Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Benefits

Today, there’s more and more evidence to show that inflammation is the root cause of everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s. When your body is inflamed, it is constantly on high alert with no rest. It’s damaging, and because it’s on the inside, we may not always feel it.

Fortunately, a diet low in processed foods and high in produce that is full of antioxidants is a great start to preventing disease. There are also specific foods that have been show to have anti-inflammatory properties. Let’s take a look at a few, and how you can incorporate them into your diet.

Berries– If you need something sweet, berries are the answer. Rather than a sugar-filled treat, which actually promotes inflammation in the body, berries are sweet with natural sugars and a healthy dose of fiber. Multiple studies have shown that different berries help to reduce the risk of certain cancers, so be sure you’re getting a variety- raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are wonderful, and summer is the best time to find them. Have them as dessert or a snack with a handful of nuts, or add some coconut cream and/or almond butter to dip them in.

source

Omega-3’s– You’ve probably heard about Omega-3’s in health news a lot lately. They’re good for everything from hormone balance to brain health, and one of the reasons is because they reduce inflammation. You can of course find Omega-3’s in supplement form, but why not get a healthy dose from food a few times a week? Try salmon or tuna, or vegan sources like flax seeds and chia seeds.

source

Ginger– Ginger is something to keep in your kitchen, just in case you get sick. It has some real anti-inflammatory fighting power and can help with tummy trouble too. The anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger are called gingerols and they’ve been shown to help with arthritis and muscular discomfort. You can chew raw ginger if you’re not afraid of a spicy punch, but it’s easily enjoyed as an addition to stir fries or in homemade ginger tea.

source

Garlic– The sulfur compounds in garlic have also been praised for their anti-inflammatory effects. Like ginger, studies on arthritis have shown its great benefits. Stir fries are always an easy way to add garlic, but you can also add it to meat patties. It adds amazing flavor to soups as well, so don’t be afraid to experiment with it in different ways.

source

Do you include any of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet? Do you have any other anti-inflammatory foods you enjoy?

Continue Reading

Chilled Cucumber Soup

Most people don’t associate soups with summer, but you’re missing out if you skip over this recipe. Summer weather provides us with a whole new set of fresh produce to choose from. Cooling fruits like watermelons and berries are just perfect, and cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh greens are wonderful too. Enjoy this chilled soup today and pack the leftovers for tomorrow. The best part is that there’s no reheating required!

source

Ingredients
2 medium cucumbers, chopped
1/2 Granny Smith apple- be sure to remove seeds
1/2 avocado
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 C water
1/4 C almond or full fat coconut milk (coconut will make thicker)
small handful of fresh basil

Directions
In a Vitamix or strong blender, blend all ingredients together (That was hard, wasn’t it?)

Additional toppings
This soup typically makes two large bowls, and you can add additional flavor with toppings. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Pumpkin or hemp seeds
  • Drizzle of flax seed oil
  • Fresh herbs like more basil, or parsley, dill or cilantro
  • Cucumber or avocado chunks
  • sea salt and pepper
Continue Reading

Stay Fit for Summer With Active Vacations

Summer is here and it’s time for festivals, celebrations and vacations. That doesn’t mean you have to lose momentum or motivation in your health and fitness journey though. Remember that you’re making changes for life, not just temporary changes that will leave you feeling miserable. That being said, it’s always great to incorporate new and exciting things into your journey; and a vacation is the perfect opportunity to do that! Here are a few suggestions for active/wellness vacations.
source
Hiking
There are some amazing hiking opportunities throughout the US for both novice and advanced level hikers. Decide where you want to spend your time and then look for hiking tours or hikes you can do on your own. If you want amazing views with your hikes, try Canada. It’s hard to beat the scenery of our neighbor to the north, and July-August you’ll find warmer weather, amazing wildlife viewing and more. No matter where you go, remember that hiking doesn’t necessarily mean roughing it. You’ll find that some of the most beautiful resorts and lodges are surrounded by scenic hikes.
Retreats
There’s a retreat for everything these days! Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are popular destinations for yoga, meditation and surfing retreats. Invite a friend or fly solo. Challenge yourself to try something new, and don’t be afraid to fail. Retreats are nice because you’re often able to tailor your schedule to fit your own needs. If you want to skip a surf lesson and take in the sun, do just that. Reflect on your own needs and celebrate your strength.
Workshops
Workshops are a great way to escape for a short amount of time. You’ll find many that are just one weekend long, but full of fun! You’ll find everything from acroyoga and circus skills to holistic nutrition. Search for things you’ve never tried before, or look for an interest that you want to take further. Search for opportunities near you, or embark on a longer journey and extend your time after the workshop.
Cruises
Today’s cruises provide more and more opportunities to stay active. Try the rock climbing wall or take a dance class. Rise early to take a walk around the ship or participate in a yoga class. There are cruises dedicated to sailing, cycling, running and Zumba. Find something that sounds like fun to you and give it a whirl!
Camping
Camping might sound easy, but if you’ve ever tried to set up a tent, you know it can be a physical challenge. Camping often provides you with the chance to disconnect and get closer to nature. You can help reset your body as you remember how to rise and fall with the sun. You can bring along family games, rent canoes or kayaks, hike and make your own delicious food. You’ll start to appreciate being active and the true meaning of wellness in a whole new way.

These are just a few of the many things you can do to stay active while on vacation. There’s still scuba diving, golf, whitewater rafting and more. The most important thing to remember is that being active and healthy doesn’t mean doing the same thing every single day. Don’t stress out about breaking your usual fitness routine for vacation. You can always find a way to incorporate fitness into your lifestyle.
Continue Reading