Food Hacks to Nourish your Summer Body

The beautiful days of summer are on approach. Shed your sweaters and jackets and let your body, mind, and soul drink the sun. SuperShe believes in you & being your best, whether that’s through your spiritual practice, beauty regimen, or feeling damn fine in your bikini. We’ve curated the perfect Do’s & Don’ts to get you feeling 100% by kicking inflammation to the curb. Not only will these easy practices make you feel like the goddess you are, but it’ll keep you lean & healthy from the inside out.

Inflammation is your body’s response to its recognition of an invader, bacteria or something that will be damaging to your body. A common example is when you get a splinter in your finger, it gets puffy and red. Your body is sending white blood cells to heal it and prevent foreign invaders. This is the puffiness you notice around the splinter and it is the same thing that is happening in your gut. For example, if you have an insensitivity to gluten, everytime you consume it, it triggers  your digestive tract to inflame to fight it. So, if you never give your body anytime to recover and you keep consuming the foods, the inflammation never goes away; the damage is being done roughly three times a day.

The Do’s

Omega -3 fatty acids:

They compete with the Omega -6 fatty acids which are pro-inflammatory foods. When the body has enough Omega -3 acids, they are able to defeat the Omega -6 acids. Not to mention they also help with fetal growth and development as well as brain, cardiovascular and skin health in adults.

Foods: Salmon, Mackerel, flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seeds or chia seeds.

*Note: Omega -6 acids in themselves are not bad, they even have some health benefits. It is just good to be aware of how many we consume because they are found in almost everything we eat.

Polyphenols:

Luckily these are found just about everywhere. Including: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, some whole grains and legumes, and even in olive oil and wine. Not only are these anti-inflammatory but also contain anti-aging and antioxidant properties. They have even been known to help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes and allergies.

Foods: Spinach, carrots, cabbage, red peppers, apples, strawberries, lemon (the list    goes on).

Spices & Herbs:

Spices and herbs have a history of being used as healing properties and that is because they are rich in antioxidants, anti-cancer and anti-bacterial properties, plus are anti-inflammatory.

Foods: Garlic, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, mint, fennel.

Other Foods that made the “Do List”:

Avocados – In addition to being full of Omega-3 acids, avocados are packed with magnesium, and potassium. They also are loaded in healthy fats that keep you full. When you eat foods rich in fat like this, your brain receives a signal to turn off your appetite. It also slows down your body’s breakdown of carbs, helping to keep stable levels of blood sugar.

Almonds – They are a good source of magnesium which gives your body energy and studies have shown their composition actually blocks calories.

Eggs – In addition to being an anti – inflammatory, eggs are high in protein and fat which keep you fuller longer (therefore helping you cut back on snacking throughout the day).

Asparagus – Being high in soluble and insoluble fibers – which are both digested slowly – allows you to be fuller longer. It also aids in waste and water removal, decreasing bloating and discomfort.

Cucumbers – In the same way they are used to reduce puffiness under your eyes, they can do the same thing for your belly by eating them. Cucumbers contain quercetin, an antioxidant the helps reduce swelling.

The Don’ts

 

It is pretty much safe to say all forms of refined carbohydrates are best to skip. These foods contain gluten and even without having an allergen or celiac disease, gluten is extremely hard on your body to digest and therefore increases bloating.

Salty foods cause your body to retain water weight which makes you bloat. Avoid foods that are extremely high in salt such as fried foods, chips, all processed foods and carbs.

Broccoli, cabbage, and kale all contain raffinose, a sugar that stays undigested until bacteria in your gut is able to ferment it, which causes gas, i.e. boating. However, these foods are extremely nutrient high and can be very beneficial to your health. So do not cut them out altogether, just be aware of the amount you take in and when.

Beans, lentils, soybeans, and peas are all legumes and are gas-causing foods. They are full of sugars and fibers our bodies cannot absorb.

People are really catching on to the profound health risks of processed sugars (as in the added sugars that are put in the majority of food products). On this long list, there is of course inflammation as well as obesity and unbalanced levels of insulin. Too much processed sugar leads to a dramatic increase of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). When you have an increase of glucose in your body (that you get from processed sugars and refined carbs), and excessive amount of AGE’s build up which leads to inflammation and bloating.

**Please note that although this list is a good starting place if you are looking to reduce inflammation and bloating, if you are experiencing more dramatic reactions, have a history of food and/or other allergens, you may want to consider seeing a specialist to get a plan tailored to your body’s specific needs.

By Hannah Bater