I grew up on whole foods and realized the importance of what I ate the first semester I was in college. I found out quickly that my body did not do well on processed foods and was grateful that my campus had a salad bar for two of our three meals per day. I was always aware, even with undiagnosed Celiac’s, that I needed only vegetables, lean protein, bananas, and one can of Tab per day (yes, I drank TAB).
Healing Inflammation through Food is Possible
As much as we may not want to admit it, what we put inside our bodies matters. As my own health began to fail badly about 10 years ago, I had to begin to more closely evaluate everything I put into myself. I had to ask – what does this serve? I brought this clarity and consciousness to the situation once I realized the devastation of my body was due to gluten. My capacity to derive nutrition from my food was practically non existent. If I did not have the incredible vitamin/liquids/food routine in place – a routine that dictates if it doesn’t serve, don’t eat it, I am not sure I would be walking around this year like I now am.
As I began to look at the incredible affects of long term inflammation on my body, I began to realize I would have to heal the underlying causes and really begin to help the body recover by once again changing my food choices. I had spent the last 10 years focused on B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron, and this influences food choices deeply.
Once I got the gluten in hand, and the vitamins and minerals were doing their job, I was left with a body so badly inflamed that most afternoons required otc pain relievers just to get through the day. I had an epiphany one day (that includes a great deal of research) and realized that the horribly sore ears I was waking up to each day were due to the otc pain relievers that allowed me to power through my day. It appears that they were causing damage to the connective tissue in my body leading to an immediate stop of the Aleve/naproxen that had allowed me to ignore the incredible pain in my body and still pay the bills.
It’s Amazing What We Can Ignore When We are Truly Trying to Pay Attention
It’s not like me to ignore something as big as not standing upright easily, but I attributed it to the lack of dedication to my yoga practice and the weight I carry on my frame each and every day. As my family got life back under control from three diagnoses of Celiacs in one week, I could turn my head more fully to what had me unable to walk of my own volition. This turned me to look inflammation squarely in the eyes.
See, we don’t all get through autoimmune diseases without inflammation. So, as the pain in my feet got greater, and the pain in my hip got greater, I knew I had to tweak my diet one more time. This time we were adding inflammation reduction to the mix. This affected my Vitamin Regime, My Liquid Regime and My Food Regime. Thankfully, it is focusing on two things – Antioxidants & Proper Fats.
Healing Inflammation through Food High in Antioxidants
High in Anti-Inflammatory AntioxidantsMost autoimmune inflammation is due to what is called oxidative stress. There are papers out there that explain this in very big words, but I like to keep it simple. Oxidative stress is another way of saying free-radicals – and the answer to free radicals are antioxidants. Anitoxidants can neutralize the free radicals which create the havoc behind out of control inflammation in the body.
To me, this makes life very simple (well kind of). Whatever I take in needs to be a positive, or high in antioxidants that will decrease the inflammation. This needs to be constant, and I have to find things that are palatable to me, or I will not stick to them.
Antioxidant Rich Foods That Help Reduce Inflammation
Antioxidant rich foods make themselves obvious. Foods rich in color are high in antioxidants. Here is a quick list of antioxidant rich foods that help reduce inflammation (click the “+” to learn more information):
Omega-3 Rich Foods That Help Reduce Inflammation
We normally get omega 3 fatty acids each and every day in the food we eat, but – and this is important – it is more about the omega-3/omega-6 concentrations that really matter. Omega-6 fatty acids are like free radicals in that they create damage instead of health (very simplified explaination). So, like antioxidants, we need to get in sufficient Omega-3’s to offset the Omega-6’s. The following is a list of foods high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Here is a list of foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids (click the “+” to learn more information):
Omega Rich Eggs
Flax Seed Oil