Everything from stress, lack of sleep, illness and even genes are said to cause inflammation in our bodies. However, foods are a major cause of inflammation too. Making some little simple tweaks to your diet can not only help you feel better and look better, it can help fight inflammation.
Here are a few very easy swaps you can consider when shopping, cooking, and eating.
Replace salad dressing with oil and vinegar
Instead of purchasing salad dressing—which can be high in sugar, salt, additives, and high fructose corn syrup—choose olive oil with a dash of vinegar on your salad. Olive oil is rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols and also adds good fats to your diet.
Instead of mayonnaise on a sandwich, choose avocado
Avocado is full of monounsaturated fat (the good fat). It also has fiber and nutrients, making it an extremely healthy choice. Avocado toast is a great breakfast or lunch that will fill you up.
Instead of salt when cooking, choose spices
Fill your spice cabinet with new bottles or choose to grow your own on the windowsill or outside. Spices have many health benefits. In particular, turmeric is known to be anti-inflammatory for many conditions. Other excellent choices include oregano, sweet basil, chili powder, ginger and cinnamon which can help balance those blood sugar spikes that can increase inflammation.
Swap sweet processed snacks for fresh fruit
Berries, apples, and bananas not only offer superb health benefits, they satisfy your sweet tooth. Fruits have natural sugar and are full of fiber and vitamins. When you get used to eating fruit, that box of donuts won’t look as appetizing. Plus you won’t get that sugar slump after eating sweet junk food.
Replace pasta and rice with more veggies
Swap the big pile of carbs on your plate for a much smaller side of pasta, grains, potatoes or rice and increase the vegetables to be the biggest portion of your plate. Fiber-rich veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and peas will fill you up, lessen calories and offer more health benefits than pasta and other carbs.
Instead of chips, opt for nuts as a snack
Just a small handful is enough since they are high in calories but rich in anti-inflammatory effects. You can make your own granola by mixing nuts with pumpkin or sunflower seeds, raw dark chocolate, and a tiny amount of dried fruit. This fiber-rich mix is filling and healthy when eaten in small amounts.
Swap soda for water
Whether regular or diet, soda is just plain bad for us, especially on a daily basis. I’ll have a glass of ginger ale but an even better choice is a naturally flavored seltzer if you love carbonated type drinks. Consider getting your own soda maker to make a carbonated drink without high fructose corn syrup.
Reduce your body inflammation and you may feel better right away. Long term, it will help your body stay strong and healthier too.