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Last Updated on January 12, 2018

What To Eat (And Not To Eat) When You Are Suffering From Inflammation!

What To Eat (And Not To Eat) When You Are Suffering From Inflammation!

Inflammation. You may hear that word and think of inflamed muscles or sprained ankles. Maybe you think of an anti-inflammatory capsule you always have on hand in your medicine cabinet. Or maybe you think of arthritis and problems you don’t yet have. But inflammation can happen to anyone.

Inflammation is not infection. In fact, inflammation is a good thing your body does in an attempt to protect itself. When something irritating or even dangerous affects a part of your body, there is a biological response to fight it. This is done through inflammation. [1] That swelling you’ve seen when you blow out your ankle or a knee may look scary (and sometimes really, really bad), but it’s actually the result of your body releasing white blood cells into your blood and other affected tissues. The sudden release of cells increases blood flow to the damaged area, thus causing some redness and warmth. [2]

What does inflammation feel like?

While it may seem counter-intuitive, inflammation can be a bit painful. Everyone experiences it differently, so for some it’s more of a discomfort, while others undergo stiffness and pulsating, pinching sensations. Inflammation causes this pain because the swelling can push against nerve endings telling your brain something hurts. In a bizarre fact, we’re pretty much in pain all day long (as far as our nerve endings are concerned), but our brain chooses to ignore those signals. However, inflammation is a unique pain that differs from what we feel 24/7. Therefore, we are more sensitive toward it.

Inflammation can be detrimental if occurring too often

Inflammation not only occurs when we do something like twist an ankle or wrist or land wrong on a knee or elbow, it can also occur if we are unhealthy.

In a recent study, researchers found that overweight men are at greater risk of inflammation than men of the same age who are more fit. This was largely due to unfit men having a higher white blood cell count than healthier men. For women, inflammation drops when they lose weight. A different study found that obese women who lost more than 5% of their body weight had lower levels of inflammation markers.

While inflammation can help a body heal, it has a time and place. That means if we are unhealthy and causing our bodies to become inflamed regularly, we can be at risk for several types of cancer and even heart disease.

Perhaps most shocking, if inflammation is occurring so often that it becomes a part of your every day life, it can lead to hyperactive healing that can damage tissues and even result in chronic inflammation. If inflammation becomes a chronic issue, your immune system begins to go into overdrive. Once this happens, inflammation can kill bad cells all the time, sure, but it can also begin to kill off the good, healthy cells. When this happens, inflammation can become a killer. In fact, medical experts trace it to 90% of all serious illnesses as well as autoimmune disorders and arthritis, diverticulitis and cystitis. [3]

Your food may be causing your inflammation!

While it can seem overwhelming to try to get all the vitamins, minerals, vegetables and water servings into our hectic daily lives, some of the things we snack on out of habit can actually be leading to inflammation and ultimately, diseases! Here are some things to avoid to protect yourself from unhealthy inflammation levels:

Dairy

    Here’s the thing, humans don’t need milk. Nature made milk for calves. Are you a baby cow? No. Calves need milk in order to gain weight quickly. Last I checked, most of us aren’t trying to gain weight, and even if we are, that milk we buy in stores usually doesn’t come straight from the udder.

    Now I know what you’re thinking: “But milk makes our bones strong! We do need it!”

    Wrong.

    Bone strength doesn’t come from milk or any other dairy product. In fact, we get that bone strength from plants! Dairy is highly inflammatory for most people, and drinking more processed milk (skim) actually makes the inflammation even worse. [4]

    Still not convinced? In 1994, a study showed that consuming dairy products, even at a young age, was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture later in life. [5]

    French Fries

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      I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but french fries are just plain bad for you. Well really, all fried foods are bad for you. While we all know they have a bad habit of making us gain weight (despite how incredibly yummy they can be!), if we cut out fried foods, we cut out inflammation. [6]

      One study found that feeding people a bag of potato chips (fried food) every day for a month highly increased inflammation and even their risk of cancer. [7]

      Doughnuts

        Okay, so clearly if we follow a diet full of anti-inflammatory foods, we’re probably going to lose weight. But why can’t doughnuts just be good for me?!

        Doughnuts are on the list of no-no’s because they contain refined flour and way more sugar than our body ever asked for. Oh, and while you’re at it, stop eating cookies cakes and…basically all sweet, delicious things. Ugh.

