Anti-Inflammatory Diet-Part 3: How to Eliminate Inflammatory Foods
Just do it.
So by now, you know which foods can cause inflammation in the body and which foods actually help fight inflammation. If you’re just seeing this series now, check out the other two posts in this series here.
There are really only 2 ways to eliminate these types of foods from your diet.
- Cold Turkey
Personally, I’m more of a cold turkey kind of girl. When you’re trying to reduce inflammation, and it is UNCOMFORTABLE, all a person wants is relief. Even just a little relief. The best way, and the fastest way, is to just get rid of the foods that cause inflammation. Don’t risk it.
I started by eliminating dairy, refined sugars, gluten, and peanuts, then I removed soy products. Of course, this is a challenge because most of those items are in a lot of processed foods. Even some that we think of as healthy foods. (granola bars, anyone? Loaded with soy and sugar.)
Become a label reader. Pay attention to that ingredients list. That’s where you’ll decide if this is something you should have or if it’s going to cause an inflammatory response.
A couple of weekends ago, I was out of town on business and had a fabulous tomato basil soup. About 30 minutes later, I noticed the joints in my hands aching and discomfort in my knees and feet. I was having trouble sitting still because everything was achy. Sure enough, there was cream in the soup. Dairy. UGH.
You can do this by trial and error and eliminate one thing at a time, but the truth is that even if you don’t have a “sensitivity” to one of these foods, it can still cause an inflammatory response. It’s best to remove them all for the best results.
What about special occasions, like birthdays and there’s cake? Well, no one wants you to stop enjoying life and living, but it’ll be up to you how much you think it’s worth to have that piece of cake or slice of pizza. I’ll admit to having a treat every now and then, but I will tell you that I do pay a price for it. After that soup, I was achy for several days. It takes a while for the inflammatory response to subside, sometimes as long as 21-23 days. Keep that in mind when that petit four is calling your name.
One thing I haven’t mentioned before is alcohol. You should keep this at a minimum mainly for the detox aspect of it, but it does contain a lot of sugar that can cause some issues in the gut with yeast and other bacteria.
Just throw the stuff away.
I know it seems wasteful, but if it’s there, you’ll be tempted to eat it. Give it away if you can, or just toss it. Then don’t keep those things in your house to tempt you into falling into a painful inflammatory trap.
What the heck can I eat?
Aim to keep lots of fresh fruits and veggies in the house at all times. Not only will these nutritious foods help cleanse and detox your system, it’ll help wean you off of the addictive flavors of sugary, processed foods.
Keep it simple. Limited ingredients, simple recipes. You can do this! If I can do it with the crazy life I lead, so can you! Find a support system and tell family and friends what you’re trying to do and why. Ask for their support and help. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a less painful life where flare-ups are minimal.
Water is essential.
There are so many reasons I could list why you should be drinking water all day, but the main one that relates to this is that it is an essential detox agent and will help keep your cells hydrated and functioning at their best. Cheers!