Are the foods I eat making me unhealthy? Part 2!
In last week’s blog we talked about inflammatory foods and how they affect our bodies. More specifically, we talked about the affect that carbohydrates have on our health— how the influx of carbohydrates in our bodies affects our blood sugar levels, and ultimately, our insulin levels. Too much insulin in the bloodstream leads to insulin resistant cells which increases the amount of blood glucose in our blood triggering more insulin to be secreted from the pancreas. It is a vicious cycle and when we don’t get these levels under control our body goes into a state of over drive, constantly working to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is the body’s balance system, it’s the body working to keep everything level and in check. When the body is not in a state of homeostasis, the body can undergo stress of trying to repair it.
This kind of stress can be labeled as inflammation. As we also discussed last week, inflammation is the body’s way of fighting against things that are harmful to us, that keeps us out of balance. Our bodies have two different types of inflammation, acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the type of inflammation that will last 1-2 days or only a few hours. Chronic inflammation is a sequel of acute inflammation. It is the body’s way of fighting off something that is constantly reoccurring. For example, eating constant inflammatory foods will keep your body fighting in this chronic inflammatory state. We discussed those foods last week. Your body wants nothing more than to maintain a balance and when we do not do that, the body will react and do anything in its power to maintain a balance. In some cases, that will take longer than other, leaving your body under a lot of constant stress.
There are multiple foods we can eat that fight this constant state of inflammation and stress. Below is a list of anti-inflammatory foods that I’d advise you to incorporate into your diet.
Such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cherries; all contain an abundance of anti-inflammatory properties, alongside a long list of vitamins. Not to mention fruits are considered to be a natural form of candy, due to their incredibly sweet and sometimes tart taste.
Big leafy greens are a perfect example of an anti-inflammatory ingredient (i.e spinach and kale). These leafy greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals, not to mention, avoid inflammation.
Start reducing your red and processed meat intake and instead swap it out for fish. Whether it would be, tuna, salmon, or cod; fish is a perfect way to fight inflammation and in turn, get a natural does of omega 3 fatty acids (a natural inflammatory fighter). If you don’t like fish, then supplement with a molecularly distilled pharmaceutical grade fish oil, like the brand Nordic Naturals. Strive for 2000/mg day.
Such as pistachios, almonds, and walnuts. By adding a handful of nuts to your diet as a snack or over a salad you are introducing a wide variety of benefits to your body. Nuts hold a vast amount of protein and vitamins, as well as those anti-inflammatory properties we are in search for.
Oats, brown rice, oatmeals, and whole wheat breads are just a select few examples of foods that are high in fiber. Fiber is another source of nutrient that will help your body fight against inflammation.
A good rule to follow is to make your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plate as colorful as possible. Think in terms of the rainbow! The more colorful and vibrant your plate is with these ingredients, the more your health will benefit from it. It is by incorporating natural sources of omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber and probiotics we are drastically reducing our bodies inflammation rate. In addition to adding these properties, we must take away the counteracting ones; trans-fats, saturated fats, and high levels of omega 6 fats. By making this switch your bodies health will take a turn for the best. By switching to an anti-inflammatory diet not only will your inflammation levels reduce but your risks for developing cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and other life threatening disorders will drastically reduce.
There is a famous quote by Hippocrates that says, “Eat food as thy medicine, or thy medicine shall be thy food.” This is a quote that rings true even to this day. If we don’t begin to treat our food as a healing property, then we will be forced to eat something other than food to heal us. That is why it is dire to fully understand what enters your body and how it is impacting your health. Read all your ingredients. When we fully understand what our food is doing to our health, then we can make an educated decision on how to counter act it. The catch is, all we have is right now, so we must act sooner rather than later. Your health will thank you in the end.