Reduce signs of inflammation and bring calm your digestion, joints, your mood and more – inflammation can be rife through our bodies and sometimes it can be silent….
I often recommend to my clients that they need to have a diet that is high in anti-inflammatory foods and research has shown that eating this way not only can protect us against certain diseases, but it also slows down the aging process by helping to balance our blood sugar and increases our metabolism.
So, here is my anti inflammatory breakfast smoothie recipe for you to try – it is bursting with anti oxidants, phyto- nutrients and goods fats to keep you full til lunch time!
Ingredients: Serves 1
1 inch of fresh ginger
1 inch of fresh turmeric
A large handful of spinach
A large handful of watercress or rocket leaves
1 small avocado
1 Tbsp flax seed
1/2 cup of mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
A handful of parsley
1 cup of filtered water
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Add all items to the blender, add water and blend.
What is Inflammation?
Simply put, inflammation is the immune system’s response to a stimulus that is viewed as foreign or toxic to your body (aka an antigen).
Your immune system constantly monitors for anything that appears as a foreign intruder (like an infectious bacteria or other material) that shouldn’t be in the body and is always ready to signal its highly specialist troops of cells to attack and dispose of the foreign material.
It is an essential part of healing in acute conditions (e.g., a fever fighting an infection). However, when your immune system is disrupted, it puts itself unnecessarily on constant defense, sending inflammation continually rippling throughout your body. In this state, it’s working against you, instead of for you, by switching focus from the antigen it’s supposed to attack and instead launching a targeted strike on your own cells, tissues, or other harmless material.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms or conditions, you might be suffering from chronic inflammation:
Joint pain or other aches and pains
Skin problems (acne, eczema, psoriasis)
Resistant weight loss
Our bodies and systems are complex, and fixing an issue within them can be as well. Moving toward an anti-inflammatory lifestyle includes altering the foods we eat and the products we put in, on, and around our bodies, as well as lowering stress. Each of these critical changes addresses contributors to chronic inflammation and the conditions that can arise from it.
Anti Inflammatory Foods
There are many anti inflammatory foods that can be helpful to improve your overall health and support our immune system – here are a few to keep you going:
Essential fatty acid omega 3 in the broken down form of EPA & DHA. These fats are available from oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines & trout and can be beneficial to eat these three times a week. Or you can take a fish oil supplement to top up if you don’t like fish. Omega 3 is also available in a vegetarian form from walnuts and sesame seeds as well as flax or chia seeds.
Various herbs & spices that you have in kitchen cupboards – turmeric, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, garlic and ginger. Add these fresh or dried to cooking or drinks to add flavour along with the anti inflammatory benefits.
Increase your daily fiber intake to 25 grams or more in the form of lots of fresh fruits & vegetables such as berries, avocado, broccoli, cabbage and leafy greens. Fibers help to clean out our digestive systems but bring in all the anti oxidant and anti inflammatory phyto-nutrients.
Organic, grass fed meats these products have a better balance of saturated fats to omega 3 & 6 fats, but should be eaten more as a side dish than the main component.
It is also beneficial to then avoiding the highly refined and processed sugars and trans fats that come in ready meals and other processed foods, which will often have higher levels of sodium all which increase our inflammatory response.
All artificial sweeteners should also be avoided as they are nutrient void and can make our body store more fat.
It is also essential to look at cleaning up our personal care products – shampoos, moisturisers, make up and household cleaning products. Many of these can contain harmful substances that mimic the hormone estrogen and have a negative effect on our systems.