By Natalie Mariani Kling, CCN
I hate to admit it, but when I reached the big 4-0, I started to feel the beginning of inflammation. It’s so subtle at first…an achy finger, tender elbow, slight headache. You can almost ignore it, and I did. Until it triggered my vanity. Skin rashes and break outs were unacceptable!
So me and myself had a little talk. Because as a nutritionist I know one thing. The source of almost all aches, pains and illnesses is inflammation. Get rid of inflammation and you can feel like a kid again.
So I got myself on an anti-inflammatory plan. And whenever I feel a little rusty, I go right back to it. Here are my favorite 10 anti-inflammatory practices.1. Start Your Morning with a Green Drink.
Greens are magic. They lower inflammation and have tons of nutrients including all the protein and calcium we need to feel strong and energized. They are also natural cleansers. The more greens we eat a day, the quicker we can restore health. Go greens!
2. Get Your MOVE on!
I know we’ve all been told before, and I’ve definitely resisted exercise like the plague. But the bottom line is, you move, you feel better. A brisk walk, 10 minutes on a rebounder, or a little yoga boosts your mood and encourages waste to move out of your tissues. Stretch yourself, soak in some vitamin D, find some joy, and experience the cleansing and anti-inflammatory effects of moving.
3. Eat Fats
Did you know that when our country began the “no fat/low fat” campaign that our collective weight went up in direct correlation to the amount of “no fat/low fat” products on the shelves?! Healthy fats are actually so important. They are not only anti-inflammatory, but they support our cellular health, our hearts, our brains, our guts…. They give us more sustained energy and less desire for unhealthy carbs and sugars. So eat fats! Think avocados, raw nuts and seeds, raw nut butters, ghee, grassfed butter, goat cheese, goat yogurt, wild fish, and dark chocolate (Yes, that’s what I said…more dark chocolate please!)
4. Ditch Processed Foods
When humans eat real foods from the earth, they have lower rates of virtually all of our western diseases including depression, and mental disorders. When food is heavily processed, stripped of its nutrients and filled with stuff that will make it look and taste good like sugars, colors, binders, and chemicals, it adds to our inflammation. We have to go back to real, whole food to lower inflammation, boost our immunity, increase our energy and feel good again!
5. Ditch the Major Allergens
The FDA has listed 8 major allergens. Many of us haven’t been diagnosed with specific allergies, but things like gluten can wear down our gut lining over time. So if you’re feeling a little off, or things seem to be getting a litte worse, it may be a good idea to get off the allergens for awhile. The 8 major allergens are: dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and gluten.
6. Ditch Added Sugar
Sugar has become one of the hardest ingredients to avoid. Pick up any product in the store, and you’ll likely see added sugar listed in one of its over 60 names like rice syrup, maltose, sucrose, corn syrup. Even proteins like bacon and salami can be loaded with sugar. Reducing processed sugars in your diet can reduce cravings, restore balance and lower inflammation.
Trying meditation can sound a little overwhelming. But the research is astounding. It shows that just 10 minutes a day of silent breathing lowers inflammation. Grab a guided meditation CD, or just quietly listen to your inhale and exhale. This ancient stress reliever can also do wonders for your anxiety, depression, mental state and energy!
There’s a reason Arianna Huffington recommends “sleeping your way to the top.” Sleep is highly underestimated in its powerful rebalancing of our bodies. When we sleep, we detox, recalibrate, and heal. The more sleep we get, the higher we function mentally and physically. Get a relaxing bedtime routine going, turn off your screens, use essential oils and make your sleep ritual sacred…because it is!
9. Laugh with People You Love
Some of the healthiest communities around the world have this in common. They have built in communities with shared values. This is something we’ve lost touch with in the Western world. And with COVID, we’ve never needed community more. So jump on zoom with your girlfriends or people you trust. Lean on others and allow others to lean on you…that is how we reduce our stress, lower inflammatory responses in the body and find deeper peace and satisfaction in life, not to mention FUN!
10. Supplement Strategically
I don’t usually recommend a ton of supplements to my clients. But a few strategic, high quality supplements can be super helpful. I love a good multi-vitamin, fish oil, and definitely a probiotic!
Experimenting with these 10 health generating, anti-inflammatory principles and slowly working them into your life, will give you the power to age more gracefully, reduce pain and swelling in the body, help you sleep, give you more energy, boost your immune system, and so much more! Start with one. And know that the more you live these principles, the more you’ll be able to experience deep and lasting health!
The views and opinions expressed on this website belong soley to the original author and do not necessarily represent Mariani, its owners, partners or staff. Information contained in this blog post is for information only and should by no means be seen as medical or nursing advice, nor is it meant to take the place of your seeing licensed health professionals. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.