Inflammation is designed to be a good thing. It’s part of the body’s natural stress and healing response. It’s meant to come in, do it’s healing thing and go away, like when you twist your ankle – it swells, then eventually goes down and it’s back to normal. What we’re talking about here is the kind of low grade, on-going inflammation (think, like a slow cooker) that can smolder below the surface and contributes to all sorts of ailments from allergies, arthritis and anxiety, to brain fog, fatigue, pain and eventually chronic disease.
Certified Holistic Health Coach, Megan Adams Brown tells us, “what we eat and drink can either help put the fire out, or fan the flames. We have a lot more control over it than you might think.”
Megan experienced the healing powers of eating anti-inflammatory more than a decade ago after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. “I don’t recommend going about it the way I did at first,” she says “It was all no this. cut that. avoid this. I remember feeling like ‘what’s left to eat?!”
Her experience helped shape the approach she takes today as a health coach which is to focus on adding in to crowd out. “The first step is always to add in, to give you plenty of healthy, anti-inflammatory foods you like that you’re excited to eat.”
She adds: “because deep down our inner 5 year old is still in there. Tell us we can’t have something and what do we want– the thing!”
3 Steps to Eat Away Inflammation:
- Add something green at every meal
Eating dark leafy greens are like eating a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral. They’re the No. 1 most underrated food you can eat. Start sneaking them in everywhere you can – add to smoothies, soups, stews, sauces, dips, sandwiches, etc.
Greens to try: spinach, kale, chard, broccoli, collard greens, broccoli sprouts, dandelion greens, bok choy
- Sub slow carbs for fast carbs
Not all carbs are created equal. The carbs to avoid are fast carbs that are made with refined flour and sugar that spike insulin and contribute to inflammation. Slow carbs don’t have the same effect, their beneficial sugars are buffered with fiber to slow the release.
Slow carbs to sub in: sweet potatoes, squashes, whole grains, beans, legumes
- Upgrade your cooking fats
Opt for fats that have more mono-unsaturated (olive, avocado) or saturated fats (coconut, ghee) instead of polyunsaturated (soybean, corn, canola) fats. These fats help promote a healthy inflammatory response with more omega-3 fats than omega-6 fats, which can drive inflammation.
Cooking fats to use: Extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, grass fed butter and ghee (if tolerate dairy)
For more anti-inflammatory support, get Megan’s Anti-Inflammatory Foods Shopping List with 300+ naturally anti-inflammatory foods you can easily find at most any grocery store.