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8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Include In Your Diet

8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Include In Your Diet

Inflammation in your body is a process that can be part of a normal immune response. The body needs it in many different situations, for example, without it we could not heal properly. Bad habits, work related stress, environmental pollution, and your diet in particular can create a situation of systemic or chronic inflammation in your body. This is a serious situation that you wish to avoid as most modern common life threatening diseases, such as heart disease, chronic pain, cancer, memory loss, and autoimmune diseases are very closely associated with a pre-existing condition of chronic inflammation.

Fortunately, Mother Nature gave use many options, backed by modern science, that we can use to prevent or manage such situations. Indeed, a lot very powerful anti-inflammatory compounds are present in some special food items.

Here are the 8 most powerful and delicious anti-inflammatory foods that you should include in your diet in order to prevent or fight inflammation.

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1. Ginger

Widely used in Asian cuisine for its aroma and flavour, ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds called gingerols, which have been valued for centuries and more recently researched by scientist. Many people with different kinds of arthritis are using it with great results to reduce pain and improve their mobility by significantly reducing their inflammation problems. Learning how to cook with ginger could become your most powerful strategy against inflammation. It is surely worth incorporating into your diet for its taste and overall effect.

2. Turmeric

This bright yellow spice can be used to give color, aroma or a slightly bitter taste to a recipe as it has long been used as a potent anti-inflammatory in Asian medicine and have also been shown in many modern scientific studies to be comparable to the popular drug ibuprofen, also known as Advil. But unlike Advil, turmeric doesn’t produce any toxicity. Turmeric can be added to a lot of recipe without altering the taste too much which gives you another powerful and convenient weapon to add to your anti-inflammatory arsenal.

3. Coconut Oil

Using coconut oil for cooking is a great idea. Not only this oil doesn’t generate toxic byproducts when cooked at high temperature like most oils do, but it also contains a special compound called lauric acid, which has been shown by research to have great anti-inflammatory properties.

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Also, one of the most important causes of chronic inflammation in the body is the imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Basically, what this means is that, on the one hand, you do not have enough omega-3 while, on the other hand, you just have too much omega-6. Most vegetable cooking oils, such as corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil and margarine are full of omega-6. Replacing them by coconut oil will enable you to attack the problem from two different angles.

4. Walnuts

They are awesome as a simple snack, for they are packed with vitamins and minerals. They are also a great addition to your diet due to the presence of some very special and unique compounds that are excellent anti-inflammatory nutrients and able to decrease the risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer significantly. Note that those compounds are mainly found in the thin darker skin that covers the nut inside the shell, so don’t forget to eat that part too!

5. Wild Fatty Fish

Those tasteful fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or sardines are all packed with omega-3 fatty acid that is one of your best weapon against chronic inflammations. Scientific studies that compared ibuprofen, also known as Advil, and omega-3 have demonstrated that they have equivalent effect in reducing arthritic pain! This is now a well-known fact, but you should also know 2 important things about those fatty fish.

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First, if it is farmed, and most likely fed with a corn-based diet as a result, means that the quantity of omega-3 will be significantly lower. For this particular reason, you need to look for wild ones. Second, omega-3 fatty acids are very delicate and can be destroyed if cooked at high temperature, for example when you go about deep-frying fish, so take your time and cook them slowly at a lower temperature.

6. Berries

Another set of convenient snacks that serve as anti-inflammatories include blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries. They are full of flavonoids that are considered great antioxidants. Those flavonoids found in berries possess an abundance of anti-inflammatory properties that protect the cells against damage caused by inflammation. Those flavonoids are concentrated in the skin of the berries and usually give this great red to purple color to the fruit.

7. Cruciferous vegetables

They are great to add flavor and color to your favourite meals; broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and many others have been proven to be full of antioxidants and important vitamins such as Vitamin C and E that reduce oxidative stress, estrogenic activities, thus providing great help against inflammation while they are also great tools to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer or coronary artery disease.

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8. Beets

Delicious, affordable, and easy to find beets are the very unique sources of powerful nutrients called betalains. Those nutrients have been shown to provide strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties. They act by inhibiting the pro-inflammatory – cyclooxygenase – enzymes and also help to repair the damage caused by inflammation at a cellular level. If prepared roasted, slow-cooked, or boiled, they can be an easy addition to your dinner meals.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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