We all know that regular exercise and good eating habits are the key to a happy healthy body. However, not all diets work the same for everyone which is why we sometimes give up on them not long after starting. Our bodies are unique and will react differently to each item we consume. Some of us struggle to eat spicy food, some are gluten or dairy intolerant and some just plain won’t eat our greens.
One thing we may not commonly consider, is inflammation and the havoc it can wreak on our bodies without us even realising it. Inflammation is usually associated with when we injure ourselves and we start to bruise and swell. However, that isn’t the only type of inflammation our bodies can experience. Inflammation can also cause the following symptoms:
- Digestive problems
- Weight gain
- Mood issues
- Brain fog
- Joint pain
- Gum disease
Does this sound like you? If so, I may have a few tricks up my sleeve to make tiny tweaks to your diet to help you feel better. Those of us who are gluten or dairy intolerant know how puffy and bloated these food stuffs can make you feel. Turns out, gluten and dairy can cause inflammation. Anything processed or super sweet can also trigger these symptoms, so if you have a sweet tooth try to play around with natural sugars to satisfy your cravings instead. Your body may thank you for it.
Do you get enough sleep at night? Are you feeling stressed in the day? Studies have shown that poor sleep and stress can also increase inflammation in our bodies. Sometimes, feeling stressed can lead to a lack of sleep and start a vicious cycle. Meditation or some steady exercise can help with both. Also, if you can manage to get yourself into a sleep routine by establishing regular sleeping habits such as going to bed the same time each night and waking up roughly the same time each morning can help your body clock know when it’s time to sleep!
Eating vivacious vegetables and fantastic fruits do wonders for our bodies. The more colour, the more vitamins and goodness they contain! The key here is variety, so give anything and everything a go. Vitamin K rich leafy greens are a great way to start, they’re versatile for recipes and pack a punch in our fight against inflammation. Deeply coloured fruits such as cherries and blackberries are also great contenders to help curb inflammation.
We need to get a bit grainy as well if we want to reduce inflammation. This means more unrefined grains, oats and whole wheat on our plates to fill our tummies. They’re high in fibre which is an added bonus. Make a meal out of some whole grains and add some beans to the mix to increase your fibre and very important antioxidants!
Plant based diets are great for combating inflammation. However, I know not everyone wants make that jump to go vegan. So, try adding more fish and reducing your red meats. The point of this is to reduce bad fats and increase the good ones. Salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are great for us and fight inflammation. You should ideally have cold water fish two to three times a week.
To spice up your life, and your meals, I even have a few suggestions on spices which can help as well. They say variety is the spice of life, and the following spices can help improve your health.
Give new recipes a go and find fun and creative ways to add these spices into your diet. Some may also be found in supplement form if you’re not too keen on the taste.
Speaking of taste, there are even drinks you can have which can help improve inflammation. Firstly, water! I genuinely cannot say enough about water. We’re made of quite a lot of it! So we need to keep up on our water supplies to keep our bodies going. Red wine, in moderation is also very good for us. Last but not least, it’s been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.. Green tea! It’s packed with antioxidants and nutrients to help our bodies feel good. You can find this gem in any tea aisle in the supermarket, or you can find it in supplement form if you don’t fancy the taste. Why not give ours a go!
Simple changes can make a big difference to our bodies. We don’t have to give up all of our favourite treats, but maybe try to modify them with some of the above and see how you feel after each meal! Your body will soon tell you what it likes.
Thanks for reading!