        One 2004 study showed people who ate too many refined carbs (like doughnuts) not only increased their risk of inflammation, but they were also at an increased risk of obesity and even diabetes. [8]

        Bacon

          Put down the maple-bacon glazed doughnuts. Bacon is also horrible for you (for a few reasons, but let’s focus on inflammation). Saturated fat, when heavily processed, contributes to inflammation. This goes for hot dogs and bologna, too.

          Along with increased inflammation, a study conducted by Columbia University found direct correlation between eating processed and cured meat such as bacon and developing chronic pulmonary disease. [9]

          (Too much) Alcohol

            A glass of wine a day has been shown to be beneficial, but too much of a good thing can lead to chronic inflammation. The process of breaking down alcohol creates toxic by-products in our bodies which can damage liver cells, promote inflammation and weaken our immune system. The term ‘Drink responsibly’ has never felt so appropriate. [10]

            Studies have shown that drinking to the point of drunkenness can cause your body to have trouble producing cytokines (the things that ward off infections by causing healthy inflammation). Without these, your body develops a reduced ability to fight off infections. [11]

            The right diet can lead to anti-inflammatory benefits

            While it may seem easy enough to grab a bottle of anti-inflammatory capsules, there are plenty of foods which offer anti-inflammatory benefits naturally.

            1. Tomatoes

              While you can’t have a BLT (remember, we are cutting out that bacon!), you can have tomatoes! [12]

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              Tomatoes are a nightshade vegetable rich in lycopene which helps reduce inflammation in the lungs and body. Cooked tomatoes are even better for you, so tomato sauce can count as a healthy addition to your diet. A 2013 Iranian study found that tomato juice was beneficial for reducing systematic inflammation. So drink up, but not too much. A serving of tomatoes is 1 cup chopped or sliced. [13]

              Try This:

              Healthy Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad

              This salad is filled to the brim with healthy, anti-inflammatory goodness. And it only takes 10 minutes to make! Enjoy.

              2. Ginger and Turmeric

                Various studies have shown that these spices hold anti-inflammatory properties. Add a pinch of either (about 500 mg) to your daily smoothie for part of a healthy diet. Turmeric helps the body to turn off NF-kappy B, a compound that triggers inflammation. Ginger can cut inflammation in the gut when taken as a supplement.

                Try This:

                Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Ginger Tea

                This tea can help relieve pain and inflammation while also aiding joint pain and arthritis.

                3. Kale

                  Kale is rich in anti-inflammatory goodness, as well as anti-cancer nutrients. It also works as an anti-inflammatory. Snack on one cup of chopped kale for a healthy, anti-inflammatory break. Research has shown that kale contains nearly 50 different types of flavonoids which boast anti-inflammatory effects. [14]

                  Kale and other leafy veggies boast Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.

                  Try this:

                  Sauteed Kale

                  Not only is this dish excellent for you, it’s also delicious. Enjoy it as a side or eat a bowl full!

                  4. Celery

                    Studies have proven celery is great because it contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Celery seeds also have impressive health benefits including lowering inflammation and fighting infection.

                    Celery also has Vitamins K, A, C and Potassium. Just one and a half stalks provide all the goodness you need in a day.

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                    Try This:

                    Braised Celery

                    Vegetarian, gluten-free and paleo, this braised celery is good for you on so many levels.

                    5. Blueberries

                      Studies have shown consuming more blueberries slowed cognitive decline and actually improved memory and motor function. Blueberries are full of antioxidants which protect the body and reduce inflammation.

                      Blueberries also have Vitamins K and C as well as Manganese. Aim for 1/2 a cup to reap the benefits.

                      Try This:

                      Blueberry Banana “Ice Cream”

                      Eating well doesn’t have to be boring. This two ingredient “ice cream” is so good for you, but it tastes so sweet!

                      6. Salmon

                        Salmon has fatty acids that are quintessential to a healthy lifestyle. They also boast omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation. Salmon is basically a health powerhouse, as it also contains Vitamins B12, D, B3, B6, Selenium, Protein and Phosphorous. Enjoy 2 to 3 ounces for all the health benefits.

                        Try This:

                        Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

                        Wow, wow, wow. This recipe has so many health benefits!! This is a delicious dinner you don’t have to feel guilty about.

                        7. Coconut Oil

                          Coconut oil is basically a miracle in a jar. You can put this stuff on your body, in your hair and of course in your system. The lipids found in coconut oil are filled with anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, a study in India showed the high levels of antioxidants in coconut oil were more effective at healing arthritis and other inflammatory problems than leading medicines. While coconut oil is super good for you, it’s pure fat. So only enjoy about a teaspoon a day.

                          Try This:

                          Coconut Oil Smoothie

                          This smoothie has dairy-free milk, coconut oil, and good-for-you fruits. Drink up!

