Foods To Fight Inflammation

By In Featured Guests, Wholesome101 — March 29, 2017

I would like to share a brief personal experience about today’s topic. Few years ago, I was leading a life full of stress and devoid of physical activities; that, coupled with a poor diet,  weakened my immune system and I found myself vulnerable to many illnesses. My tired body became slow to heal and  recuperate from minor injuries. I started to suffer from swollen joints and I  constantly felt minor pains. I remember expressing my concerns to my doctor. Without taking the time to explain  what I was feeling and seeing in my body, and what could I do to reverse the situation, she immediately prescribed some meds.

I had to make a change, a fast one. I became better at recognizing and choosing the right foods. The journey gave me an awareness and I began to be mindful of what I put in and on my body.

In order to rebuild my immune system and help my body heal itself, I started eliminating refined sugars and grains,  processed foods and all conventional meats. I increased my intake of fiber by eating more vegetables and fruits. I made ginger and turmeric teas. My body responded beautifully to the new diet and the painful joint inflammation and the little  aches and pains that were my constant companions started to disappear.

Kate, a nutrition consultant, states that in our bodies,  inflammation is a contributor to many chronic diseases, and the main cause of general body malaise. She is here to discuss this topic in depth, so please help us welcome her among us.

Foods To FighT Inflammation

By: Kate Hepburn

Most people these days are suffering from some sort of inflammation – general aches, pains and malaise that can’t be attributed to anything specific but is always there. Or perhaps, you suffer from more than that and struggle with chronic pain and inflammation.

While inflammation is part of our body’s natural defense system (our body’s way of protecting and healing itself) and is generally a good thing, when our defense system gets over-active, it can end up out of balance resulting in chronic inflammation.

Sadly, this inflammation not only makes us feel awful but is also a contributing factor to many chronic diseases.

The good news is there are several ways to naturally lower inflammation!

Here are a few to get you started…

FOOD FIRST

CLEAN UP YOUT DIET

Choosing whole foods that are natural and as close to the way Allah made them as possible, avoiding refined food, and eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables can all help lower levels of inflammation.

In fact, for those who suffer with chronic inflammation, a vegetarian diet or mostly vegetarian diet can be highly beneficial for therapeutic purposes.

 SHIFT TO A LOW ALLERGY DIET

While everyone is different, there are some ‘usual suspects’ that tend to cause inflammation for a variety of reasons.

By embracing a health promoting diet for 2-4 weeks (Elimination Diet), removing the most common allergens from your meals, you can significantly lower inflammation.

The most common allergens include: gluten foods (wheat, barley, rye, spelt etc), dairy (milk, yoghurt, cheese), & the nightshade family (tomato, potato, capsicum, eggplant), citrus and yeast.

DECREASE/ELIMINATE ANIMAL PRODUCTS AND LOWER VEGETABLE OIL CONSUMPTION

Most modern diets are exceptionally high in Omega 6 fatty acids which are inflammatory. This is largely due to the high levels of vegetable oil our diets.

These refined oils are not only eaten in excess but also, because of this excess, skew the healthy ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids which we need to maintain health.

‘Several sources of information suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) of approximately 1 whereas in Western diets the ratio is 15/1-16.7/1. Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. 1

The aim of lowering consumption of animal products and vegetable oils is also to lower levels of arachidonic acid in the body thus lower inflammation.

USE NATURAL DIETARY ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES LIBERALLY IN FOOD

 Use ginger and turmeric liberally in cooking. Both are potent anti-inflammatories.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SUPPLEMENTS

There are several supplements that can help lower inflammation.

Curcumin: An Incredible Anti-inflammatory

Curcumin is the name for turmeric’s yellow pigment and it’s this compound that has shown significant anti-inflammatory properties in studies.

It’s been shown ‘to be as effective as cortisone or phenylbutazone in models of acute inflammation’2 as well as ‘over the counter anti-inflammatory agents like Ibuprofin’. 2

There can be some issues with absorption of curcumin so opting for a high potency, highly absorbable form of curcumin, such as Theracurmin which is 27x better absorbed than standard curcumin, is an excellent choice.

