Last week I woke up and couldn’t move my neck. It was terrible. I immediately went to a chiropractor and my range of motion was pathetic. I started my recovery and was advised to use ice throughout the day to start to decrease the inflammation. Immediately my inner voice started talking to me:
“Inflammation? You don’t just need ice, you need food!”
And boy, did I ever. I started drinking hot water with turmeric (a fantastic spice to combat inflammation) and fresh lemon juice a few times a day. I also started paying attention to the micro-nutrients in my meals. Vitamin C, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids are particularly talented in fighting against inflammation, so I loaded up on those. At the same time I eliminated sugar from my diet (unless it was naturally occurring in fruits or vegetables). I try not to eat much sugar anyway, but I figured taking out pure maple syrup and coconut sugar couldn’t hurt, at least until the inflammation was down. I try not to consume the other foods that are linked to inflammation, but in case you’re interested here’s a list of the major contributors:
- meat- red and processed meat or any animal that is fed grains. Grain-fed animals consume high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which is then present in their muscle. An imbalance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids contributes to inflammation.
- vegetable oils- particularly cottonseed, grape seed safflower, corn and sunflower oils (all high in omega-6 fatty acids)
- refined grains
- fake food- aka artificial food additives
- gluten, eggs and night shade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, etc) can also contribute to inflammation for people who have sensitivities
So how did I incorporate increased amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids into my diet? This is how:
Goodbye Inflammation Breakfast Potato
Get your vitamin C from a sweet potato and some applesauce, your omega-3 fatty acids from chia and flax seeds, and your vitamin E from pumpkin seeds and almonds. Combine them all together and you’ve got a breakfast that will satisfy your sweet tooth and kiss your inflammation goodbye!
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/4 cup unsweetened (non-dairy) almond yogurt
- 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1/2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp applesauce
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- dash of cinnamon- optional
- Cook the sweet potato using method of choice (oven, steamer, microwave)
- After the sweet potato is cooked to your liking, cut open and drizzle with yogurt.
- Sprinkle with chia and flax seeds and then drizzle almond butter and applesauce over top.
- Finish with pumpkin seeds and cinnamon, if using.
- Grab a fork and show your inflammation who’s boss!
If I wasn’t a believer in the power of food before my injury, I sure am now. Three days after the discovery of my injury I was told that my inflammation was decreasing rapidly and was basically gone. Two days after that my neck vertebrae that had been severely displaced were able to move back into place with ease. It’s been just over a week now and I’m feeling fantastic, probably even better than before. I should note though that I didn’t just rely on nutrition, I also iced and stretched as advised.
Have you ever experienced inflammation? How did you heal it?
Calories: 303.5, Fat: 19g (1.3g saturated), Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 7.6g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 8g
Nutritional information was calculated using this.
UPDATE! This recipe has been submitted to Wellness Weekend.