By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 08 July 2020
A recent study found that feeling anxious, angry or depressed increased inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been linked to many effects on our overall health, including but not limited to asthma, heart disease and arthritis.
Luckily our experts are on hand to offer their advice on ways you can help minimise the threat of inflammation as well as their top tips for boosting your mood.
Food groups to avoid…
There are plenty of common foods that we all consume that can cause inflammation! If you’re worried about inflammation Nutritionist Alix Woods advises, “Avoid common inflammatory ingredients and foods like sugar and manage your caffeine, wheat, yeast, protein (red meat), salt, alcohol and saturated fat intake.
Caffeine often causes irregularities in blood sugar and stimulates our stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol. Sugar in any form including fructose, corn syrup, glucose syrup and palm sugar are all inflammatory in nature and cause blood sugar to spike leading to an imbalance in glucose and metabolic function.
This often causes weight gain as the excess glucose is stored as fat. Avoid burnt, fried and refined carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta and white rice. As well as this consider cutting down on processed foods such as ready meals and takeaways. It is also advisable to be wary of margarine, sunflower oil, canola oil and corn oil.”
Luckily there are plenty of ways to incorporate anti-inflammatory ingredients into your diet. Alix recommends, “Water is the number one anti-inflammatory super food. Drink filtered water to counter any inflammation or pain within the body as it cleanses and soothes our cells.
Add lemon for added alkalinity and flavour. Lemons are an excellent anti-inflammatory fruit. You can also adopt an anti-inflammatory diet, full of green leafy vegetables, berry fruits, omega 3 fatty acids, olive oil and add spices like turmeric, rosemary, cinnamon and ginger.
The best sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 are oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds. Turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is good for all systems of the body. Ginger and rosemary are full of anti-inflammatory compounds and cinnamon has been found to curb blood sugar and cholesterol”.
A great way to boost your mood is with seaweed! Alix recommends itsu’s seaweed thins (available at Tesco nationwide, RRP £1.00) “itsu’s crispy seaweed thins are rich in magnesium aka nature’s own ‘tranquilliser’, which is essential for relaxation and for maintaining a stable mood.
They contain tryptophan, the amino acid that helps the production of serotonin, our mood enhancing happy hormone. The combination of magnesium and tryptophan helps to boost mood and promotes feelings of well-being.” This tasty mood-boosting snack is also dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans!
Help harmonise your body and mind…
Nutritional Therapist, Fiona Lawson, working in association with CannabiGold (www.cannabigold.com) explains how you could help harmonise your body and mind with CannibiGold’s CBD oil. “The Cannabis sativa plant, from which CBD is extracted, has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
Today, modern science is uncovering how CBD can help to support the body. Although more research is needed, preliminary studies suggest that CBD can help to improve sleep, as well as reduce social anxiety. Also, the hemp extracts are particularly rich in essential fats, which can help to support everything from your skin to your mood.”
Try dispensing a controlled amount of CannabiGold classic 500MG CBD oil (£29.90, www.bionativa.co.uk) directly under your tongue to begin your CBD adventure.
A good night sleep could help you avoid the downward spiral of negative thinking…
If you’re a night-time worrier and your head starts swirling with anxieties as soon as it hits the pillow, this negative mood could increase your chances of inflammation. Therefore, make sure you invest in nature’s sleepy mineral; magnesium.
Nutritionist Cassandra Barns explains, ‘Magnesium is also known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’, and can be effective in calming your nervous system, so try where possible to add magnesium rich foods to your diet. These include buckwheat, sunflower seeds, fish and leafy green vegetables.
I’d also recommend taking KalmAssure Magnesium Powder, by Natures Plus (RRP £24.50,www.naturesplus.co.uk). This naturally chelated magnesium is very easy to absorb and is easily delivered to the tissues.
The importance of the sunshine vitamin…
It is not uncommon to feel low at this time of the year due to Seasonal Affective Disorder! Nutritionist and author Dr Marilyn Glenville (www.marilynglenville.com) explains, “You may be more affected by SAD because of a lack of vitamin D, as it is thought of as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Vitamin D receptors are present in your central nervous system and vitamin D can affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, which are linked to depression.”
If you can, get a liquid vitamin D3 and drop it under your tongue. It will go into the blood vessels under your tongue so it is absorbed quickly, rather than having to be digested if you take a capsule. Try NHP’s Vitamin D3 Support, (RRP £12.97, www.naturalhealthpractice.com) free of preservatives, sweeteners and is suitable for pregnant women, children and adults.