicious plant-based diet, rejection of all things fake and processed, and love for your gut and love for yourself.
The result won’t just eliminate the physical pain and mental confusion that comes from a swollen internal system, it will also herald in a new age of swift digestion, abundant energy, a calm countenance and glowing skin. Yes, please.
The amazing thing is, it can take just a few weeks to see the incredible impact of a diet and lifestyle aimed at reducing inflammation. Depending on how swollen your system is, it may take month or more, but the commitment is worth it and each step of the journey feels better, lighter, and brighter.
Below are six steps towards converting a swollen, puffed out operating system to a light, cool and smooth engine. Check them out and take note of where you are going strong and where you may need to invest a bit more effort. As always, we're here to help!
1. Eat a plant-based diet full of whole fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Dismiss processed bread and instead indulge in baked or steamed root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and beets for a heartier dish. Avoid all processed foods including processed meats, dairy, and sugar. Allow eating whole and living clean to become your lifestyle.
2. Become a probiotic addict. Probiotics have the power to correct imbalances in the microbiome, the collective of trillions of microorganisms that live in our digestive system that can spark or calm inflammation. Probiotics, in the form of capsules, kefirs and kombuchas, add good bacteria to your gut. We take Floracor daily!
3. Befriend fat. We’re talking about healthy fats that come from coconut oil, cold-pressed olive oil, nuts and avocados. Eating the right kinds of fats is critical to sticking with an anti-inflammatory diet by keeping you satiated and satisfied as you transition a traditional diet of inflammation-causing choices. Not to mention they will help plump up that flowing skin of yours :)
4. Avoid sugar and processed carbohydrates like the plague. This might sound extreme but these addictive substances can inflame a cooling internal engine and spin you onto a path of cravings. Sticking to a whole food diet will help reverse your cravings, so that you no longer are grabbing that 3 PM cookie and instead are munching on fresh fruit and veggies. The result? A calm, peaceful digestive process and mind.
5. Supercharge your anti-inflammatory choices by adding herbs and supplements into the mix. Herbs such as turmeric, garlic, ginger, amla and ashwagandha have healing properties that counteract the dangerous consequences of inflammation and soothe disgruntled insides. Supplements like devil’s claw, mangosteen and milk thistle have a similar impact. These are great resources to tap into when you are feeling heavy, foggy, or in pain.
6. Bathe yourself in kind, compassionate and loving thoughts. A mind racked with stress, self-hate and internal debate directly contributes to the inflammation damaging your sweet insides.
The hormone cortisol helps regulate inflammation, but chronic stress hinders cortisol’s power and makes some cells completely insensitive to its impact. Inflammation then goes unchecked, leading to discomfort, depression and disease.
Stress is one of the most common causes of chronic stress and one that we can shift through self-love and forgiveness.
*Image via here