Other Anti-inflammatory Supplements

  • Fish oil 2
  • Flaxseed oil 2
  • Pancreatic enzymes and protease enzymes 3
  • Quercetin
  • Citrus Flavonoids
  • Selenium and Vitamin E

Please note: Not everything is for everyone and therapeutic supplementation should always be done under the care of a health care professional.

LIFESTYLE CONSIDERATIONS

 Our bodies exist as part of a whole and so, food and nutrition, while extremely important, are not the only factors that contribute to inflammation.

Body stressors come in many forms —emotional, biochemical, environmental, toxic, allergic and when we have too many of these stressors occurring simultaneously, our body can react.

It’s important to look at our body as a whole, and to treat is holistically, paying as much attention to what’s going on emotionally, socially, mentally and spiritually a we do to what we eat.

In addition to food, we also need to keep in mind things such as:

  • lowering stress levels
  • getting enough sleep
  • practicing self-care
  • taking time out
  • calming the mind and finding coping mechanisms.
  • movement
  • social connection
  • spiritual connection

 

Author bio:

 

Kate is a nutrition consultant, blogger, entrepreneur but, above all else, a revert Muslimah with a love of all things simple and natural, trying to live a healthier life for the sake of Allah, with a dream of helping sisters around the world embrace better physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, one simple step at a time.

 

Website: www.healthymusimah.com and www.healthymuslimahsummit.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthymuslimah/

Instagram:@healthymuslimah_com

 

References

1 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909

2 Murray, M. (2005). The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.

3 Murray, M. (1996) The Encyclopaedia of Nutritional Supplements.New York. Three Rivers Press

22 Comments

  • Reply

    Maryam

    March 29, 2017

    Interesting read. I had no idea about inflammation. Thank you sister Kate and wholesome101 team for sharing.

    • Reply

      Kate

      March 29, 2017

      Alhamdullilah I’m glad you found it interesting sis

  • Reply

    Idil

    March 29, 2017

    A great advice. I suffered from these things too 🙁

    • Reply

      Kate

      March 29, 2017

      May Allah grant you ease and shifaa dua. Ameen. I hope the information benefited you x

  • Reply

    Fatima

    March 30, 2017

    Generally the spicy and oily foods cause acidity and inflammation. This is a great read! I use to have acidity when I was expecting. Otherwise, I don’t have it.

  • Reply

    Farah Abdulah

    March 30, 2017

    Somehow this list reminds me of supplements or ingredients that are good for PCOS. After my delivery, I should strictly go back to the PCOS diet, as I’m not taking any chances on helping the monster make a comeback.

  • Reply

    Rimsha

    March 31, 2017

    Very informative article for anyone suffering from inflammation! Love how you’ve covered everything in so much detail.

  • Reply

    Meera

    April 1, 2017

    For sometime now, I’m trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle but somehow or the other I delay or I miss the routine.
    I seriously have to consider it, cos I have responsibility towards my own self. Healthy food and routine gives a stress free life, naturally. Informative article.

  • Reply

    Amina Edota

    April 1, 2017

    Very detailed and educative. Will be coming back to this post again and again. I’m definitely learning how to choose the right foods in my life now so I need all the awareness I can get. I love ginger and tea so that should be easy to incorporate into my lifestyle.

  • Reply

    BritDeshiMummy

    April 1, 2017

    Interesting read- it’s easy to let your health take a back seat in life especially after marriage kids etc .Life just takes over. I need to start looking after myself health is wealth !

  • Reply

    Nasra Sharif

    April 1, 2017

    great article, and fantastic facts. I was surprised about turmeric and will love to try the turmeric and ginger tea.

  • Reply

    Ayesha Farhad

    April 2, 2017

    Flaxseed oil is literally the best thing in the world!
    And so true about reducing stress level to keep inflammation at bay!

  • Reply

    Mona Ismaeil

    April 3, 2017

    Great tips! I’ll have to share these with my mom. Better than her taking anti inflammatories. We fill our bodies with so many pills and toxins it probably makes the problem even worse! Thank you!

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