If your physician has prescribed an ‘anti-inflammatory diet’ would you know what to eat? Probably not. It’s one of those “dog year” questions (relatable in practical terms.) It has to do with the pH scale’s acidic/alkaline relationship. The more acidic one is, the more prone to illness one becomes.
Imagine the pH scale being in a straight line from 1-14. 7 is neutral, (like pure water.) 1 is acidic, (like battery acid) and anything above is considered alkaline. Balance is what it’s all about. Try to maintain a pH of around 7.3 – 7.4.
What causes inflammation? Stress is a major contributor and in today’s world who isn’t under stress? Find ways to relieve daily stress through exercise, relaxing bubble baths, soft music, fresh air, massages or anything that calms you besides food.
The anti-inflammatory diet isn’t a “diet” as much as a lifestyle choice. One thing is certain, however, not addressing your health concerns will only create larger ones down the road! Chronic inflammation is dangerous! It is not a “little” problem if you ignore will simply go away. Chronic inflammation can eventually cause intense health issues including heart disease, IBS, colitis, arthritis, dementia, kidney disease, and cancers.
A healthy anti-inflammatory diet is on the alkaline side of the pH scale. It primarily consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, and whole grains such as oats, quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat (Kashi). In truth, if you eat as God instructed Adam in the Garden of Eden, you’ll add a lot more life in your years.
Coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks are incredibly acidic so cut down. Increase your water intake with lemon. Although you’ll notice lemon and vinegar is acidic on the pH scale, each actually metabolizes into an alkaline food. (God knew it all the time!)
Every meat is acidic, especially processed meats with dyes and chemicals such as cold cuts, bacon or hot dogs, so consume lean protein like fish, chicken, sirloin, and pork loin.
Sugar and artificial chemically treated foods are highly acidic. Unfortunately, so are the nightshade plants like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant. This doesn’t mean you must give them up entirely, but only consume occasionally. Balance is the key here.
Wheat, unfortunately, is on the acidic side of the scale. However whole wheat contains a great deal of fiber, so only avoid enriched breads and balance whole wheat products with more fruits and vegetables. Try to consume fiber-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes, corn, squash, alfalfa, beans, and lentils. The fiber helps remove toxins from your system and avoids damaging inflammation. Increase water consumption also.
One characteristic of the anti-inflammatory diet is the recommended inclusion of omega-rich fatty acids, especially omega 3’s. These consist of milled flaxseed, walnuts, olive oil (best-used cold), avocados, and good fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines.
Avoid salt and choose to flavor your foods with healthy herbs. Garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and capsaicin are especially helpful with their anti-inflammatory properties! And don’t worry about not enjoying any treats either. Good dark chocolate contains a lot of antioxidants as does a glass of red wine.
Do you see the pattern here? You can enjoy so much more than you thought you could! Simply eat healthier and consume more whole foods to rid yourself of the artificially flavored, chemically processed boxed foods you might pick up at the supermarket for “convenience.” There is nothing convenient about pain and inflammation! Strive for a happier, healthier lifestyle.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)