Food As Medicine: Decreasing Body Inflammation Naturally

Ahhhh, inflammation. That dreaded word and concept that consistently plagues the body with symptoms of extra puffiness, pain, stiffness, achiness, decreased strength, headaches, and can also set the stage for future diseases and physical ailments. To utter that word to explain why pain or physical ailments exist is a sure trigger of the eye-rolling. People get so used to thinking that chronic inflammation is a normal part of the human experience and can not be self-altered without drastic lifestyle changes or medications. But, my friends, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am here to tell you that even small dietary changes can decrease your inflammation greatly.

First and foremost, let’s talk about what inflammation is. If you have not lived under a rock your entire life or have not spent your existing days in a float tank, you have experienced inflammation before. It is a localized physical condition that typically is seen following an injury or during an infection. The area is red, swollen, hot, painful, and the area on the body feels very tight. These forms of inflammation are actually very beneficial because they tell you when there is an injury or an issue that needs resolved immediately. But, what about internal inflammation – the inflammation that is within the body and filtrates throughout our organs and cells? What is that all about?

Internal inflammation can occur for various reasons such as the foods we eat, high temperature cooking, the chemical products we buy, sugar, trans fats, our environment, etc etc. When we live in a world that seemly everything is processed and that we have to search to find the environmental triggers that are not going to ultimately zap us from existence, it can be challenging! But, one simple thing that you can do today? Combat the amount of internal inflammation through your diet!

At the physical therapy clinic that I work in, we were talking about nutrition and I started to think – do all of  you know some of the best foods to help promote healing and workout recovery? Do you know foods that are incredible for combating inflammation (from workouts, injuries, arthritis, humidity, etc) and pain control? If not, this would be an awesome place for you to visit and experiment with because it could mean the difference between getting back into your active lifestyles or sitting on the sidelines mopping around and sporting your team’s jersey. Let’s get planning your next grocery list…

What are my top 11 suggested anti-inflammatory?

  • Tumeric
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries)
  • Green tea
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green leafy veggies and cruciferous veggies
  • Wild Alaskan salmon
  • Seaweed (not in olive oil)
  • Coconut oil

What are the top 11 foods that cause more inflammation and slower recovery?

  • Conventional dairies
  • Sugar!!!! This is one of the biggest culprits! Almost everything processed has added sugar and it attacks the body with a vengeance. Beware!
  • Trans Fats
  • Gluten (found in wheat, barley, rye, etc)
  • Refined Carbs (white flour, baked goods, white pasta, etc) and processed foods
  • Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Aspartame
  • Alcohol
  • Conventional meats
  • Farm-raised fish
  • Artificial foods additives

Add a little spice to your life…


Where do you go from here?

First off, be picky! Choose your foods wisely and read labels. If any of the above “no-go” ingredients is listed, then investigate further. You only have one vessel to guide you through this journey that is life. Feed it right and with priority! I have found that the 80/20 lifestyle is super livable and incredibly healthy, physically and mentally. What is the 80/20 lifestyle? Partaking in a nutritional plan where 80% of your daily intake is fresh, anti-inflammatory, healthy foods and the other 20% are foods that are not quite as healthy and are more comfort foods. Soothing the mind and the body is important in the anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Remember, my friends, when you are stressed out and your life is chaotic, that creates tension within and increased fluid accumulation (inflammation) tends to filtrate throughout the body. Keeping a balanced mind, body, and lifestyle can decrease your inflammation greatly!


Take action now! What are you doing to support or not support a healthy body? Are you currently eating anti-inflammatory foods? I want you to search for some recipes for the next week that includes at least 5 of the above anti-inflammatory foods and commit to creating them. Get your shopping list ready right now and plan your trip. This experience can surly change your life!

Are you currently eating pretty clean? What does it look like for you and what are your favorite foods/recipes? I want to hear all about it! Live your life with passion and purpose…

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