I have been getting great feedback on my other “Tricks of the Trade” posts, so I figured I would keep them coming. This one is yet again related to nutrition and includes general health tips, not any specific diet, that will help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Eat an assortment of fruits and vegetables with at least 1/3 of them uncooked: Not only do we know that this will help reduce the likelihood of many chronic diseases, consuming FRESH fruits and vegetables will deliver a higher amount of phytochemicals and enzymes that have not been broken down due to heat (denaturation).
Avoid refined foods and carbohydrates. This one is tough for me. It includes all white flour products like breads, pastas, rices, and so forth that spike insulin secretion and can lead to chronic diseases and more acutely impaired digestion and inflammation. Feeling bloated? How much sugar and white flour have you been consuming lately? You might see this associated with “flat belly workouts” which are on the cover of just about every magazine. If you want a flat belly, start on the inside with your nutrition.
Reduce meat and dairy consumption. Animal products don’t contain fiber, antioxidants, or phytochemicals. They are also high in saturated fats, and in some cases hormones, pesticides, and other chemicals depending on how the animal was raised. Dairy products can also cause digestive inflammation. For anyone I know who has any kind of skin problem I immediately encourage them to look at their dairy consumption and rule that out as a potential allergy. All of the systems of your body are related and that is true for your digestive and integumentary systems.
Eat the right fats. Fat has gotten a bad rap over the last couple of decades. All fats are not created equal. The typical American diet tends to have plenty of Omega 6s which are found in meat, vegetable oils, soy, safflower and corn. What the American diet needs more of are the Omega 3s which are found in fish, flax, hemp, and walnut oils. Whenever I see an adult with great skin, I ask them about their lifestyle. It never fails that they eat foods that are high in Omega 6s (and they do yoga – I’m working on that.)
Drink lots of purified water. With the average body consisting of 10 gallons of water, typically at least an equivalent of 6 glasses of water is lost to urination, sweat, and breathing.
Some of the most common and overlooked allergens (which cause inflammation) are: wheat, corn, soy, and dairy. All of which are VERY COMMON ingredients in many packaged products. Start reading ingredient lists!