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                          8. Walnuts

                            These little guys may not look like much, but they are filled with beneficial antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also full of omega-3’s (about 113% of your daily value!) and manganese. Munch on 1/4 cup (about one ounce) of walnuts at a time.

                            Try This:

                            Raw Walnut Brownies

                            These brownies substitute all that bad-for-you refined sugar and flour with dates and cacao powder. Gluten-free, vegan, paleo and delicious!

                            9. Beets

                              Beets. You either love them or you hate them. But beets are the color they are because of the antioxidant betalain. This antioxidant is known to be a fantastic anti-inflammatory. They also have Folate, Manganese, Potassium and Magnesium. Enjoy one cup at a time.

                              Try This:

                              Beet, Carrot and Apple Salad

                              This is a bowl full of health , and you’ll actually look forward to eating it! The sweet carrots and apples balance out the earthy beets.

                              10. Bok Choy

                                Bok Choy has Vitamin K, A and C. Plus, studies have shown there are over 70 antioxidant types in this green veggie! A serving size of one cup only has about 20 calories, too!

                                Try This:

                                Sauteed Ginger Bok Choy

                                Yep, this recipe has ginger and bok choy! Talk about a healthy dish! Though it does call for soy sauce, opt for a low sodium option to avoid inflammation from the salt.

                                Pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you!

                                So now that you know some foods to avoid, as well as foods to integrate into your diet, try to pay attention to the changes in your body. You’ll notice less inflammation, but you may even notice better, more steady energy, a happier gut and even weight loss! Have any more anti-inflammatory foods you swear by? We’d love to hear about them.

                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pixabay.com

                                Reference

                                More by this author

                                Heather Poole

                                Technical writer

                                How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears What If All the Choices You Make Every Day Aren’t What You Need Most? What To Eat (And Not To Eat) When You Are Suffering From Inflammation! Yes Life Can Be Boring Sometimes. But There’re Some Tricks to Make It More Interesting Why Our Personal Values Matter More Than Ever Today

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                                Last Updated on October 30, 2018

                                How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                                To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                                All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                                There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                                With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                                What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

                                1.Think big.

                                  From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                                  “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                                  There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                                  Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                                  Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                                  Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                                  Instead be ambitious.

                                  2.Find what you love to do and do it.

                                    From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                                    “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                                    This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                                    Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                                    If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                                    Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                                    Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                                    Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                                    3. Learn how to balance life.

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                                      From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                                      “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                                      All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                                      If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                                      However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                                      If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                                      In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                                      To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                                      4. Do not be afraid of failure.

                                        From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                                        “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                                        There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                                        Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                                        His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                                        He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                                        Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                                        Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                                        5. Have an unwavering resolution to succeed.

                                          From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                          “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                          This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                          It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

                                          If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

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                                          Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                          6. Be a person of action.

                                            From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                            “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                            Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                            Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                            When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renissance era Italy, we think of Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.

                                            Or think about the present day:

                                            Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                            You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                            All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                            Applying this to you?

                                            Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                            7. Avoid conflicts.

                                              From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                              The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                              The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                              People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                              This is key to good leadership.

                                              It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                              But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                              What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                              As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

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                                              8. Don’t be afraid of introducing new ideas.

                                                From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                                “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                                It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                                Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                                If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                                9. Believe in your capacity to succeed.

                                                  From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                                  “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                                  Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                                  It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                                  Keep dreaming!

                                                  10. Always maintain a positive mental attitude.

                                                    From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                                    “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                                    Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                                    Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                                    If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                                    However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                                    11. Don’t let discouragement stop you from pressing on.

                                                      From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                                      “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                                      It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

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                                                      When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

                                                      Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                                      If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                                      Take a look at these 5 Ways to Stop Self Doubt in its Tracks.

                                                      12. Be willing to work hard.

                                                        From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                                        “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                                        You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                                        Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                                        True success comes from work.

                                                        You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                                        Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                                        13. Be brave enough to follow your intuition.

                                                          From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                          “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                          In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                          If you strongly believe and desire something, the chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                          It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                          Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                          Final thoughts

                                                          What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                          Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this:

                                                          How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                          More Recommended Lifehack Experts in Success

                                                          • Mandie Holgate — Successful life coach in the UK, helping businesses and individuals achieve greatness
                                                          • David Carpenter — Lifelong entrepreneur and business owner helping others to realize the American Dream of business ownership
                                                          • Ray Zinn — An inventor, entrepreneur, bestselling author and the longest serving CEO in Silicon Valley

                                                          Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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