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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 January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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