Inflammation is hot topic these days because it’s the root cause of many unwanted symptoms and health issues. Inflammation can be caused by stress, mold, pesticides, mercury, hidden parasites, bacteria and viruses in our body as well as by eating an inflammatory diet filled with table salt, sugar, white flours, refined vegetable oils and processed foods, all of which lack nutrients our body needs on a daily basis to function optimally.
Too many of people deal with headaches, exhaustion, weight gain and other awful symptoms on a daily basis, but what many of these people don’t realize is that these symptoms aren’t normal. Our bodies were built to feel amazing every day and the majority of us accept feeling tired, bloated and foggy brained on a daily basis. Furthermore, many of my clients deal with food cravings, mood swings and pain each week and they’re in a constant struggle to get themselves back to feeling "normal" again. Throughout the last 10 years I’ve suffered from over a dozen chronic health issues including Lyme disease, PCOS, hypothyroidism, candida, C-diff colitis, leaky gut and more. After spending many years on a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs, I chose a different path with functional medicine to figure out how to get my body working for me- instead of against me by fighting inflammation.
I soon realized I wasn’t the only one suffering, and through my website, TheHealthyApple.com, I started receiving thousands of emails from people who were also suffering and not finding answers/relief from their symptoms. These people wanted to find the root cause of their symptoms and so did I. That’s when I turned my life around and learned how to address the underlying imbalances in my body instead of treating my symptoms with a band-aid approach. I never want anyone to go through what I went through for 10 very painful, exhausting years trying to figure out how to be healthy in a real way. I’m ready to hand over the keys to you to shortcut your journey to wellness and save you time, money and suffering with my new book Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body.
If more people understood what an important role they play in their own health, they could change the quality of their life forever. We have so much more control than we realize and it starts with fighting inflammation by eating clean, whole and nourishing foods.
My first tip is to find out what foods are causing inflammation in your body. This is something than can be done through my 21 Day Elimination Diet, which I outlined in my book. What many people don’t realize is that they are reacting to certain foods they are eating when they experience a symptom such as a headache or bloating or fatigue up to a few days after eating that food.
This makes it tricky to pinpoint what foods are causing inflammation but you can easily identify the food(s) with the tips I’ve compiled in my book. When you remove the foods that your body is reacting to, the inflammation in your body will decrease. Remember, almost 80 percent of your immune system is located in your "gut," so if you are eating foods that are causing reactions (seasonal allergies, headaches, insomnia, exhaustion, etc.) then it’s likely that your gut and your immune system are thrown off balance and it’s important to work with a functional medicine doctor to address how to heal your gut, which in turn will help decrease the inflammation in your body.
You can also start to add in anti-inflammatory foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, healthy fats, protein and complex carbohydrates on a daily basis so that you are keeping your inflammation in check.
Here are a few anti-inflammatory foods you can start to incorporate in your daily meals and snacks. Buy a few of these foods each week (Sundays are a great day to stock up) and use them throughout the week in your meals and snacks. You can also bring these foods with you to work to snack on in between meals to keep your blood sugar stable. Get creative and add these foods to your morning smoothie, your afternoon salad and your evening stir-fries or whole grain dishes for extra anti-inflammatory boost.
1. Raw Walnuts
3. Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower)
4. Ground flaxseeds
5. Fermented vegetables (such as kimchi, sauerkraut)
6. Dark leafy greens (such as spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, kale)
7. Fresh ginger
10. Fresh rosemary
I want to show you that eating clean feels good. Not because you should do it, but because once you see life this way, you’ll never go back. There’s not an inflammatory white bagel in the world that I’d eat to give up feeling as good as I do right now. When you figure out what works for you and makes you feel amazing, why wouldn’t you do that every day? Don’t you do what makes you feel good?
My new cookbook is filled with over 200 plant-based anti-inflammatory recipes that are free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, corn, refined sugar, white flours and other inflammatory foods. This book is a roadmap to detox your food and your life no matter what symptoms you may have. Inside, I show you how to learn how to fight inflammation and support your body’s ability to detox on a daily basis.
Here’s a simple anti-inflammatory recipe from my new cookbook, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, that can be put together in less than 15 minutes. For an extra anti-inflammatory boost, add a handful of crushed raw walnuts on top!
GRAIN-FREE BASIL AND MINT SUMMER SQUASH “NOODLES”
A terrific staple that’s full of flavor and fiber without any grains. Did you happen to notice the simple directions for this recipe? Combine ingredients and serve. Easy as it gets.
· 3 large yellow summer squash, cut into thin strands with a vegetable peeler or spiral slicer (spiralizer) or julienned
· 1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced
· 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
· 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
· 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
· 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint
· 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
· 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
· Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, toss to coat, and serve.
Recipe excerpted from EATING CLEAN, © 2016 by AMIE VALPONE. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Amie Valpone is a celebrity chef and nutrition expert who healed herself from a decade of chronic illness. She is the author of the new cookbook Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body and the founder of TheHealthyApple.com. Amie has been featured in numerous magazines and TV. Visit Amie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.