Is Inflammation eating at you?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

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Have you heard the saying 'You are what you eat'? This is true in many ways, you must really think about what you eat and drink daily to maintain a healthy life. Today, many people are fighting infections, colds, flu and many diseases becoming susceptible to inflammation. For many they do not stop to realize that a diet filled with refined sugar, refined grains, dairy, soda pop and processed food will have and effect on the body and the skin. Inflammation in the skin can appear in individuals with acne and sensitivity and the root cause can be what you eat and drink daily.

It is a toxic overload and the body at best just cannot seem to function leading to many digestive issues, food allergies and disorders . Food allergies can cause intestinal inflammation, a weak immune system and malabsorption. If your allergic to one type of food, you will likely experience an allergic response to a food in the same family. Become familiar with what foods you can and can not have. Reduce your food sensitivity!

Did you know that the top five foods to fight infection are skittake mushrooms, garlic, squash and pumpkin, papaya and sesame seeds.
The following foods are nutritious, healing, and anti-inflammatory that many people can add to their diet.

Eat your Vegs! - Dark green leafy vegetables- swiss chard, kale, collard, spinach, arugula,celery, cabbage, broccoli, root vegetable- carrot, beets, parsnip, sweet potato, bok choy, cauliflower, onion, sea vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, squashes, zucchini, turnip and yam. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibre and are excellent for reducing inflammation. Make it colorful!

Fruit- Most fruits are healing, high in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fibre. Blueberries are one of the highest in anti-oxidants, eat them up! Lemon and limes support digestion, boost liver detox and contain natural antihistamines. Pineapple and papayas are high in anti-inflammatory properties and contain essential enzymes of bromelain and papain.

Grains- Choose gluten free grains( rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and sorghum). Many people have troubles digesting gluten containing grains leaving you bloated, with stomach upsets.

Fish & Shellfish- Sustainably caught fish or frozen fish is always the best choice. Eat fish like herring, macheral, sockeye salmon, sardine, trout, arctic char, black cod as they are rich in anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fats. Watch for shellfish as they contain common allergens. If you do not eat fish regularly or do not include it in your diet then try a fish oil supplement of at least 1000mg of DHA/EPA daily. Especially great for your skin to keep you glowing and smooth but also great for a healthy brain!

Protein- Beans, Meat & Poultry- healthy choices grass-fed, organic beef, antibiotic free. In Calgary,AB Hoven Farms is an excellent choice Hoven Farms Other sources of proteins bison,  lamb, wild game and poultry. For a local poultry farmer in Calgary AB, that is also antibiotic free Bowden Farm Fresh chicken,Bowden farm fresh chicken is one we have used for years, the chickens are delicious. Beans are loaded with protein, folic acid and fibre and are great in soups, stews or as a salad mixed with greens.

Dairy- If you have a dairy allergy there are many plant based milks that are good substitutes, hemp, rice, quinoa, almond (Almond Breeze is a favorite in our home) and choose the unsweetened variety. Sheep and goat yogurt are much easier to digest than cows milk. If you do prefer cow's milk choose an organic variety. Eggs- choose organic- free range with Omega 3 enriched.

Seasonings- Most all fresh herbs and spices are anti-inflammatory and support digestion. Watch for black/white peppercorns, spicy peppers-cayenne, chilli, paprika. Spices such as clove, ginger, garlic, tumeric, mustard, are excellent anti-inflammatory choices.

Nuts and Seeds- Chia and flax are rich in Omega 3 fats. Pumpkin, sesame, and hemp seeds are anti-inflammatory. Grind chia and flax seeds to maximize freshness. Almond, brazil, chestnut, pecan, pine nut, walnut are all nutritious nut choices filled with protein and healthy fats.  Soak nuts in water overnight  will help make them  more digestible. Avoid cashews and pistachios as they are moldy unless they are fresh, peanuts are also a common allergen as they are high in inflammation causing molds.

Oils and Fats- Cold pressed chia seed, flax, hemp seed, fish and walnut oils are excellent sources of Omega 3. Cold pressed almond, borage, hemp, pine nut, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower are excellent sources of Omega 6 fats. Cold pressed avocado, extra-virgin olive, grape seed and raw coconut oil have anti-microbial properties and are anti-inflammatory. If you love butter choose Organic for a healthy choice.

Sweeteners- Avoid refined cane sugar and artificial sweeteners. Maple syrup, raw (best) honey, rice syrup, stevia, and coconut nectar are good choices.

Beverages- Drink Water! and herbal teas. Fresh fruit juices are the best without added sweeteners or artificial sugars.

If you have not thought of making the change in your diet this may give you some guidance to take the step needed to better health and to feel your best.
Be healthy!

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