Inflammation can be a Real Pain

As a society, we have a tendency to view each of our health concerns as a completely separate entity, but a smarter, more holistic approach would be to look for common causes and try to address them.  Instead of thinking that you have a bum knee, lower back pain, a stiff neck and cardiovascular issues, you might look a little deeper and realize that you have several issues throughout your body that all are related to inflammation.

Inflammation itself is not a bad thing.  It’s the body’s localized protective response to an injury or infection, which serves to destroy, dilute, or wall off the infection and heal the injury.  However, when we live with chronic inflammation, the result can be arthritis, joint and muscle pain and the accumulation of plaque in t he arteries, among other conditions.

The bad news is that chronic inflammation can be caused by your diet.  The good news is that there are specific changes you can make to your diet to improve chronic inflammation.

Here are some diet tips to help rid you of the pain of inflammation:

  • Eliminate all grains and grain products for 3 months. This includes bread, cereal, pasta, baked goods and beer, among other foods.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables in place of the grains.
  • Choose bright colorful vegetables like, kale, broccoli, spinach, collard greens and many others.
  • Choose fresh foods over packaged. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket and avoid the interior aisles.
  • Use mesclun mix (also called spring mix, field greens or mixed baby greens) for salad, with extra virgin olive oil in your dressing.
  • Eat lots of raw onions.
  • Mince or slice your garlic and eat it raw or lightly cooked in your salads and other dishes.
  • The perfect balance of protein and veggies is chicken Caesar salad with no croutons. Use these proportions as a guide for your other meals.
  • Buy Omega-3 eggs.
  • For a snack or meal replacement, make a shake of whey protein, water, frozen fruit with no added sugar, like bananas, blueberries, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, etc.
  • Avoid soda and coffee. Instead, drink 2 liters  of water and 1 liter of green tea with ginger each day.  The recipe appears below.

Organic Green Tea with Ginger Recipe

Boil 1 to 1.5 gallons of water in a large pot.

Turn off heat and add 6 organic green tea bags (decaf or regular is ok)

Add 1/2 lb. fresh ginger sliced into 1/4″ pieces

Steep for 3-6 hours (can be left overnight)

Strain and store in glass jars in refrigerator

Drink at least one quart a day