Stop the Bad Swelling
Healthy Eating: January 2020
By Kris Holden
Inflammation is the body’s natural way of protecting itself from injury, infection and foreign substances.
It can be both beneficial and detrimental to our health. Lack of exercise, unmanaged stress, and inflammatory foods can all contribute to chronic inflammation. Thankfully, studies suggest that you can control and possibly reverse inflammation through a healthy, anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic (long-term). Acute inflammation, is beneficial and protects our health. It activates our immune system response to an injury, such as a cut or a bruise. This allows our body to repair and heal itself. Chronic inflammation can be harmful to our body. It occurs when the immune system gets flared up too often from continuous foreign invaders. The body doesn’t have time to heal and repair itself, which may cause low-grade inflammation throughout the body. What you eat can play a positive and negative role in managing chronic inflammation.
Foods that may increase inflammation in some people, are: refined carbohydrates (white bread, refined sugars and flour), fried foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, red meat and processed meat (deli meat, hot dogs and sausages), margarine, shortening and consuming an excessive amount of alcohol.
Thankfully there are a variety of foods that may help decrease inflammation. Eating more anti-inflammatory foods and less processed foods may allow our bodies to repair and heal. Some examples of anti-inflammatory foods are: tomatoes, garlic, celery, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale and collards), peppers and chili peppers, fresh fruit, especially dark colored berries, nuts, dark chocolate and green tea. Choose foods with high omega-fatty acids such as: organic tofu, organic soybeans, flax seeds and walnuts. Foods with healthy fats are avocados and olives. Incorporate anti-inflammatory spices in your cooking such as: ginger, rosemary, turmeric and cinnamon. Include whole grains with high fiber such as brown rice and whole wheat bread.
Daily exercise, rest and reducing stress are all ways to improve and prevent inflammation. Many people find healing and healthy benefits in meditation, yoga and walks on the beach or the forest. Take back control of your health, you are worth it.
Kris Holden is a mother of three teens. She’s a Feel Good Coach with focus on healing and energizing through a plant-based whole foods lifestyle. You can view other recipes and healthy food selections on Instagram @ feelgoodpicks reach her by email at [email protected]
Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup
1) In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
2) Stir in the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
3) Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired, to taste. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
4) Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 18 to 22 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.
5) Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted. Add the lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted bread and lime wedges.