Last week’s blog on diets may have stirred up some questions, so I’m adding a bit more on this area regarding “what should I eat”?
There are many diets, and different aspects of each diet can be helpful or problematic for many. What makes a diet and the foods it includes helpful?
First, avoid foods that cause you pain or bowel issues or any type of allergic reaction. No matter how healthy those foods may be, if you are getting a clear sign that they are not great for you, at this time, avoid them. Maybe never again, but maybe someday they could be ok for you. Let’s not worry about them for now.
Next, ensure that the foods you do eat, that do “feel good”, are quality foods. Those types of quality whole foods add resources, nutrients, and energy to your body. Of those foods, ensure that they are ANTI INFLAMMATORY foods. This means that those foods will actually reduce inflammation in your body.
Foods can really be split into 2 groups. There are foods that are PRO INFLAMMATORY, which means they cause inflammatory and add to your load. And there are foods that are ANTI INFLAMMATORY, which means that they reduce and address inflammation.
Inflammation can be a big reason why you feel pain or heat and see redness in certain joints, muscles, skin, and other areas of your body. This includes headaches, IBS, irritability, and immune regulating challenges such as autoimmune diseases.
So even if junk foods don’t seem to feel “bad” for you, if they have a pro-inflammatory component they should be seriously considered to be removed to see if you can lessen inflammation that you may be experiencing.
What does that mean? Eating chips or foods that are deep fried uses low quality oils that are damaged from high heat and thus is not a great option when trying to lessen inflammation. Even if they do not “feel” bad, they are pro-inflammatory.
Other foods that are pro-inflammatory includes sugar, processed foods, vegetable and refined oils, as well as chemicals that are added to foods such as preservatives, colors, pesticides, and any additives you cannot pronounce.
Also, foods such as charred meat and dairy can also be inflammatory for many. I know many people who after removing dairy feel so much better. For many people, it does not bother them, but if you have a health issue or pain you can’t seem to resolve, removing dairy is certainly worth a try.
Adding in foods that are ANTI INFLAMMATORY can be a huge benefit. Foods such as leafy greens, really any vegetables, unrefined oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, and healthy fats like avocados and nuts and seeds are a great start. Enjoying berries, which are high in anti-oxidants to help reduce free radicals and thus inflammation are an easy way to find healthy benefits and reduce inflammation. Fish and fish oils are very helpful to reduce inflammation.
Think of inflammation like a spark. It may not immediately cause an issue, but left to fester, it can all of a sudden be a flaming concern that you need to solve.
By being proactive and reducing pro-inflammatory foods, and increasing anti-inflammatory foods you should see a change in pain and other challenges within a short period of time.
Your local Quality Greens market is an incredible source of local whole foods to add to your daily meals.
Have a great week,