Do you have inflammation?
It is no secret that Mother Nature gave us miraculous foods that offer not only perfect nourishment for our bodies but also help fight inflammation and therefore keep disease at bay.
So if you are among the majority of Americans, who have some sort of mild or severe inflammation, then this post is for you!
Before you head to the medicine cabinet to solve the problem however, take a look inside your cupboards. What do you see there? Some bleached flour, or white sugar? Maybe boxed pancake mix? Look on the ingredient list, please. Does it list some sort of hydrogenated fat? And is the sugar content above 25 grams per serving? If the answer is Yes to either of those, then you have our permission to toss the thing in the trash. Go ahead! You will do yourself a favor! Because the last thing your body needs, as it tries to fight inflammation, is to pump it with lots of sugar and some horrible fat that was not meant for human consumption in the first place: hydrogenated fats.
The average American eats roughly 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour that converts to sugar every year, according to Dr. Mark Hyman. Your body has to produce more and more insulin to manage your blood sugar levels. Because you cannot burn all the sugar you eat, it gets stored as fat in your liver and cells. This leads to a dangerous and under-diagnosed condition called fatty liver disease (which an estimated one third of Americans suffer from) and or a metabolic syndrome called insulin resistance.
But let's go back to the pantry! Anything that contains high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats....yep you got it...trash!
And now, let's move on to the oils you have on the shelf. What do you see? Any processed vegetable oils like canola, soybean, corn, safflower and peanut? These oils are all high in Omega 6 fats and highly processed with harsh chemicals during the refining process. Most of these oils are chemically extracted through hexane (a horrible neurotoxin) or another harsh chemical and then bleached, winterized and deodorized with some more chemicals to get rid of the hexane or bad smell and taste.
When you heat these oils, they mix with oxygen and become oxidized (rancid) due to their high Omega 6 content. Eating these oils on a regular basis wreaks havoc on your health and create major inflammation. The danger is, you would not think an oil can be so harmful. It does not taste or smell different, nor does the food taste different. These processed vegetable oils are high in Omega 6 fats and low on Omega 3 and Omega 9 fats.
Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats, are crucial in regulating inflammation in the body. The more Omega-6s you eat, the more systemic inflammation you will have.
Oils high in Omega 9 (oleic acid ) like Avocado and Olive oils and Omega 3 oils help fight inflammation. Eat raw nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and chia seeds, and consume hemp, chia oils, avocados and wild caught fish. Also choose an oil high in oleic acid like avocado or olive oil. They are good for your heart and also fight inflammation!
Also, choose grass fed beef over conventional (industrially raised beef). Grass fed beef is high in Omega 3 fat and is raised in a way that preserves our environment and regenerates the soil which in turn helps counter climate change. It will not only protect your health, it protects our future collectively.
Finally, replace your pantry with ingredients that help fight inflammation and keep it at bay. Avoid processed flours and sugars. Go for organic, whole grain or nut flours and raw unprocessed sugar. We love coconut sugar. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients and low on the glycemic index. Also replace processed vegetable oils with cold pressed oils like avocado, virgin hemp oil or our whole herb infused avocado oils! Because we use a whole herb infusion process, we maintain the nutritional benefits of rosemary, ginger, turmeric and chili peppers in our oils, which offer additional anti inflammatory benefits!
If you will be cooking a lot on high heat like sautéing, searing, stir fry, grilling and even baking, we highly recommend our avocado oil that takes 500 F.
Finally, here some tips from our expert nutritionist Michelle, to start feeling better and decrease chronic inflammation!
- Cut out the added sugar! Put down the soda, sweet tea, and sugar laden beverages. Instead pick up a big glass of water! Herbal tea is an excellent choice as well.
- Avoid the artificial sweeteners and instead reach for honey or stevia leaf if needed for a little sweetness.
- Choose bake, grilled, or sautéed (in avocado oil) foods instead of deep fried.
- Skip the refined flours and white flour and choose whole grains.
- Go through your kitchen and see what you are purchasing that is processed. Pick up the container or box and ask yourself, why? Why did you buy this and why do you need it? Think of something healthier, non processed to make or purchase. Less processed food is best!
- Consume foods high in Omega 9 Fatty Acids otherwise known as monounsaturated fats. Avocado oil is one of the best oils to meet this goal.
- Fill your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables at each meal!
- Choose beans, peas, and lentils as a meat alternative a few days per week!
- A glass of wine? Alcohol in moderation is ok, one 5oz glass, but going beyond one serving can increase inflammation.
- Get enough sleep! Less than 5 hours a sleep per night puts your body into an inflammatory state.