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Anti Inflammatory Based Foods – How They Help

Anti Inflammatory Based Foods – How They Help

We have all heard anti inflammatory is the way to go. To avoid x or y to prevent ___.  There is so much different information out there how do you know what is right? It can become overwhelming as you start to read it all and try to implement or try different things. Once you hear about one new thing then there is another. Who is with me on this?!

I am going to make it a little easier for you. I have done alot of the research so I am going to lay out the basics. I like lament terms personally so if you are like me in that way then this will help!

First off—- What exactly does anti inflammatory mean?

Lets back up first then make our way to that…. The definition of inflammation “is a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection”. (1)  So when you think of it as our bodies defense mechanism meaning, when our immune systems think there is something harmful so it ups its defenses (our white blood cells, immune cells and cytokines). This is suppose to happen, however these things can go into overdrive, and that is where auto immune conditions come into play. For example Rheumatoid Arthritis- the immune system is attacking joints based on different factors putting up defenses to those areas. This happens when things like toxins, or medicines that build up over time in our liver, or having leaky gut occur and harmful substances are in our body for an extended period of time.  This would be referred to as chronic inflammation. On the other end of the spectrum though when you get red after your fall or eat something with too much histamine and react by allergies that in turn is an acute inflammation response.

Hopefully that helps somewhat!?

So WHY do we want to choose Anti Inflammatory Foods?

Alot of foods I grew up on like, chips, cookies, boxed meals, or really anything boxed for that matter have artificial preservatives and toxic like chemicals in them (I.E. Corn Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sodium Benzonate, Artificial Colors and Sweeteners)  these things have in some way been linked to cancer, diabetes, thyroid and metabolic damage, etc. So think of what these things are doing to your body when you ingest them. We weren’t made to process this fake stuff… so hello immune response, and if you consume them frequently hello chronic response.

Now this isn’t to say that only foods are the problem for inflammation, our environments such as mold, dust, gasoline and other fumes in the air and then the metals in the tap water we drink and use…. they all play a part too.

We want to add things to our diets and lifestyles that help us. That make us thrive. Our bodies were built for that believe it or not. Many Anti Inflammatory Foods listed below have super antioxidant, vitamin, mineral and nutritional properties that can help combat these harmful pathogens and toxins weve allowed ourselves to have over the years.

The Anti Inflammatory Food List

Eating the right foods that our bodies were made for can help us heal! Foods actually do have healing properties when eaten without any thing like preservatives or chemicals added to them.  The ones listed below are just a starting point, but some key things to look for when going to the grocery store.

Some staples to look for or start adding to your diet are:

  • Turmeric – a great spice that contains one of the best known things for inflammation curcumin. Curcumin is well known for fighting inflammation within the body. Now just sprinkling a little on your food isn’t going to cut it though. You need it mixed with black pepper and honestly the best is to take it in supplement form.
  • Vegetables – Like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels are great for some of their anti inflammatory compounds.
  • Organic Leafy Greens – These are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols which are protective compounds (think spinach, kale, collards)
  • Organic Cherries and other dark colored berries
  • Organic Wild BlueBerries – I love these. These have 2x the antioxidants of normal blueberries. I add them to my smoothie every morning
  • Organic Meats/ Poultry/ Fish/ Eggs – be sure to read where they originated from. Whether they were fed corn or soy as many “cage free” varieties are still fed these things which can in turn pass it to us when we ingest it.  (For fish look for Wild Caught) The EPA and DHA in fish like salmon and mackerel are great for helping combat inflammation as well.
  • Olive oil – (the best being extra virgin for anti inflammatory effects) – contain something called oleocanthal which is shown to have similar effects like taking ibuprofen.
  • Avocados – it is basically a superfood as far as I know lol. I love them personally but so does my body. They are packed with magnesium and fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats as well as other things that have been shown to help fight cancer risk.
Ok so what is the takeaway here?
Well for starters lets focus on incorporating some of the foods listed above into our diets. Along with that try to start eliminating or cutting back on soda, burgers, fries, anything with words you cant pronounce on the label.

Is that doable?? I think so!

Another option is to add in some good for you vitamins and whole minerals daily, You can check out some of my favorites here MY FAVORITES . I personally use the Daily Nutritional Support Daily with Wild Blueberries and Spinach. It is a great way to start the day!

As always if you have ANY questions please don’t hesitate to contact me!

-C

 

*This page may include links with partners that I could receive commissions on.*

The Key To Lowering Inflammation Through Workouts

The Key To Lowering Inflammation Through Workouts

What do you think of when thinking of ways to lower inflammation?  Getting a massage? Eating less processed foods? Taking supplements? What about working out? Does working out help? The answer is yes. Many types of work outs are proven to lower the bodies overall stress response and in turn can lower inflammation levels. However not all workouts are created equal.

When we think workouts that can help us lower inflammation we want to think more moderate exercise. Like a long walk, or something to get you moving for 20- 30 minutes.

