As a runner who’s had some recent encounters with hip bursitis, inflammation, and tendinitis, I’ve developed some serious interest in anti-inflammatories. Of course, I’ve happened upon many sites and blogs recommending prescription drugs, cortisone shots, and NSAIDS… but none of those things are really for me.
“How about a homeopathic approach?” I thought. With so many natural ways of healing our body, I didn’t want to do any further damage by neglecting these and jumping straight to an “easy fix” option with conventional medicine. Don’t get me wrong, conventional medicine can be extremely useful, but it’s not always necessary, and in the long term can sometimes do more damage than good.
SO. I set about setting up a anti-inflammatory lifestyle that is easy to stick to and provides relief from inflammation!
Step 1: Adopt an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- Eat foods loaded with natural anti-inflammatories by using herbs and spices like Turmeric, Ginger, Mint, Parsley, Oregano, Cloves, Thyme, Chili pepper, Licorice and Lemongrass.
- Make sure that your diet is high in omega-3 fatty acids by eating Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines and other cold-water fish like Tuna, Cod, Trout, and Snapper. YUM.
- Don’t skimp on the fruit! Stock up on anti-oxidant rich Berries (blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and MORE BLUEBERRIES) as well as Papaya and Pineapple <- these guys contain all kinds beneficial enzymes.
- Nosh on the nuts. Almonds, Walnuts, and Hazelnuts are particularly good for fighting inflammation.
Foods to avoid: sugars, vegetable oils, processed dairy, additive, and foods with high sodium contents. Avoid processed foods like the plague!!!!
Step 2: Minimize Stress and get lots of Sleep.
- Our favorite naturopathic MD, Dr. Erika Enos, has some great tips on alleviating stress and maximizing our sleep dedicated hours!
Step 3: Move it! Incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
- Those new to exercise can find some helpful tips on how to start exercising here.
- Try some low-impact strengthening workouts like yoga, pilates, tai chi, or ballroom dancing!
- Make a daily habit of walking/playing with your pets and kids! Your dogs will thank you and you’ll build a great relationship with your kids in the process. (that is unless you accidentally walk the kids instead of the dog. Avoid this.)
Step 4: Clean your environment with Green Products.
- Fill up (and beautify) your house with air-purifying plants!
- Toxic chemicals could be contributing to your inflammation, use chemical-free products like Method and Seventh Generation.
Of course, inflammation is usually a symptom of a deeper issue. The tips above will help you alleviate inflammation and swelling, but it’s important to identify the root cause and treat it, rather than just the symptom, to live a truly healthy lifestyle!