What you put in your body matters. Food fuels you and gives you the energy you need to get through the day. There are a lot of different choices when it comes to food. There’s also a vast divergence in the quality of foods that we consume.
In a world filled with tempting treats and eats, it’s good to take some time and reassess what your body needs. Ask yourself a couple of questions.
- How am I feeling right now?
- Am I giving my body the proper nutrition it needs?
Take stock. Just the act of pausing in your day-to-day affairs and asking the question slows you down and raises awareness. It also lets you be objective about where you’re at with your health and set intentions for where you feel you need to be. Then you can take steps to act on these intentions.
Here are some detox tips on what to clear out and what to add in to return your body to equilibrium and give yourself a little relief.
What to remove:
The typical American diet is filled with sugar, fat and fillers, all of which can wreak havoc on the body.
Cut out processed foods and try and go for whole-food alternatives. The closer it is to the earth, meaning the least interference it has on the way to your mouth, the better.
Something to consider. Gluten can be another inflammatory culprit affecting the gut as well as causing widespread inflammation if you’re intolerant to it. Remove it for a bit to see if you have any improvement. Your doctor can also check you for this sensitivity.
If the idea of cutting out all of these foods has you cowering in fear, don’t worry. This will actually give you a chance to engage with some of nature’s tastiest and nutrient-rich bounties that you may come to love. Investing in your health means investing in yourself.
What to add:
More plant food! Plant foods contain bioactive compounds including carotenoids and flavonoids that have been found to have a positive effect on the body’s inflammatory response. So load up on organic fruits, vegetables, carbs, proteins and healthy fats throughout the day. Variety is the spice of life, and will also make sure you get to cover all of your nutritional bases to get your body feeling its best.
Make sure to include superstars like antioxidant-rich berries (including Acai), cherries, grapes, dark leafy greens (including kale and spinach) and other nutrient-dense vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and peppers. Mushrooms, seaweed, olives, avocados, walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate, green tea, ginger and turmeric are other powerhouse foods you can eat for a healthy inflammatory response.
Your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids also plays a role. Too much omega-6 (found in fried foods, oil, dressing and mayonnaise) triggers an inflammatory response, while omega-3s help to lower it. Snack on omega-3 rich foods such as walnuts throughout the day. If you feel like your coming up short on your omega-3s, you can always take them as a supplement.
Turmeric contains curcumin. It has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Add it to your cooking or drink it as turmeric tea. You can also take it as a supplement as well.
While you’re having fun making all of these healthy changes, don’t forget to sleep! A good night’s sleep is also imperative to keeping inflammation in check. Plus, everyone feels better after a good night’s rest.
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