The importance of anti-inflammatory foods

Recently I’ve had a lot of client and readers ask questions about inflammation and what are the most anti-inflammatory foods they should be consuming, as well as those foods to avoid.

Trying to keep it in the most simple terms as possible, below is the main difference between acute and chronic inflammation.  I have also included a list of foods to totally avoid, as well as those you should be consuming daily. It’s so important to include foods these foods that promote the anti-inflammation to avoid illness, fatigue, chronic pain and more.

Acute Inflammation

Acute inflammation is a natural defense mechanism that is initiated when body tissue is damaged.  Typically, inflammation is a healthy immune response to injury, illness, or infection. “Healthy” inflammation carries isolates, identifies and removes bad bacteria and cells. The inflammatory response prevents the spread of damaging agents to nearby tissues, disposes of cell debris, and sets the stage for the repair process. It is crucial for our bodies in recovery and healing to experience acute inflammation to encourage recovery, as well as to protect surrounding healthy cells and tissue. The redness, swelling, and pain are all signs of healthy inflammation when our bodies are recovering.

Chronic Inflammation

After the healing process has come to an end, the inflammation response should too. However, in many cases inflammation continues, whether it was brought on from trauma or was present before any healing process has even begun. Chronic inflammation is when our body is unable to turn off the inflammatory response and starts to attack the surrounding healthy tissue. It can manifest in your gut, destroying stomach lining and causing digestive issues, may attack arteries causing heart disease, or in your joints, resulting in arthritis. Many of us experience chronic inflammation, whether we are aware of it or not. Chronic inflammation in our system is caused from poor diet, high stress, and an imbalance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. Chronic inflammation is the number one factor for numerous health issues and is the culprit for most illness and disease such as cancer, joint disease, autoimmune disease, and heart disease.

As you can see, it is crucial to keep inflammation under control. Be sure to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, get adequate rest, and aim to reduce stress in all areas of your life.  It is also a good idea to eliminate pro-inflammatory foods such as sugar, refined grains, alcohol, processed foods, among others. Also, lifestyle suggestions that will help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system are meditation, yoga, exercise, any stress reducing activities, acupuncture, and massage.    TopAntiInflammatoryFoods

  Top Anti-inflammatory Foods

Ginger

Turmeric

Garlic Leafy Greens (spinach)

Beets

Fatty Fish (wild caught Alaskan Salmon, Sardines, Black Cod)

Healthy Fats (Avocados, extra virgin olive oil, expeller pressed coconut oil, nut: walnuts, hemp seeds, flax seed/oil)

Berries and Lemons

                           Pro- inflammatory Foods/Additives to Avoid

Processed Foods

Refined Grains (white bread and pasta Sugar Feed-lot raised meat (fed soy, corn and processed grains) Dairy (limit)
Alcohol Gluten Trans Fats

Omega 6 Fatty Acids (found in low quality oils used in most packaged foods)

MSG

 

 

          List of Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Alfalfa Alfalfa Sprouts Almonds Artichoke Avocado Barley Grass Basil Bee Pollen Beef-grass fed, organic Beets
Boy Choy Boston Lettuce Brussels Sprouts Buckwheat Cabbage Carrots Cauliflower Cayenne Pepper Celery Chard
Cherries Chives Cilantro Cinnamon Cucumber Cumin seed Eggplant Endive Fennel Seed Figs
Garlic Ginger Horseradish Root Jicama Kale Kamut Lemons Lentils Leeks Limes
Mushrooms Mustard Greens Navy Beans Onion Oregano Onion Oregano Parsnips Peas Pecans
Pumpkin Radishes Rutabaga Salmon-wild caught Sardines Sea Vegetables Seaweed Sesame Seeds Spelt Spinach
Sprouted Seeds Squash Sweet Potato Tomatoes Turmeric Turnips Walnuts Wheat Grass Yams

 

 

Rosemary Ginger Lemonade (+cocktail recipe)

rosemaryginger
Let’s switch it up this summer and combat the heat with this refreshing Rosemary Ginger Lemonade.   I know some of us can be dependent on our iced coffees, but what about something even more energizing and delicious? A cool, refreshing drink that will jump start our energy levels and contains more nutritional benefits than our old cup of joe.

This Rosemary Ginger Lemonade will pick us up, cool us down and will leave us feeling stable throughout the day without the crash (will also help flush out those nasty toxins we build up over time)  Try this simple recipe below,  your tastebuds and body will be so very grateful!

Rosemary Ginger Lemonade

Ingredients
7 cups water
3 rosemary sprigs
1 8-10 inch ginger hand, peeled and diced
1 cup honey/agave
1.5 cups fresh juice from lemons

Directions
Simple syrup: Place 1 cup water in sauce pan with ginger. Bring to a boil add agave and rosemary sprigs and return to boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

Lemonade:
Mix remaining 6 cups water, lemon juice and cooled simple syrup. Keep in pitcher refrigerated. Feel free to add more agave or honey for desired sweetness.

