Reduce Inflammation with Better Food Choices
Ask the Experts by Stephanie Popso
Q: What can I do to reduce inflammation in my body?
A: Surface level inflammation is commonly described as pain, heat, swelling and redness. Below the surface, inflammation develops without pain and can lead to obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
There are many causes of inflammation including diet, stressors, environment, physical injury, environmental factors and genetics.
Diet and stressors are the contributing factors that are the easiest to change. When we eat better, we are less stressed. When we are less stressed, we eat better. When it comes to reducing inflammation in the diet, crowd in/eat more: veggies, especially dark leafy greens, fruits, especially berries, lemons and limes. Ginger and turmeric are also very powerful anti-inflammatories.
Crowd out/eat less: refined sugars and grains, trans-fats, dairy products, non-organic gluten, food additives, red meat and alcohol. Crowding out does not mean to take these items completely out of the diet, although some do. It only means to have less, so we can have more of the foods that help us obtain optimal health.
In the words of Michael Pollan “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” In my own words “eat the most colorful plate possible”. No matter what you’re eating, can you add more color by adding fruits and veggies?
Reducing stress and increasing exercise and self-care play a big role in reducing inflammation. Make sure you create a routine that allows for these things as well as a gratitude practice, prayer/meditation and social enjoyment. All of these things take practice, but with time and repetition, it gets easier.
Stephanie Popso is a transformative life and wellness coach who has helped hundreds of clients create healthy routines and habits to promote better nutrition/body function, weight-loss, better sleep, less stress, positive outlook and overall well-being. Visit the Stephanie’s blog on her website iamnaturallyempowered.com for more info on inflammation & taking steps towards a healthier, happier life.