It’s a known fact that our bodies are constantly exposed to internal inflammation as a means of defense against infection. A key part in the formation of wrinkles is inflammation, which causes elastin and collagen to deteriorate and eventually collapse. Although inflammation is a part of how the body naturally heals itself, it may cause premature aging of the skin. If you work out, inflammation is a physiological certainty. From muscles battling to recover from the tear down of exercise to joints that have received yet another pounding to the ligaments, tendons and other connective tissues that take the strain, your body is continually struggling to recover. Though standup paddling is non-impact, it still puts stress on your musculo-skeletal system and taxes your shoulders, elbows, wrists and other joints.
A lot of people everyone from recreational athletes to pros have taken to popping ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory pills like candy before and after exercise. But this inhibits your body recovery signals and can, over time, lead to organ damage. As with most things in the world of sports, you’re better off turning to nature, instead.
Some foods, like processed sugars and unhealthy fats and oils, are natural pro-inflammatory agents. Others, listed below, are known to reduce the effects of inflammation and are a delicious way to get a youthful glow.
Certain spices such as ginger and turmeric and curry are natural anti-inflammatory agents. They contain phytochemicals, which can repress the proteins that lead to gene mutations, decreasing the incidence of inflammation. Take for example turmeric, used in both India and in Chinese medicine for centuries as an anti inflammatory. It’s an excellent source of manganese and iron and has been shown to help cancer, digestive problems and more. The active ingredient cucurmin in turmeric helps to lower the levels of two of the enzymes that contribute to inflammation. Turmeric is also another powerful antioxidant food. This super food has been shown to reduce the inflammation just as effectively as some of the pharmaceutical drugs. However the great thing is it has no toxicity on the body, making it an excellent food to eat more of if you suffer from inflammatory conditions. Eat mild turmeric curries on a regular basis.
Good fats and oils:
Foods like olive oil, nuts and avocado contain heart healthy fats that help regulate cell metabolism and suppress inflammation. Wild salmon is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids. It’s these fatty acids that help reduce inflammation. Because most people in the modern world have an imbalance in Omega 6 and Omega 3s, Omega 6 overload promoting more inflammation. It is very important to get adequate amounts of Omega 3s into your diet.
Chia seeds are used as all-day fuel by the Tarahumara tribes people of Mexico, who can keep going for hours on them. They are higher in Omega-3s than salmon, and also rich in magnesium and fiber. Put the seeds in yogurt, cereal and muffins or just follow the Tarahumara example of leaving them to stand in a glass of water with a touch of lime, and drinking after a few minutes.
Brightly colored fruits and veggies:
Fruits and vegetables not only act as a source of antioxidants but they also contain phytochemics that buffer and regulate gene expression. Consider the power of pineapple. We should add it into our diets because it contains the anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain. It’s also high in vitamin C and tastes great fresh, frozen and blended in smoothies.
Studies have shown that green tea helps prevent bone breakdown in rheumatoid arthritis patients and helps reduce inflammation in joints. It is also one of the most powerful antioxidants and has many other health benefits. It can help promote weight loss too so drink it daily for best results.
Foods and supplements containing vitamins C and vitamin E and minerals can help the body combat the damage created by free radicals.
One thing all of these anti inflammatory foods have in common is that they are all powerful antioxidants as well. This makes them all some of the best foods for fighting disease, preventing the aging process and keeping you healthy. So be sure to include them in your diet regularly
Do you eat any of these foods regularly? I’d love to know, so why not share it by leaving a comment below.