Today we are going to look at how focusing on nourishing your body with anti-inflammatory foods will help you develop a healthy baseline…and that’s an essential ingredient for hormone balance for both men and women! There’s some great research on the rise about how creating an anti-inflammatory diet is especially useful for women in perimenopause and post menopause for overall hormone balance and weight management. Eating the right foods in the proper portions and combinations is the foundation for creating your best health.
What Is An Anti-inflammatory Diet?
This is kind of a trick question. I would love to be able to honestly tell you that there is an agreed upon anti-inflammatory diet that works for EVERYONE, but that just isn’t the case. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to nutrition (or fitness, or pretty much anything health related for that matter).
The truth is that there are some great guidelines, and I’m going to share those with you, but that customizing your diet is something I always recommend. When I’m working with clients, this is one of the very first things we do together and testing is incredibly helpful and saves time/energy.
What makes establishing the right diet even trickier is that our needs change over time–as we age, experience stressful life events, interact with toxins, experience changes in our gut microbiome and hormones, well, the foods and/or combinations of foods that used to feel good to us may start to create problems. It will always be important to pay attention to your nutrition and self-care. It will always be important to listen to your body’s feedback.
So, having said that, let’s look at some of the pillars of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Top Anti-inflammatory Foods
- Green leafies–loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants, and fiber which help your body to eliminate inflammatory toxins and improve cardiovascular health. If you struggle to digest raw greens, consider lightly cooking.
- Colorful veggies–loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants, and fiber which help your body to eliminate inflammatory toxins. If you struggle to digest raw veggies, I suggest lightly cooking them, chew extra well, and consider reaching out to investigate your gut health.
- Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids which help balance the inflammatory process.
- Clean protein sources–this can include grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, wild game, legumes, and even dairy (true, dairy is a commonly reactive food but not everyone needs to avoid it. When choosing dairy, go for organic, grass-fed and raw. A2 sources are generally less inflammatory–you can find A2 cow dairy; goat and sheep dairy is A2.)
- Nuts and seeds–sprouted forms are the best, most digestible.
- Olive oil–organic & cold pressed, extra virgin, and in dark glass bottles are best. Avocado oil and coconut oil are also good options.
- Green and herbal teas. Quality matters, here’s a guide.
- Herbs and spices including clove, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, oregano, rosemary, basil, black pepper, cayenne, and ginger are loaded with cell-protecting antioxidants.
- Dark chocolate and cacao–unsweetened is ideal or using low amounts of healthy sweeteners such as monk fruit, stevia, erythritol, or allulose. Cacao is loaded with polyphenols which provide antioxidant protection. Again and always, quality matters.
- Fresh or frozen fruit like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranate, apples, and stone fruit are high in nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Too much fruit can lead to high blood sugar which has the opposite effect. Signs that you are eating a good balance are that you feel full and satisfied, weight is balanced, energy is stable, and if you test your blood sugar, your fasting levels are 70-89 and staying below 120 1-2 hrs after meals.
Customize & Listen To Your Body
Even foods that look great “on paper” can be inflammatory as I’ve mentioned. I’ve had clients who had strong food sensitivities to salmon, lettuce, lemon, apples, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic…well pretty much everything that I just shared that is considered anti-inflammatory!
You’ve got to listen to your body. If you are taking the best care of yourself that you know how to and eating an anti-inflammatory diet but are still having recurring symptoms, then that’s a waving red flag that something needs customizing. Decades ago, this is exactly what happened with me in my own healing journey. It turns out that I had some gut and hormonal things that needed dialing in–until I did that, my immune system was reacting strongly to almost 40 “healthy” anti-inflammatory foods! Thankfully, once I addressed my gut and hormonal imbalances, I was able to add back in every single one of those foods that I’d previously had an adverse reaction to.
As this illustrates, our bodies are pretty incredible at healing. Healthy is our default setting, but we do need to clear the path if the evidence is telling us (through persistent symptoms) that something is preventing our default setting from fully functioning.
I hope that this information empowers you to take a fresh look at your diet and feel inspired to include more anti-inflammatory foods that make you feel good into your daily routine.
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. Through testing and coaching, I can help you to discover where your best health has been hiding.
I’ve got 2 webinars coming up soon where I’ll be sharing more tips on how to manage inflammation and take your health to the next level (links on the right under “Upcoming Events”).
If you’re ready to feel your best right away, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!