We put our bodies through a lot each and every day. Stress, exercise, environmental threats, poor eating choices, lack of sleep and more contribute to the strain our bodies combat. Now, understand that your body is well-equipped to deal with these sorts of stresses over short periods of time. But, if we continue to put our bodies through the wringer, without giving it the proper help it deserves and needs, it may breakdown in one form or another.
So, what can we do to help or give back to our bodies? Getting adequate sleep is incredibly important. Hydration is also a key. But, nutrition stands atop the importance heap (for this article anyway). If give your body proper nutrition, actually nourishing it, you’ll feel a difference that lasts and empowers. Conversely, if you fail to give your body the right nutrients, or feed your body damaging foods, your body has an additional fight on its hands (one that it rarely wins).
The most important types of foods are those that have inherent, anti-inflammatory properties. You should fill your diet with these types of foods, and avoid those foods that increase the inflammation in your body. In this article, we’ll talk about both types of foods, and help you fill your diet foods will help you feel super, and avoid the foods that detract from that wonderful feeling. Ready?
ONE, IMPORTANT TRUTH
Not one single food, ingredient, or compound can be called unhealthy or healthy all by itself. Understand that health, or unhealthy, comes from the sum total of all of the foods that you choose to eat. One cookie isn’t going to completely destroy you, your diet, or your life. But a cookie every single night starts to add up and can become an unhealthy habit. Similarly, eating one apple isn’t going to make you a grandiose example of human health. But, staying consistent, filling your diets with healthy foods like apples day in and day out will make you healthy. It’s all about consistency.
These next paragraphs will act as general rules and guidelines that detail which foods to avoid in bulk and which foods to consume in bulk.
Inflammation through diet typically comes from oxidation. The foods that you consume have oxidative qualities, or free radicals, that attack your cells, causing them, in a state of protective reaction, to inflame. This inflammation keeps you relatively safe from these free radicals. However, eating too much of these inflammatory foods too consistently can lead to fatigue, poor recovery, and, if left unchecked for too long, chronic illness. In fact, you may have noticed after a weekend of partying and eating poorly, you feel terrible come Monday morning. It’s hard to wake up. Hard to work out. Hard to get going. That’s because you basically attacked your body with everything you ate.
Here are the top, inflammatory-inducing foods you should try to avoid:
-Processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup (we all know and love these kinds of foods and treats)
-Artificial trans fat (these are typically included in foods to extend shelf life and enhance flavor). Unlike its natural counterpart, often found in meat and dairy, this artificial additive can harm your body long-term. Foods like margarine, fries, most fast food options, packaged cakes and cookies, have substantial amounts of artificial trans fat.
-Vegetable Oils (these are normally included in cooking and fast foods). These do not include olive oil or avocado oil.
-Refined Carbohydrates. Not all carbohydrates are bad! We need to make that clear. What are bad are these refined carbohydrates that have had all of their fiber stripped from them. This is done to enhance flavor, while simultaneously decreasing nutrition value.
-Beverages like alcohol or sugar-filled sodas. Even your wine intake may be harming you if you drink too much.
Hopefully, the last section didn’t bum you out too much. You may have just realized that a large portion of your diet is made of this inflammation-boosting foods. But, don’t worry, anti-inflammatory foods are not only delicious, but filling! So, try to fill your diet with the following foods. As you do, your cells will be given anti-oxidant power to fight against environmental threats, helping you recover, perform, and find natural energy as you work and exercise.
These are the foods you should be filling your diet with:
-Berries (all types of berried). They’re full of wonderful vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
-Fatty fish. The omegas and protein found within these meats helps your body recover and empowers it to heal and fortify.
-Broccoli. You’re not five anymore. You don’t have an excuse to not eat your greens.
-Avocado. Again, more healthy fats to help you repair.
-Extra virgin olive oil. Studies have shown that those who eat a mediterranean diet are some of the healthiest people in the world!
-Tomatoes. These are full of anti-inflammatory properties.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We’ve said it many times on here: if you take care to fill your diet with good things, you’ll have little to no room for the bad. Aim to fill your diet with these anti-inflammatory foods to finally give your body the help it needs. It fights for you constantly. Why not give it some ammunition to fight better?