Everyone knows that a healthy diet can improve your life, but let’s explore how and why it makes a difference. Recently, I was reminded of the importance of eating well and eliminating certain things from our diet to radically improve our lives overall. Specifically, I will be sharing information on how to thrive by eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
Last year I developed a skin rash, and was mortified since I’m an esthetician and people look to me for answers and skin perfecting solutions. Luckily, it was not in an obvious spot, so I was spared questions and comments. I was not spared, however, from the itching and redness associated with the rash. It was awful and to the point that the itchiness kept me up at night. I used ice packs to calm it down, natural remedies, balms, oil blends, salves, you name it! After visiting an allergist and a dermatologist I was left with no answers or remedy. I sought help from an acupuncturist who was coined the “crazy rash lady”. I figured there was nothing to lose.
During my first appointment the acupuncturist did the usual intake, but her focus was on my diet. She explained that certain foods trigger inflammation and affect people differently. She recommended a tea, a topical cream, and an anti-inflammatory diet. Within 2 weeks my rash was 90% clear and gone within a month. Since then I’ve also lost weight and feel pretty great. It was sad to say goodbye to some of my favorite foods, but hopefully, it’s not forever. I’ll share with you the list of foods she told me to avoid, however, please note that this was for me specifically, and everyone is unique.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation occurs when your body detects and attempts to fight a foreign invader. This could be plant pollen, bacteria, or harmful chemicals. Temporary, acute, localized inflammation is normal and essential to staying healthy. For example, after cutting your finger it will swell and turn red because your immune system is fighting any foreign invaders that enter your skin. However, prolonged, systemic inflammation is harmful yet often difficult to detect. Chronic inflammation has been linked to several diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and bowel disorders.
What Types of Foods Are Inflammatory?
Certain foods are known contributors to inflammation. These include refined carbohydrates (white bread), fried foods, sugary drinks, red meats, and margarine. For the most part, these are foods that you should be avoiding anyway. In addition to foods, drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and having excessive abdominal fat can also promote an inflammatory state.
Eating a Mediterranean Diet to Improve Your Life
Instead, enjoy a diet that is rich in clean, anti-inflammatory foods. The Mediterranean diet is one of the easiest ways to improve your life. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna are rich in omega-3s which help to regulate your body’s inflammatory response. Fish and nuts should make up the bulk of your protein intake. Additionally, you should load your plate with tomatoes, olive oil, and green leafy vegetables. Colorful fruits and vegetables are filled with antioxidants that can repair or delay cell damage, which in turn will improve your life.
Remember: turmeric, green tea, and ginger are some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods around!
Healthy Tips for Anti-inflammatory Diet
An additional tip to improve your life is to drink a glass of warm water before anything else, upon waking. Try to eat and drink things that are room temperature when possible. Foods that are too cold in temperature or too spicy in flavor cause an inflammatory response, e.g., refrigerated watermelon. Avoid baked and fried foods, it is okay to lightly saute.
What is Dermatitis?
Dermatitis is essentially inflammation of the skin. There are various types ranging from allergy to toxin exposure. However, they all involve an immune response. Dermatitis is a vast topic and I plan to dedicate a post to it.
Check out my YouTube video on how to make a turmeric and ginger tea, however, I had to give up ginger and black pepper for my specific anti-inflammatory diet. Currently, I drink fresh turmeric juice daily. Also, I have a post called 10 Top Benefits of Green Tea.