Don’t put your Food plan on Fire

We all agree that food and health are interrelated. There are enough evidences to prove it. Why would we otherwise opt for diet plans to lose or increase weight? Why would the doctor suggest only particular type of food for certain ailments? These questions re-emphasize the fact that it is important to eat right to stay healthy or maintain the balance in the body.

Food on fire

Ayurveda believes that bodies are of three types namely Kapha (earth or dense materials), Vata (wind or air) and Pitta (fire element) and eating the right type of food will help balance these Doshas in the body. Similarly, Chinese believe in the Yin and Yang i.e. warm and cold nature and recommend warm food for cold natured body and vice versa.

If you suffer from gastric disorders you choose particular types of food, if you have diarrhea you are going to incorporate food items that will counter attack the symptoms and thus cure it. Similar is the case of inflammations which occur commonly and can be avoided if you incorporate certain foods in your daily diet.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation – a very familiar word whose definition most of us don’t know. Yes, it’s just like those words where you know what they mean but cannot give an exact description. Most people describe what it looks like, how much it pains or when it occurs but the real cause, purpose and meaning is hidden.

“Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants.” – Wikipedia. In simple words, it is the body’s attempt for defense.

Inflammation - sore fingerYes you heard it right! If you have associated it with infections or ailments, then you were wrong. Your wounds, injuries or body in general would never heal if it was not for inflammations. When an inflammation occurs, it carries with itself leukocytes which support healing to the area. However, this is in the case of acute or good inflammations and last for not more than 7-10 days.

There is also something known as bad inflammation. This happens when the inflammation persists for long results in severe conditions like arthritis, asthma, sinusitis, tuberculosis and many more.

Causes of Inflammation

The causes of inflammation can be as simple as wounds or minor injuries but other silent causes include your diet, stress, environment, lifestyle, and increase in toxicity in the body etc.

Be active

  • Poor sleeping habits can also lead chronic inflammation. I know of many people who keep fiddling with their electronic gadgets late nights and this affects their sleeping patterns.
  • A sedentary lifestyle is the cause of infinite number of ailments and inflammation is the most severe one. Inactivity leads to low grade inflammation.
  • Low immunity is also one of the causes of chronic inflammation.
  • Highly processed and toxic food also induces inflammation.

How inflammation affects the body?

Anything in moderation is good whether it food, love or pain!

This applies to inflammation too. As long as the inflammation lasts for a week, it is going to help your body heal and is known as acute. However if it becomes chronic, it is going to start affecting your body negatively. In fact it will act like a silent killer! Scared – don’t be.

It is very easy to control inflammation just by eating right. You don’t have to starve yourself or add insipid food to your diet plan. Just eat all the good foods that help control inflammation and avoid foods that cause inflammation.

Foods that cause inflammation

Food and Health

You may be shocked to know how some of the regular food items trigger inflammation in the body. Take a look at the list below to check if you are eating too much of these:

  • Highly processed carbohydrates
  • High sugar foods
  • High Gluten foods
  • High fat meats
  • Rich desserts, sodas, candies, sweetened cereals
  • Vegetable Oils like Soy, sunflower, corn, cottonseed and margarine
  • Whole fat milk
  • Big meals
  • Sweetened full fat Yogurt
  • Foods like potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes
  • Baked products, pastry, pasta, bread – avoid these as much as you can
  • Excessive use of antibiotics

How to adapt an anti-inflammatory diet plan

Now let’s check anti-inflammatory foods that can be easily included in your daily meals. For all you know, you may be eating them everyday too. Following a very simple diet plan can work wonders and will help you to forget what chronic inflammation is.

Eat right

  • Begin your breakfast with whole grain cereals. Do not opt for cereals that are pre-sweetened or flavored.
    Replace white bread with wheat bread. No, brown bread is not wheat bread.
  • Poach your eggs instead of frying it. You can bake or broil it too.
  • Substitute cream cheese with ricotta or natural hard cheese.
  • Replace omega-6 fats (deep fried foods, vegetable oils) with omega-3 fats like olive oil, walnuts, flaxseed oil or flaxseeds, fish oil, hempseed, fatty fish etc.
  • Include essential carbs, fats and protein in every meal.
  • Replace refined flour pastas and breads with multigrain options. You can choose brown rice over regular rice too.
  • Spice your dishes with ginger, garlic, onions, cayenne peppers and turmeric. This is the easiest way to avoid inflammation.
  • If you are allergic or sensitive to certain foods, avoid them completely.
  • Like every dietician, the anti-inflammatory diet plan also recommends that you include lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Eat lots of greens, sweet potato, beans, carrots, broccoli and winter squashes.
  • Add fish to your diet instead of red meat.
  • Apples, blueberries, strawberries and nuts are great snacking options.
  • Replace your regular alcohol with red wine.
  • Choose green or black tea over coffee.
  • Above all, drink lots of water as it flushes out all the toxins from the body.
  • If you crave for dessert, eat a banana post meals. You can also use low fat yogurt and add natural sweeteners (no sugar) and fruits to it.
  • Make time for yourself. It is important to relax and rest well so that your body gets the time to balance all its constituents.
  • If you are inactive throughout the day, it is important that you take up some activity or exercise. Too much of relaxation is also the cause of inflammation.
  • Sleep at regular hours. Sleeping late and rising too early will weaken your immune system and thus increase the chances of inflammation.
  • Keep your surroundings clean. The environment and surroundings play an important role in preventing inflammation.

Make friends with nature. Don’t stay confined to your cabins. Step out and enjoy a walk and inhale some fresh air. We all know that a healthy body leads to longevity but we all sham away from following a healthy lifestyle.

Now that you know that chronic inflammation can lead to so many other ailments, work towards preventing it.

And yes, acute inflammation is good. So next time you are heart and feel the reddish sore or swelling around the wound, don’t be scared. Instead SMILE because your body is healing.

Image Credits: Robert Couse-Baker, L2F1, ejhogbin, lululemon athletica, katerha

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