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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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