The SMART List!
Shhh….. Did you hear that? help! Oh, it’s a tiny sound now, but wait. Listen again. HELP, HELP, HELP! What? You didn’t know that your body can speak to you? To ask for help? Well, if you’ve ever had sore muscles, achy joints, or felt so tied all you want to do is lie down, this is your body speaking. Maybe it’s not loud enough for you to hear, but even a whisper means something. Even if this doesn’t happen every day, it could be a sign that we need to do something. Our body is saying “HELP”!
When this happens, it’s a good idea to look at what we are eating daily. This may help us find the culprit, the thing that is causing those aches and pains. Better yet, we should identify what foods we could be eating to alleviate those pains. What? Food can cause pain or stop pain? Yep. Let’s take a look.
When there is pain in the body, that is called inflammation and it is can there for a reason. If we have an injury, the blood flow is increased and sent to the site to help heal the injury. When we get a cut, the site gets red and inflamed to help heal. When we break a bone or pull of ligament/tendon, the site swells very quickly to protect itself. When we have an infection in our body, or nose may become stuffy, it might be hard to breath or we become lethargic. We are inflamed as our body is trying to fight off the infection. Of course, I always recommend visiting your doctor to rule out any infection or physical damage. In the meantime we can do many things at home that will help decrease that pain or achy feeling and boost our energy to start feeling better now!
You know the foods everyone is talking about trying to avoid….. carbs, sugar, red meat? Well, the reason why is because they increase our inflammation in our bodies. Avoiding carbs and red meat may not be the best for every person and can have their benefits. Don’t jump to start avoiding foods, except sugar of course, unless you may have connected some digestive issues with them.
Here is my SMART List of foods we CAN eat that will keep inflammation low!
dark leafy greens, kale, swiss chard, collard greens,
bok choy, broccoli, celery
pineapple, beets, blueberries
wild salmon, fish oil, walnuts
ginger, turmeric, flax seeds, chia seeds
This SMART, starter list of anti-inflammatory foods given to us from Dr. Axe.
Let me make this simple for you. Dark, leafy greens are at the top of the anti-inflammatory food scale. It’s been said that kale is the new potato chip and I believe it. Here’s a delicious and easy recipe for you to try: Kale chips recipe or a refreshing green smoothie recipe to start your morning. Sautéing kale or bok choy is a perfect side for your favorite protein at dinner. You’ve never tried bok choy? Neither had I until a couple of years ago….. I have a quick and easy recipe here.
While many of these foods are to be eaten the same day they are cooked, some of them can be made in advance and kept longer in the fridge. Kale is one of those hearty foods. Here’s a simple, lemony kale salad recipe. Besides being anti-inflammatory, did you know that kale has as much calcium as a glass of milk without all the inflammation that cow’s milk can cause in human body?
I understand adding those greens into your daily diet can sound a bit overwhelming, but remember, one step each day will turn into a regular habit. Look for how you can add veggies into every meal and soon you will be the veggie queen in your house and be feeling awesome!
There are many other anti-inflammatory foods that are also easy to add to your daily routine, such as…. celery, blueberries, pineapple (contains a natural digestive enzyme), beets, broccoli and wild salmon to name a few.
All of these can be kept in your fridge for a snack throughout the day with a little prep work.
Beets? Easy? Yes they are! I have a simple recipe that keep beets in the fridge for a week, ready to throw on a green salad at lunch or just to eat by themselves when you are craving a sweet and savory treat.
Celery? Have it cut and stored with water in a ball jar.…. easy to grab with some peanut butter, almond butter or hummus as a dip. Start your day with a bowl of berries on your oatmeal or next to your eggs. Have you ever roasted broccoli and cauliflower in the oven? It’s an easy switch from steaming broccoli.
With all the foods I listed here, be sure to buy organic if at all possible. Sugar beets are one of the top genetically modified foods in our country and if you want all the good stuff from the beets, be sure to buy them organic and non-gmo. Salmon should always be wild caught. There is a great canned salmon for quick days by Wild Planet. I have a wonderful recipe with wild caught salmon (canned or fresh) that has a nice Asian flare here.
Some people will say to me, “how do I know I have inflammation?” “I don’t have any symptoms, I feel fine”. Most likely if we are eating a standard american diet (SAD), we all have some sort of inflammation going on in our bodies. If we have allergy symptoms any time of the year, we have inflammation. If we eat boxed or processed foods on a daily basis, we will have the dreaded inflammation happening. Even if we eat the best of the foods, there are still certain foods like carbs, red meat, sugars, that affect every body differently.
Eating what are called “anti-inflammatory foods” is a good place to start. What we choose to put in our bodies every day affects how our body moves, feels and processes all the nutrients we need an take in.
“Every time you eat or drink, you’re either feeding disease or fighting it”
- Heather Morgan, M.S., N.L.C.