Hangovers, digestive woes, sluggishness, joint and muscle pain, weight gain, brain fog. Each of these issues is an indication of inflammation. How do we have fun and cool the inflammation so we can feel and look our best?
You've read it in every health magazine: Consume in moderation. Drink water before you go to a party. Balance your minerals and electrolytes after too much alcohol. Exercise. These are all great self-care practices. But, all too often, Americans would rather reach for quick fixes such as painkillers, crash diets and 5-day detoxes only to find themselves stuck with the same pain, weight, and low energy once again.
How about you? What's the wackiest thing you've tried to feel better fast?
In truth, if you are living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle year-round, you are better armed for a natural quick recovery. Here are several great tips to add to your inflammation-busting routine now and all year.
- Eat a mostly plant-based diet. Two and a half to five cups of multi-colored veggies and some fruits daily will protect you in so many ways! With antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, veggies are blood sugar stabilizing and help prevent every major lethal disease.
- Drink green tea. I am in love with matcha lattes. I make them with homemade almond milk and my favorite tiny battery-operated whisk. High in polyphenols that suppress the expression of a gene involved in arthritis inflammation, two cups of any green tea daily can reduce inflammation while also helping to stabilize blood sugar.
- Eat grapes. Resveratrol, a compound found in grape skin, is both an antioxidant and a COX-2 inhibitor suppressing the enzyme that produces inflammation at the site of injury or pain. Eat a cup of either white or red grapes daily. While wine and grape juice also contain resveratrol, consume these in moderation as they are more quickly broken down into sugar than the whole fruit.
- Eat good fat. While most Americans are inflamed from bad fat in processed foods, vegetable oils and margarines, and conventionally farmed meats, we can thwart the damage by consuming healthful fats the body needs to carry out almost every cellular function: Olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, and omega-3 fatty acid (found in chia seeds, flax meal, walnuts, and cold water fish such as salmon and sardines) are important at every meal.
- Try boswellia. Boswellia, a tree resin also known as frankincense, has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation without the deleterious side effects of NSAIDs such as Advil. Take 1000 mg of boswellia per day. Always check with your doctor before supplementing.
- Spice it up. Turmeric, the yellow spice used solo or in curry, is a culinary powerhouse. Turmeric's anti-inflammatory phytochemical curcumin becomes more active with the addition of pepper. Add to soups, stews, veggies, and sauces.
- Limit sugar. Highly addictive and devoid of nutrients, sugar is our most inflammatory additive raising blood glucose levels and stressing the pancreas over time. Avoid table sugar, agave, high fructose corn syrup and the many other forms of sugar high on the glycemic index. Limit refined flours (bread, bagels, pasta, baked desserts) and alcohol which quickly raise blood glucose as they are broken down. Instead, enjoy real, whole foods and quell a sweet tooth with carmelized onions, sweet potatoes, and a bit of raw honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and 70% or higher dark chocolate.
- Ditch trigger foods. Triggers such as gluten and dairy cause inflammation when we are sensitive to them. It's estimated that 75% of Americans now have a food sensitivity. Discover if you have any food sensitivities with a 21-day food elimination found in my book Gutsy.
Makes about 24 squares
1 1/2 c walnuts
1 1/2 c dried unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c coconut sugar
1/2 c currants
6 medjool dates, pitted
pinch of salt
2 c strawberries (or 2 pts), hulled
1 c cashew nuts
1 1/4 c coconut milk (I prefer Native coconut milk as the cans are BPA-free)
1/2 c raw honey
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 c coconut oil, melted
pinch of salt
Line a 9 x 12 baking dish with parchment paper. In a food processor, blend the first three crust ingredients until fine. Add the next three ingredients to the processor and process until all ingredients are well blended and stick together. Pour the crust into the baking dish. Spread evenly with hands to cover bottom.
In a blender, add all filling ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour onto crust. Refrigerate for 2 or more hours until filling becomes somewhat more solid. Cut into squares. Enjoy!
Nutritious Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes | © 2016 Nan Foster Health, all rights reserved.