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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

                                [1] Medical News Today: Inflammation: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
                                [2] WebMD: What Is Inflammation?
                                [3] Honey Colony: Symptoms Of Inflammation: Can It Kill?
                                [4] Women’s Health: 6 Foods That Cause Inflammation
                                [5] Save Our Bones: Debunking The Milk Myth: Why Milk Is Bad For You And Your Bones
                                [6] Prevention: 10 Foods That Make Inflammation Worse
                                [7] Nutrition Facts: Why Deep Fried Foods May Cause Cancer
                                [8] WebMD: The Truth About White Foods
                                [9] Huffington Post: 9 Unfortunate Truths About Juicy, Scrumptious Bacon
                                [10] Eat This, Not That: 14 Inflammatory Foods Making You Fat
                                [11] National Institutes of Health: Beyond Hangovers
                                [12] Health: 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation
                                [13] Eating Well: What is a Serving of Vegetables?
                                [14] The Washington Post: Eat Your Kale

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                                Heather Poole

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                                Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                                100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                                100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                                Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                                By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                                Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                                83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                                  84 write random letter

                                    85 use a rubberband

                                      86 dorm smell bad

                                        87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                                          89 how to waterproof your shoes

                                            90 take a picture of the name card

                                              91 iron inside out

                                                92 old newspaper

                                                  93 tumble try shoes

                                                    keep a card like this

                                                      SONY DSC

                                                        94 soap bar

                                                          95 make a hole

                                                            96 drop the battery

                                                              97 use a coozie

                                                                98 when taking a picture

                                                                  use a clean dust pan

                                                                    try a pants hanger

                                                                      use your cellphone light

                                                                        use a spring from an old pen

                                                                          quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                                            user binder clips

                                                                              wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                                put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                                  clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                                    use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                                      doritos are great for kindling

                                                                                        use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                                          use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                                            freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                                              use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                                almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                                  sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                                    unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                                      cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                                        remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                                          turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                                            for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                                              how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                                tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                                  place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                                    ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                                      use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                                        take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                                          how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                                            put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                                              How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                                user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                                  good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                                    turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                                      50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                                        the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                                          add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                                            38

                                                                                                                                              hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                                stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                                  the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                                    how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                                      the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                                        use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                                          to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                                            user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                                              a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                                rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                                  use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                                    50

                                                                                                                                                                      51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                                        52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                                          rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                                            kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                                              use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                                58

                                                                                                                                                                                  59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                                    60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                                      hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                                        Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                                          hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                                            use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                                              if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                                keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                                    drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                                      use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                                        use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                                          do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                                            when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                              dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        20 Popular Life Hacks From the Internet Debunked (or Verified)

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