In fact one study showed that just 20 minutes a day of exercise can prove to be beneficial in lowering inflammation in the body (again this is moderate exercise not super high intense stuff).  The reason being is it promotes our sympathetic nervous system, doing so can help fight off the overwhelming amount of TNF cells our body has. These guys aren’t necessarily bad, they help with our natural immune response when we are sick or get cut, etc. However due to chronic inflammation and us being exposed to so much they can be in overdrive and causing harm to us.

Moderate workouts can help.

Another study found that after following some mid aged individuals for 10 years who worked out only 2.5 hours a week they were able to decrease their inflammation levels by 12%. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3890998/

Why wouldn’t you want to do something more challenging??

The answer is because if you are already inflamed, if you already have too much stress in your life and in your body whether it is physical or mental, the last thing you want to do is add more stress to that. Intense workouts like crossfit, HIIT classes, really long runs, are just a few that can do more harm than good for some people. This is NOT to say no one should ever do them, but if you are working to lose weight and have not been able to for a while regardless of the work you are putting in, if you are stressed, not sleeping, etc, then you need to take a step back for a few and then you can rebuild yourself to be able to enjoy those more intense workouts again if that is your thing. You don’t want to add more stress to an already stressed out body!

 

So what types of workouts are recommended??

  • Walking – outside if you can – taking a decent pace can not only help those who are getting into working out moving but also those who work out hard can use a long walk as a reset to their taxed muscles. Walking promotes the lymphatic system to move and drain to help get rid of toxins and inflammation as well as blood circulation, and heart rate goes up!
  • Body weight or lighter resistance workouts – once you have a foundation built doing lighter weights or moderate resistance workouts can be great for helping the joints get more mobility and the muscles to get active and working properly. Always start slow and progress your way up. This is why I always start clients with a foundation building phase. It is something I learned over the years from some of the great people I work with at CYB Atlanta but it really does help in the long run to ensure you are moving and doing right for your body.
  • Yoga and/or mediation with deep breathing – deep breathing is my go to for everyone. Be it fitness professionals, every generation, pre and post natal women, I could go on. It promotes relaxation in the body by really turning on the right responses, It therefore decreases stress all over – hence inflammation decreases. Yoga incorporates this so you can do two things at once. If you are not into yoga then just simply practicing deep breathing 5-10 minutes a day can make a big difference, add in mediation if you can to get even more bang for you buck. See more on that here
  • Foam rolling and stretching may not be a “workout” for most but it should definitely be part of your workout program. Your muscles need to be loved and worked on. Foam rolling is great way to do just that and to not have to spend tons of money on massages every week.
    • Not sure what this is? I got you-
Overall working out is a benefit to us. No matter what our fitness level or goals. Moving a little bit each day can really go a long way. Putting ourselves as a priority and taking care of ourselves through working out, rest, and movement will pay off for not only ourselves but others around us too.

You can get a four week workout program and save $10 with code CHANGEUP by going here. – WORKOUT PROGRAM

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Our Hips Don’t Lie

Our Hips Don’t Lie

Our hips….. Lawd if I had a dollar for everytime someone told me they have tight hips. It is funny though because I feel like alot of us relate everything tight in the front of our legs as our hips even the inner thigh area. Not that it is necessarily wrong but most of us do not even know what are hips are, what they do, and why they are important. If I asked you would you know?

Here is an example of how our hips get slightly flexed when walking.

Well lets go a little deeper into it then. Our hips are really a MAJOR player in our mobility, our comfort and ability to workout properly, move properly and do everyday things. So to give you a clear understanding, our hips are not just one muscle, we tend to think of “hip flexors” which are but essentially there are 11 of those bad boys responsible for “flexing our hip”. To clarify, to “flex” our hip means to basically swing or raise our leg. Think of when you are stepping up (the knee is bent and leg is 90 degrees aka flexing the hip), when you are walking and swinging your leg forward or when running that is also a degree of hip flexion, when you sit at a desk (like I am right now)…. My hips are flexed. So they get into this position alot, more than they probably get extended…. So they can get tightened and shortened from being this way. That is why we want to not only work to get them less tight, but do so my strengthening the muscles that also work to extend the hip… ya follow??

For example – if we strengthen our glutes and hamstrings more and they can bear more of a load as they are intended then we can take some of the pressure off of our hip flexors. Our glutes and hamstrings are meant to be primary movers as they help extend the hip (think kick back when we walk or run or push off rather) and internally and externally rotate our legs. They also help balance everything out. When we sit alot and our hips shorten then naturally the bigger muscles on the front of our legs take over when we move (think quadriceps) this automatically causes weakness in our glutes and hamstrings because they dont get to do any work. This also can cause too much pressure on our knees and can lead to our pelvis tilting forward because the hips are pulling it down. Then lower back pain starts, we get overstretched and underworked hamstrings and a weak core. If we strengthen the core, hamstrings and glutes it can pull our pelvis into alignment so our posture improves and back pain can diminish.

I know that is alot of information but can you see why keeping our hips mobile and training from a total body approach is important?? If we can get everything balanced out in the front and the back so to speak then we can move and feel better. It is something that is often so overlooked. Do me a favor try stretching your hips out right now, or foam rolling them. If you are confused how then check out the video below.

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