As we get older our bodies react differently to foods and stress. It may start with a pain in your knee, swollen hands or feet after having too much salt, stiffness, acid reflux, loss of energy, respiratory problems, headaches, arthritis, rosacea, asthma, fibromyalgia, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or many other issues. What do all of these things have in common? Inflammation. Our bodies are reacting to what we eat and all the abuse we’ve done to ourselves by not eating right and not exercising. If we do not take notice of the minor issues and take action, our minor issues will turn into major ones.
The first step is diet. Diet plays a major role in how our bodies perform, yet doctors rarely discuss a change in diet. It is easier to write a prescription and treat the symptoms rather than the cause. It might not be obvious what types of foods you should eat. Sure, foods high in sugar and saturated fat come to mind, but would you think a red pepper would hurt you? It might. How about an eggplant? Again, it might. When you think of these foods you don't think they can hurt you because they are from the Earth, but they are considered nightshade vegetables. Nightshades belong to the Solanaceae family which includes over 2,000 species. You might be surprised by the list, here are the most common nightshade vegetables: tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, chiles, and eggplant. Sweet potatoes and yams are not part of nightshades. To determine if nightshades are not agreeing with your body, try cutting them out for a month or more to see if things improve. If you figure out that one nightshade vegetable bothers you, don't waste you time testing the others in the family, you will not react well to any of them.
If you are experiencing chronic inflammation, there is no better time than now to change your diet. Start eating more anti-inflammatory power foods such as kale, mushrooms, ginger, leeks, beans, salmon, halibut, sardines, cod, and trout. Use spices and herbs such as turmeric, rosemary, basil, mint, parsley, oregano, cinnamon, and thyme. Drink tea such as turmeric and ginger. Try a handful of seeds and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds as a snack. Drink lots of water, it will help flush toxins out your body.
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