How To Know If You Have Inflammation And 5 Things To Do To Reduce It
How To Know If You Have Inflammation And 5 Things To Do To Reduce It
Written by: Kavata Kithome
Do you have inflammation now?
The answer is an undeniable YES.
Now that you are thoroughly alarmed, I can tell you that that this question isn’t as important as finding out whether or not you have inflammation that is harmful (chronic, low level, causing harm to your blood vessels, your muscles, or causing you to gain weight). As I’ve discussed before, your body can also use inflammation for good.
But, if you have symptoms like headaches, bloating, joint pain, rashes, fatigue, weight gain, allergies, asthma, or mood swings, there is a big possibility that you are harmfully inflamed. It is also important to remember that inflammation can be “silent” or difficult to detect as well.
The reason it is such a huge problem is because inflammation is the root cause of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension and cancer.
Being able to detect (harmful) inflammation is a very important skill, because it can help you keep your body healthy and in peak performance. This is why listening to your body is so important. For me, there are some signs that I look for to tell how my body is doing. Things like when my eczema flares up or when I have headaches are indications that I may be inflamed.
To help bring my body back into a balanced state, there are a few solutions that I have found to be immensely helpful. These solutions are personalized, but I believe you will find them to be helpful too!
Here Are 5 Ways To Help “Fix” Inflammation
#1. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Food is a great way to begin changing your inflammatory state. This is because food is medicine. Eating more antioxidant and polyphenol-rich foods (like blueberries) can help fight free radicals, which can help calm inflammation.
What I found works best is eating about six to nine servings of green leafy vegetables like bok choy and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. I also found that drinking green tea (no sugar) also helps. I also like to up my omega-3-rich foods like seeds, nuts and oils and flavor my goods with garlic, ginger, turmeric and pepper.
Try this amazing recipe from our friends from feed me phoebe that showcases a lot of the foods mentioned above.
Salmon And Quinoa Bowls With Kale And Tahini-Yogurt Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 4
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 1 bunch Lacinato, Tuscan or dinosaur kale, thick stems removed and thinly sliced (I love the dinosaur kale)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
- ¼ cup dried currants, cranberries or cherries
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
- Four 4-ounce sockeye salmon fillets (skin on)
For the sauce:
- ¼ cup tahini paste
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ½ tsp sea salt
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, then let stand covered for 10 minutes off the heat. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
2. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, carrots, lemon juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon sea salt. With clean hands, toss the kale until very well coated in the lemon and oil. Add the cooked quinoa to the kale along with the chickpeas, dried fruit and hemp seeds (if using). Mix until well-incorporated and taste for seasoning.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet. Pat the salmon dry and season with salt. Cook the salmon skin-side down over high heat until nicely browned, 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip the fish and cook for another 2 minutes, until opaque up the sides.
4. Divide the quinoa between 4 bowls and top with the seared salmon.
5. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce until smooth. Add more water as necessary to make the sauce drizzle-friendly. Spoon over the fish and serve immediately.
#2. Eliminate Sugar And Refined Carbohydrates
I am sure that this comes as no surprise to you. Sugar and refined carbohydrates spark inflammation by deregulating glucose and insulin, leading to oxidative stress.
For me, what I do is opt to remove refined carbohydrates and sugar all together. This may be challenging for some, so I definitely recommend using stevia for sweetness and sprouted grains for an occasional bread fix.
But if you are wanting to go cold turkey, try this amazing sweet potato hash recipe that will satisfy and have you never looking back on those icky refined carbs.
Quick Sweet Potato Hash
Prep Time: 2 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 17 min
- 1 small sweet potato, cubed
- ½ small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cayenne pepper
- Salt & pepper
- ½ bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 egg
1. In a small pan over medium heat, cook the potatoes and onions with the olive oil, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper, covered for about 5 minutes, until softened.
2. Remove lid and cook for another 2-3 minutes until browned.
3. Add remaining ingredients except for egg and cook for another 2-3 minutes, tossing everything together.
4. Make an impression with a spoon in the middle of the hash mixture and crack the egg into the hole. Cover and cook for 3 more minutes until whites are set.
5. Remove lid, garnish with extra cilantro or scallion and serve immediately.
#3. Add Adaptogens To Your Diet
What is an adaptogen? It refers to a plant’s ability to adapt to its environment and exterior stress and survive.
Adding adaptogenic herbs to your diet like rhodiola, ashwagandha, ginseng, phosphatidyl serine and maca help strengthen and stabilize the body, thereby calming the impact of stress. Adaptogens also improve the entire body’s resistance to stress as a whole and create balance and harmony in the body, helping to reduce chronic inflammation.
Try this amazing superfoods smoothie to get you started. Remember with smoothies, it is about finding what works for you, so give it whirl:
- ¼ cup organic blueberries
- ¼ cup organic strawberries
- ½ avocado
- 1-3 large kale leaf (chopped) or spinach (I prefer spinach and I use a generous amount)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 1 tsp ashwagandha powder
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- ½ cup water (coconut water or aloe vera juice works well too)
Instructions: Toss them in a blender and enjoy!
#4. Do Inflammation-Lowering Activity
In the past when it came to exercising with a “no pain, no gain” mindset, I was a glutton for punishment. That is not right; pushing yourself to the limit every day plus living a stressful life for me led to chronic inflammation. This was especially true for me, so much so that when I began my transformation with Fitlife, I had a myriad of food sensitivities and headaches. It was horrible!
For those who participate in heavy exercise, it is important to ensure that you take a day of long and deep rest. Making time in your schedule to include exercise, meditation, yoga and moments of mindfulness really does make a difference
#5. Sleep And Mindfulness – Keys To Stronger Immunity And Lower Inflammation
If you have been reading my articles, you know that I value my sleep. This is because getting adequate sleep has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
Did you know that lack of sleep makes the body ripe for infection? A study from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta found that individuals who reported six or fewer hours of sleep a night had the highest levels of inflammatory hormones and changes in blood vessel function. It is important to prepare for sleep in order to get the best possible sleep you can. For tips on how, check out this article.
Mindfulness is the other piece of an anti-inflammatory plan. We are now finding out through brand-new studies that the immune system is directly connected to the brain, therefore, lowering inflammation can help with diseases like depression and anxiety. I found this to be true for me when I took the time to really slow down and practice mindfulness meditation. I found that I was not as anxious and overwhelmed as I once was.
These tips are just to get you started in reducing inflammation and as I learn more I will be sharing more. Do you have any other tips and tricks you use? Share with us in the comments below.
Kavata Kithome is an advocate for living your best life, full of health and longevity. While working closely with gym owners and personal trainers, she was able to sculpt a well-rounded view of fitness and understands how to incorporate it with a healthy balanced diet. She is a regular contributor to the One More Step Lifestyle brand.
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