Health Benefits

Rosemary in this refreshing, detoxifying elixir has loads of health benefits. Rosemary will help jumpstart our bodies in the morning with its powers to increase blood flow. Getting that blood pumping throughout the body is exactly what our body needs to get itself moving and gain natural energy (great for mid-day slumps too).  Everyone needs a little immune booster , no matter what season it is  – and rosemary will do just the trick. Rosemary also has many anti-inflammatory properties. And get this:  during a long workday (when your brain is feeling a bit fried)  rosemary can be your life saver with its memory boosting abilities. Rosemary also has the perk of reducing severity of asthma attacks, help cure congestion and allergies – who knew?!

how-to-peel-chop-grate-ginger-verticalGinger is the perfect pick me up because it helps jump start your metabolism and awakens your body and mind – preparing you for the busy day ahead. Along with rosemary, ginger is an anti-inflammatory and a great immune booster. For those readers that get motion sickness, ginger can ease that stomach pain and it is also great for seasickness for you adventurous ocean goers. Ginger can help fight and cure infections like athletes foot and nail infections with its anti-fungal properties. Lastly, ginger is great for digestion and helps absorb essential nutrients consumed throughout the day, don’t let them go to waste! Get your ginger in.

Lemons are made up of citric acid that allows the breakdown of bile and dissolves any other toxins in the body. Lemon also helps flush out the kidneys and colon of toxic that tends to build up, the perfect detox! Remember, our goal is to achieve balance in the body, and lemon is a great way to balance the pH levels.  Lemons are packed with Vitamin C, which helps neutralize free radicals in the body and also boosts the immune system!

 

Cocktail Recipe

The Rosemary Ginger Lemonade can be very versatile. Had enough detoxifying and energy boosting? Need to do a little more winding down and  some re-toxing? 😉

It’s so easy to transform this elixir into a fun sumer cocktail – perfect for those warm summer evenings. Just pour 1 cup of the Rosemary Ginger Lemonade in a shaker with ice, add 1 oz vodka, gin or tequila and give it a good shake. Serve in a martini glass with a sprig of rosemary for garnish. Like your drinks on the rocks? Just pour lemonade over ice in a tumbler, top with our choice of liquor and garnish with rosemary, lemon slice or candied ginger.

Relax, cool down and feel better about indulging in a cocktail (or two) with the added health benefits of this light, refreshing libation.   Enjoy!

Natural Remedies for Sunburn

Is it finally safe to say we made it through this crazy winter that Mother Nature sent us?! I sure hope so! We’ve been cooped up all winter long, covering up every ounce of skin from multiple layers of socks to our fashionable frumpy hats. This only means two things 1) we are going to run outside to feel the warm beautiful sunshine and get our much needed Vitamin D fix and 2) our pasty white skin is prone to turn into the color of a perfectly ripe cherry tomato if not properly protected.

As much as we like tomatoes, we don’t want our skin to resemble one. I am a huge advocate of taking preventative measures and wearing sunscreen at all times. (I wear 75 SPF on my face all summer and at least 35 SPF in the winter) Not only does too much exposure to the sun cause wrinkles and speed the process of aging, it also causes more serious issues like melanoma and other serious skin conditions. So please don’t forget to cover up while getting your Vitamin D.

sunbathing

However, in some cases the inevitable happens. You weren’t expecting to be sitting in the sun as long as you planned or maybe you didn’t think the sun was that strong.  Here on the east coast our skin hasn’t seen the sun in SO long so our pale winter skin is sure to burn fast.   Another downside of any sun burns in the first few weeks of summer: those obnoxious tan lines we just can’t seem to get rid of.

In the case of the (hopefully rare) sunburn we have come up with some natural at home remedies that will cure your burn fast:

Heal your sunburn with a lukewarm bath (hot water will dry skin even more) with any of the following ingredients (or a combo). The best part – most can be found right in your very own kitchen!

Witch hazeloatmeal-bath

Cucumber juice

Whole milk

Baking soda

Apple cider vinegar: dilute ¼ cup with 2 cups of water

Oatmeal

Tea: Add tea to 2 cups of boiled water, let it COOL, then add it to the bath.

Another remedy for sizzled skin in an itch-relieving backing soda-ACV compress:

The acetic acid from the ACV relieves the pain while the backing soda soothes. A simple paste is made with ¼ acv and ¼ cup baking soda. A few drops of lavender oil and apply it right on the sunburn. This also works for pesky bug bites.

Good luck! Remember to get your Vitamin D responsibly and try to avoid too much sun exposure this summer 🙂