Diwali season is just around the corner and so is the season of binge eating and splurging. But hey, festive times call for festive foods and light moods! And while you’re Pandal hopping or feasting at card parties, here’s our guide to combat the most discomforting after-effect of festive splurging a.k.a. Bloating and Inflammation- our old friends.
The world’s most talked about diseases -- Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer -- have a common underlying problem: inflammation. Inflammation is a natural physiological process and is actually a sign that your immune system is working properly. When your cells detect a pathogen, they send out signals to the immune system. The immune system responds by sending a wave of pro-inflammatory cells that release compounds that trigger an inflammatory response. This is why you experience swelling, tenderness, and redness at the site of an injury.
Under normal circumstances, inflammation helps prevent us from getting sick. The body’s immune response fights off foreign invaders and keeps us healthy. Unfortunately, chronic inflammation can seriously undermine your health. If inflammatory cells remain active for too long, they can affect the properties of your arteries. Similarly, prolonged inflammation in the brain may increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease or other neurological problems.
So, how can you help regulate your body’s inflammatory response? Evidence and studies suggest that the foods you eat contribute to the levels of chronic inflammation in the body (Doheny, 2008). Thus, by altering your diet to include plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, you may decrease your risk of chronic disease.
And with a colourful plethora of festivals coming your way, there’s no way you’re saying no to all those carbs and lip-smacking dishes. And we don’t ask you to either! So how do you combat pre-Diwali inflammation and fit into that gorgeous sharara without having to suck your stomach in you ask? We’ve just the right and scientifically proven answer for you. And that is BALANCE. Yes folks, you read that right, balancing the junk that goes inside your body with just the right amount of healthy foods. The best part being, you can buy organically produced, healthy food online now without having to fret at stores!
Inflammation - Fighting foods to enjoy this Diwali:
Fortunately, some of the foods you eat can actually fight against the effects of inflammation. Focus on getting plenty of the following foods into your post binge diet to keep inflammatory markers in check:
- Spices like ginger, curry, and turmeric are all linked to fighting inflammation in the body.
- Leafy green vegetables. Leafy greens are touted for their numerous health benefits. Among these is the potential to significantly reduce inflammation (Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 2015). To ensure you get enough, make healthy salads with a bed of spinach, kale, mustard greens, or leaf lettuce. Alternatively enjoy cooked collard greens, turnip greens, or Swiss chard as a side dish with any meal.
- Healthy nuts are chock full of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats but contain very little unhealthy saturated fat. As a result, nuts have major anti-inflammatory effects (Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 2015). In particular, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and peanuts are excellent sources of vitamin E (Traber, 2015). Vitamin E may protect the body from the effects of harmful free radicals and have been shown to reduce inflammation (Traber, 2015). Thus, nuts make an excellent snack food. They can also be added to salads, incorporated into vegetarian burgers, or enjoyed in the form of nut butters.
- Olive oil. The Mediterranean diet is particularly well known for lowering the risk of chronic disease. One of the most important components of this diet may be olive oil (Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 2015). Olive oil contains nutrients called polyphenols, which prevents the release of inflammatory compounds.
An amalgamation of these key nutritious ingredients in your diet is sure to get you freedom from inflammation. The most easily available and travel friendly option out of these being- NUTS. Select from a wide range of organically produced nuts and say hello to health! Buying nuts online from the comfort of your homes is just how easy nutrition can get.
A handful in the morning, noon or night; a generous sprinkle over salads or stir fried veggies and chicken, a power-packed assortment of nuts is just what you need to keep bloating at bay and help the stomach feel light.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids found abundantly in active sunflower seeds and chia seeds is imperative in reducing the effects of inflammation and bloating. These fatty acids are capable of inhibiting many aspects of inflammation including leukocyte chemotaxis, adhesion molecule expression and leucocyte-endothelial adhesive interactions, production of eicosanoids like prostaglandins and leukotrienes from the n-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These coupled with almonds and cashews help combat the ill-effects of bloating. Thus, having a good balance of nuts and seeds containing Omega 3 and Omega 6 is essential for an inflammation-free Diwali.
Here is a loved recipe from the Nourish kitchen to help you combat inflammation like a pro-
Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
- Pudding:1 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup Organic Chia Seeds
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice
- Toppings:1/4 cup Active Sunflower Seeds
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- Add the ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. Serve with toppings and keep leftovers refrigerated.
You can shop for organic and non GMO nuts and seeds online from the link provided below. Buy these assorted healthy nuts and snack guilt-free to enjoy an inflammation-free Diwali this year!