In our daily lives we are constantly fighting against inflammation whether it is from our diets, environment, stress or toxins in our cleaning or personal products. We become so accustomed to feeling sluggish and tired thinking it is from our busy lives. We are busy! We are raising our children, working, socializing and giving back to our communities so it is very understandable for us to be left feeling tired and run down at the end of the day. However, inflammation is more than just being tired. It can bring on brain fog, headaches, body aches, joint pain, stiffness, fatigue, bloated bellies and water retention. Finding ways to alleviate these symptoms can give us more energy to enjoy our daily tasks.
What is inflammation? Inflammation is our body’s way of naturally defending ourselves. Most of us are aware of inflammation caused by ankle sprains or cutting our finger. You instantly feel pain and see redness at the injury site. This response is our bodies natural way of healing. So yes, we do want inflammation sometimes - in the right amount for the proper response. The problem comes when the body starts to trigger inflammation all the time and you begin to have a buildup of inflammation attacking different systems in the body. This chronic inflammation can come from our diets, our lifestyles and our environment. The side effect of this chronic inflammation is fatigue, body aches, stiffness, digestive upset and brain fog. So, it is important to support our bodies by decreasing and helping to manage the inflammation. What kind of support? Support can be eating whole phytonutrient foods, getting good quality sleep, moving/exercise, yoga/mediation and of course getting plenty of water to flush out our systems.
Eating anti-inflammatory healing foods gives our bodies a chance to catch up and detoxify. I try to incorporate these foods into my diet on a daily basis. A few of my favorites are: Blueberries, Kale, Salmon, Bone Broth, Beets, Mushrooms, Broccoli and Ginger. All of these foods are rich with phytonutrients providing lots of antioxidant properties to help in the healing process. I love soups! They are an easy way to add many of these foods at once. One of my favorites is a Kale curry, which has bone broth, coconut milk, kale, mushrooms, ginger, onions, garlic, curry, sea salt and cracked black pepper. You can always add in some chicken thighs for added protein. I make a big pot over the weekend and enjoy it for lunch all week. Baked salmon, steamed broccoli and sweet potatoes makes up one of our weeknight dinners and you can throw in blueberries as a snack or toss on a summery beet and arugula salad. Next time you are at the grocery store pick up a few of these to add to your nightly dinners, your body will love you for it!