Inflammation is one of the leading root causes of disease today. Health conditions that have been linked to inflammation include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many others. A lot of people suffer from inflammation, but are unaware because they interpret symptoms as natural bodily processes. To fix the symptom, many people apply a bandage in the form of over-the-counter medications. This does not address the root of the problem, making it harder for healing to begin.
Inflammation & Diet: Making The Connection
Most Americans have veered from the natural practice of “eating from the earth.” By that, we mean that people have gravitated towards processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugars, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol. All of these foods, in addition to dairy products, poultry, eggs, and hormone-raised beef, induce inflammation. It’s important to remember that the plant world contains all of the necessary nutrients people need to survive. Additionally, plant-based foods are nutritionally dense and a lot of them are alkaline.
Various fruits and vegetables fall at different places on the pH scale. A lot of animal-based foods are acidic, while plant-based foods tend to be more alkaline. It would behoove you to incorporate alkaline foods in your diet to reduce inflammation, so we’ve detailed some of our favorite alkaline foods below.
Every root vegetable has alkalizing properties, but carrots stand out from the rest. People have been juicing carrots for years to absorb the vitamin A & C content, both of which help to reduce oxidative stress and alkalize the body. Try not to cook them too often because they become slightly acidic when cooked.
Spirulina is a true superfood that is packed with an amazing nutritional profile. One teaspoon of spirulina contains four grams of protein, 80% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron, and 800% of your RDI of vitamin A. One teaspoon is all you need per day to help alkalize your blood.
Bok choy doesn’t receive a lot of attention and it isn’t on the average person’s grocery list. The antioxidants in bok choy help to naturally fight cancerous cells and reduce overall inflammation. Bok choy is also rich in vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin K. Add this cruciferous green to salads, soups, and wraps.
Dark Leafy Greens
Speaking of greens, you should include kale, collards, and chard in your diet. The dark green color of these greens means that they are rich in chlorophyll, which has a cell structure that is very similar to human cells. Chlorophyll also helps to block the body’s absorption of carcinogens, which can lead to inflammation. Make sure to get your greens!
Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Raw heirloom pumpkin seeds (not roasted or seasoned) have some amazing alkalizing properties. As the body digests them, they leave an alkaline ash in the blood, which helps the body naturally reach an alkaline state. Hemp seeds also provide this unique property. Pumpkin seeds are also great sources of chlorophyll, iron, and protein!
Matcha is pretty special because it is not heated or processed like many other forms of green tea. You can almost consider it a raw green superfood, which contains about 40 times more antioxidants than regular green tea. It is best to purchase quality matcha to absorb the chlorophyll, which can help alleviate inflammation and improve your mood. Many people brew matcha into a tea, but it can be blended into your smoothies for a subtle sweetness.