When you start to get serious about your health, one word that seems to pop up a lot is inflammation.
While essential to the overall function of the body, inflammation that persists on a long-term basis has also been known to play a significant role in deteriorating health. That is why lifestyle choices — exercising, reducing stress through yoga and meditation, and eliminating exposure to harmful toxins — are so important to keeping inflammation under control. Additionally, the dietary choices that a person makes are equally as important.
Since the Standard American Diet is filled with inflammation-causing options, such as refined sugar, white bread, alcohol, and trans fats, it is imperative that we are constantly consuming foods that fight off inflammation. Not only do we need to be thinking about what food will do to us now but also how it will impact us in 10, 20, or 30 years.
Here are some of my favorite foods to balance inflammation that I eat on a regular basis and how I incorporate them into my daily routine.
In reviewing more than 700 studies on turmeric, James A. Duke, PhD., in the October, 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, concluded that turmeric supports a positive inflammation response.
How I Incorporate It: I’ll drink a bottle of Temple Turmeric Original Elixir on a daily basis. Or, I’ll juice turmeric and drink 2-3 ounces at a time.
2) Brazil Nuts
While not as common as almonds or cashews, Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium and unsaturated fatty acids. Studies have also shown that Brazil nuts provide a positive inflammation response.
How I Incorporate Them: I LOVE using Brazil nuts for nut milk smoothies! Here’s my how to make nut milk in case you need a quick tutorial.
Sardines are the only fish that I eat and have Omega 3-s, which have been shown to balance inflammation.
How I Use Them: I eat sardines 2-3 times per week. Usually, I’ll put them on a salad or eat them with flax crackers.
Blueberries have antioxidants and phytonutrients, which provide inflammation protection.
How I Use Them: I will eat them plain or thrown them into a smoothie. What is critically important is to use a high quality fruit & vegetable wash to clean blueberries before consuming them. The only one that I use and recommend is from Vermont Soap Organics.
5) Dark Leafy Greens
One of the best sources of Vitamin E is dark leafy greens. Vitamin E is essential because it balances cytokines, molecules in our bodies that cause inflammation.
How I Use Them: I drink green juice every single day. One of my favorite combinations is celery, kale, broccoli sprouts, and mint. When making green juice at home, always make sure to rotate your leafy greens. This is critical because drinking the same leafy green day after day could cause thyroid issues.
Lastly, whatever food you eat to provide a positive inflammation response, make sure that it is organic. Not only is organic free from super-toxic pesticides, studies demonstrate that organic offers higher levels of antioxidants and omega 3-s.
Buy well. Eat well. And, most importantly, live well.