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Your Food Choices Are at the Heart of Your Health

By Sandy Schroeder

So much of what my grandmother said and did about food turned out to be on target when I finally got around to taking a closer look at the relationship of food to inflammation in the body and serious diseases such as heart trouble and diabetes.  Look at what she did.

  • She grew gardens full of tomatoes, green beans, green onions, and herbs like rosemary, dill, and basil
  • She grew leafy green lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage, zucchini, potatoes and Brussels sprouts
  • She harvested fruit from raspberry bushes, and apricot or peach trees, and turned them into unforgettable pies
  • Her garden supplied a kitchen filled with the heavenly smells of garden vegetable soup, cauliflower or green bean casseroles, and fragrant fruit loaves or tarts
  • She always encouraged us to try everything and pick our favorite foods

If you compare that approach to today's latest advice on using food to fight inflammation, it all matches. Today researchers tell us to make healthy food choices to avoid damaging bacteria and encourage digestive bacteria that suppresses inflammation in our bodies.

Healthy Food Choices

Here is what is suggested for healthy food choices.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables - They supply antioxidants and polyphenols with protective compounds. Mix them into breakfast, lunch and dinner with veggie omelets, avocado and tomato lunches, and green beans, corn and Brussels sprouts side dishes with dinner. 

Eat nuts and seeds - Researchers have found they are linked to reduced markers of inflammation that help to lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Serve nuts instead of chips for snacks and mix seeds into all of your meals. Try out nut butters too.

Drink healthy beverages - Polyphenols in coffee and flavonols in cocoa deliver anti-inflammatory boosts. Green tea also supplies health-giving polyphenols and antioxidants. Follow up with 6-8 glasses of water.

Making This Work for You

Enlist the whole family and get the most from your food.

Grow your garden - Use a windowsill, patio or flowerbed garden mixing vegetables, herbs and flowers

Make family dinners a daily pleasure - Sit down to dinners that everyone helps fix. Enjoy tomato, green onion and cucumber salads. Add cauliflower or broccoli and cheese casseroles with breast of chicken or broiled wild salmon.

Keep looking for new recipes - Check Epicurious.com for new ideas and let the kids help bake banana or zucchini loaves, upside down pineapple cake, or raspberry tarts.

One of the best weapons against inflammation is waiting in your kitchen. What are you waiting for?

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Windermere, Fla.

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