Keeping Inflammation at Bay with the Right Foods
As a mother, it can be difficult to know what to feed your kids. You want them to have healthy, nourishing meals that will help them grow and thrive. But did you know that some foods can actually be detrimental to their health? Inflammatory foods like seed oils, refined carbs, and artificial sweeteners can cause inflammation in the body, which has been linked to a variety of chronic diseases. Fortunately, there are also foods out there that can help reduce inflammation and aid in healing. Let's take a look at both types of food so you can make better decisions when feeding your family.
Inflammatory Foods - What To Avoid
The first step in reducing inflammation is knowing which foods to avoid. Here area few top offenders:
Unhealthy fats like vegetable oils (canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil) should be avoided at all costs as they contain omega-6 fatty acids that have been linked to inflammation in the body. The name “vegetable oil” sounds harmless enough, but have you ever squeezed a vegetable and seen oil come out? No! Because this doesn’t happen naturally – instead, it takes heavy duty processing, chemical solvents, and bleach to extract oil from seeds like rapeseed (canola), soybeans, and corn. Compare this to an olive – you can squeeze one with your bare hands to extract the olive juice, and then easily separate the oil without any fancy equipment.
Refined carbohydrates, including foods made with white flour, like white bread, pasta, and crackers, are also big contributors to inflammation. Not only are they so highly processed that they are stripped from nutrients, they also spike blood sugar due to their high glycemic index.
High Fructose Corn Syrup, &Artificial Sweeteners:
“Diet foods” can unknowingly be causing inflammation in the body as well due to the common addition of artificial sweeteners. Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal) and sucralose (Splenda) have been found to increase inflammatory markers in the body.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is also a big driver of inflammation, and is found in many processed foods. Unfortunately, it is not just limited to junk foods and candy – it is also found in ketchup, crackers, breakfast cereals, applesauce, and many more common foods!
Anti-inflammatory Foods and Herbs - What To Eat
Now let’s talk about the good stuff! Eating anti-inflammatory foods is an important part of maintaining overall health for both adults and children alike.
Berries such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are great sources of antioxidants that help fight off free radicals in the body which contribute to inflammation.
Cooked vegetables are also important for reducing inflammation; cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and kale are especially beneficial due to their high fiber content.
Herbs, spices & teas like turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce discomfort, pain, and congestion, while boosting immunity at the same time.
Bone broths or meat broths provide essential minerals & nutrients while helping heal damaged tissues.
Wild caught fish & pastured meats provide healthy fats that aid in reducing inflammation while providing other essential vitamins & minerals needed for optimal health & growth.
Fish oil, especially cod liver oil, has tons of research supporting its anti-inflammatory effects, which is attributed to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and naturally occurring vitamins.
Coconut oil is full of medium-chain triglycerides which serve as an anti-inflammatory agent while nuts & seeds provide healthy fats & protein needed for energy throughout the day.
With this knowledge under your belt you now have some tools you need to make informed decisions about what you feed your family on a daily basis. By avoiding inflammatory foods like seed oils, refined carbs & artificial sweeteners while including plenty of anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, cooked veggies & bone broth you can rest assured knowing your kids are getting all the nourishment they need without compromising their health!