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Reduce Your Inflammation with Foods

May 18, 20245 min read

Over the years I’ve had periods of time where my body was super inflamed. Sometimes underlying health issues caused the inflammation, other times eating less-than-stellar foods for days on end brought it on.


It doesn’t take a genius to know that what we eat – and don’t eat – can dramatically improve our quality of life as well as help us to live longer. I don’t know any adult who doesn’t know that eating fast food is a bad idea. And, yet, those businesses are still thriving, and we keep lining up in the drive-thru. 


The old phrase “you are what you eat” is more true now than when the saying was coined. Same with the famous Hippocrates quote “let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” Since we know these sayings to be true, then why do we wonder why we feel like crap after eating crappy foods?


While inflammation can be a good thing when it comes to our body’s way of healing, when it turns into an ongoing, chronic situation, it can lead to things such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. So what can we do to help ourselves out in the inflammation-reduction department? It’s really pretty easy.


Foods and herbs to help reduce inflammation:


*Turmeric the magical orange root/powder that does so much good to our bodies. Whether you take it as a supplement in pill form or add it to your oil when you’re cooking, your body will thank you for adding this amazing herb into your life. Google search up its many benefits and become a believer.


*Berries strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, oh my! These yummy foods are high in antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are what give them their gorgeous dark hues. It’s also what makes berries a great way to reduce your inflammation and lower your risk for diseases like cancer.


*Fatty fishthink: salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and herring. Besides being a great source of protein, they’re excellent ways to get the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA into your bod, thus lowering your inflammation and risk of chronic diseases like heart disease. 


*Cruciferous veggiesbroccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, and kale for the win! These veggies have a ton of benefits including today’s anti-inflammatory topic. Eat ’em up, my friends!


*Green teasip, sip away! Without getting too medical on you, green tea offers incredible benefits including fighting diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, as well as neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. There’s a ton of info out there on this topic, so pour yourself a cup of green tea and dive into the research. Matcha is a great green tea option. Check out a recent blog I wrote about its incredible goodness.


Now that we covered the things to load up on, here’s the stuff to avoid.


*Red meat limit this when possible, because it brings on the inflammation.


*Processed foods (aka fast foods) including processed meats this includes things like bacon (I know!), hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, meat jerkies, sausage, and some deli meats.


*Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup just do yourself a favor and ditch these altogether. Seriously. They do so much damage to our bodies. And there are plenty of other sugar alternatives out there (like dates), so just kick this crap to the curb and don’t look back. And when you do, keep in mind that sugar is highly addictive, so the cravings will be real. But that’s okay. It’s worth working through it.


*Sodassame thing here. Even diet sodas are complete trash for your body. Ever researched the effects of aspartame? Click here to read about them (which ironically includes weight gain and increased appetite). When you want something bubbly and cold, grab a sparkling water instead.


*Ugly oilscanola and margarine, I’m talking about you. While the food industry wants us to think we’re doing ourselves a favor by eating these, we’re most certainly not. Cook with a good quality olive oil and go for organic real butter instead of margarine. Can’t eat dairy (like me)? No prob. Olive oil or coconut oils are fantastic replacements.


*Trans fatsthis includes fried foods like French fries, some microwave popcorns, as well as certain vegetable shortenings and margarines. Basically anytime you see the words “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on a label, that’s your cue to put that package back on the shelf and find a better alternative.


*Refined carbscookies, candy, bread, pasta, some cereals, cakes… you get the idea. Anything processed that has added flour or sugar can up your inflammation, so satisfy your sweet tooth with some berries instead for a double boost of goodness.


*Excessive boozebut that’s no surprise, really. I’m not telling you to not have a drink now and again. I’m saying everything in moderation.


*Et Ceterasome say nightshades (which includes peppers, cayenne, chilis, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants) and eggs cause inflammation. To test if they have an effect on your body, do an elimination diet and see how you feel. 


I know it can seem overwhelming at times, trying to eat in the best way for our future selves. One principle I keep in mind is if it comes in a box or can, it’s probably better left on the shelf.

InflammationReduce InflammationHealthy FoodsFruitsVeggiesLow SugarHerbs
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