We’re hearing more and more about the importance of following an alkaline and anti-inflammatory diet, but what exactly is it?
The root cause of many ailments and illnesses today is due to inflammation within the body. This can occur on differing levels for example, general aches and pains, through to more serious conditions such as arthritis, auto-immune disorders, colitis and heart disease.
Some inflammation within the body is a positive thing, it helps us to repair and heal for example if you sprain an ankle inflammation is crucial to the healing process but excessive inflammation can lead to ill health and disease. One of the biggest causes of inflammation is chronic stress. When we are continually in the fight or flight response, stress hormones are being pumped through the bloodstream, however the body cannot deal with this level of hormones and will start to fight against itself, causing inflammation.
An anti-inflammatory diet means consuming more foods which are alkaline rather the acidic. Acidic foods promote inflammation, therefore creating health problems. Eating an alkaline, anti-inflammatory diets means you should feel energised and ‘well’ majority of the time.
Following this way of eating means cutting out foods such as:
- Vegetable oils (such as corn, safflower, soybean, peanut and cottonseed oil)
- All processed foods
- Fizzy drinks
- Sugar, artificial sweeteners
Instead consuming a diet high in antioxidants including foods such as:
- Fresh leafy greens e.g spinach, kale
- Seasonal and ideally organic vegetables such as sweet potatoes, artichokes
- Fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, lemons, limes
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Whole grains and legumes such as quinoa and beans.
- Fresh oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines – all high in Omega 3 fatty acids which have been shown to reduce inflammation
- Cold pressed nut and seed oils, olive oil and coconut oil.
- Spices such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon which have been used in ayurvedic medicine for years due to their healing properties. They contain bioflavonoids and polyphenols that reduce inflammation and limit free radical production.
- Herbal Teas
One food which I am delighted to include is raw cacao. There is numerous research showing that cacao is high in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation. Therefore, a small piece of ideally raw or high percentage dark chocolate is a necessary part of your daily diet!
In summary, following an anti-inflammatory diet helps to promote balance in your body, helping it to work in the correct way, at its optimum and helping you to stay ‘hip and healthy’ all year round.