Lifestyle Tips on Fighting Inflammation
In the article 8 Great Anti-Inflammation Foods, I investigated the science behind some foods that help fight inflammation.
Now, I'm going to look at some ways to use that information to prepare great-tasting meals! I will also share some non-diet ways that have worked keep the pain away from my life.
If you’re into trying new and exotic things, Tinola may be what you’re looking for. It’s a traditional Philippine soup with moringa, chicken, lemongrass, and ginger. And I can vouch for its great taste and pain-relieving benefits.
Incorporating more than just one of the eight great foods into your diet also compounds the anti-inflammatory effects. Check out the recipe for this Reform Balance Green Smoothie bowl. It features a whopping 5 out of the 8 anti-inflammatory foods, including moringa powder, green tea, cherries, berries, and dark chocolate. I eat this if we I know I’m about to have a stressful day or am recovering from an intense workout. This translates to pretty much every day.
When I’m looking to have something a bit more savory, a Reform Balance stir fry combines coconut oil, peppers and chili (3 out of 8) into a splendid dinner.
The possibilities are endless. I continue to look for more creative ways of combining the eight greats. What ideas do you have? We’d love to hear all about them in the comments below.
I learned in my journey, too, that despite how powerful these foods were, to truly win my battle against inflammation, I needed to change how I ate, not just what I ate.
What may come to your mind is yoga and meditation. And while those practices have also been shown to mitigate inflammation by unkinking pent up stress and tightness in the body, what I practice is a bit different from what is popularly understood by these terms.
Sometimes, when I’m stressed, coming home straight from work, an episode from the day keeps playing in my head, and I find myself unconsciously clenching my jaw, or tearing violently into the food I eat. I also find that I eat fast, clearing my plate sometimes in just five minutes.
This is why, for me, relaxation can sometimes mean something as simple as making it a point to eat together with family whenever I can. When I do so, before we all eat we pray. We are Christians, and prayer is a time to stop and remind us of how grateful we are for the food we have.
What’s more, is that the action of being stopped and grounded in the moment allows me to unwind and forget about all the day’s trouble. When I eat, then, the experience becomes more relaxing. Combined with pleasant conversation that allows me to put my utensils down, chew, shallow properly, and hydrate to engage more, I noticed that I was able to enjoy my food and didn’t finish in record times, either. By allowing my body to be in this state, it also aided in the digestion and absorption of the nutrients needed to battle inflammation.
This was a great observation for me because I realized how closely these processes were related to the breathing exercises of meditation. So even if you are not religious or spiritual, you can still practice taking a few deep breaths before you eat, or after any particularly stressful experience, and note the calming effects for yourself!