Volume 9, Issue 4

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Page 20 | Abby's Magazine | Chronic inflammation is said to be the root cause of a host of health problems. Multiple factors contribute to the inflammatory process, including age and lifestyle factors such as stress, lack of exercise, and poor food choices [1]. When your body recognizes anything that is foreign such as a chemical, an invading microbe, or even plant pollen your immune system becomes activated and releases chemicals to attack what it thinks is foreign. This reaction often triggers a process called inflammation. Occasional bouts of inflammation directed at truly threatening invaders protect your health. However, sometimes inflammation persists even when a foreign invader does not threaten you. This is when a minor inflammation can become a major problem. When this happens day in and day out, your body becomes chronically inflamed, most often resulting in some health problem or complaint. Since poor food and drink choices may trigger the body's inflammatory response, one of the simplest things you can do to reduce inflammation is eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Of course, reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and increasing exercise help too! What is an anti-inflammatory diet? An anti-inflammatory diet is designed to prevent or reduce low-grade inflammation in the body. It is usually rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, fish, and certain culinary herbs and spices. Foods rich in antioxidants help reduce inflammation by reducing the damage from free radicals. For an eating plan that closely follows the principles of anti-inflammatory eating, consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils. What does an anti-inflammatory diet do? An anti-inflammatory diet keeps inflammation in the body at bay, and may even help reduce it for good. In fact, one of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but from the grocery store. The following foods help reduce inflammation in the body and can easily be incorporated into the diet on a daily basis: • berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries) • dark leafy vegetables (such as kale, spinach, and collard greens) • fruits (such as cherries, pineapple, papaya, apples, tomatoes, and avocados) • nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, and pecans) • herbs and spices (such as turmeric, cayenne, ginger, rosemary and cinnamon) • healthy oils (such as olive oil, omega-3 oils from fish and nuts/seeds) • deep sea fish (such as salmon, anchovies, and sardines) What about anti-inflammatory drinks? Although a general overall anti-inflammatory diet is a good lifestyle change if you suffer from chronic inflammation, anti-inflammatory drinks are easy to prepare at any time of day. They also digest much faster than most anti-inflammatory foods. One drink that often gets overlooked is water. Water hydrates, cleanses by flushing out toxins in the body, and can help soothe inflammation. You can also elevate your plain glass of water by adding lemon or ginger. Lemon has alkalizing properties, and ginger contains gingerols that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Not a fan of cold water? Make it into a tea! Lemon and ginger tea is delicious with a touch of honey, and you can even add in some turmeric for an extra anti-inflammatory punch. Celery juice has been on the forefront of the healthy juicing movement lately, and for good reason. Along with its vast array of healing benefits, celery juice is full of powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and has been shown to reverse inflammation by starving pathogens. Celery Juice INGREDIENTS: 1 bunch organic celery DIRECTIONS: Rinse the celery and run it through a juicer. Drink immediately for best results. Alternatively, chop the celery and blend it in a high-speed blender until Easy Anti-Inflammatory Drinks YOU Can Make At Home Written by Lidia Gled, BHSc., ND (Australia), RNCP

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