Inflammation might be responsible for more health problems in our country than we realize! Research is showing cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, Alzheimer’s, asthma, eczema, (and of course anything ending with the term -itis) and much much more all have one, underlying cause: Inflammation! Inflammation itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s our bodies natural way to respond to stress or foreign particles. The problem is when this response is chronic, our body gets damaged.
You may wonder what this has to do with children? These chronic issues are usually the LAST symptom! Inflammation begins long before disease or death. And in the case of asthma and eczema, we all know many children are suffering from those while they are young. In an upcoming PBS special, Brenda Watson makes the connection between our diet, our digestive system, and inflammation. I found it super enlightening as of course, I’ve always believed our diet has the biggest impact on our health.
So, what foods contribute to inflammation?
- Saturated fats like those found in poorly fed animals
- Trans fats (like those found in foods like margarine and shortening)
- Eating a diet high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 is associated with increasing levels of cytokines — proteins released from cells that trigger inflammation (source)
- Processed foods
- Refined grains! With no fiber or Vitamin B, it’s hard to fight inflammation.
What foods will help heal inflammation? Dr. Weil has a good list.
- Fish for the Omega 3’s
- Herbs and Spices
Whether you decide controlling inflammation is the way to better health, or not, you would have to agree, that decreasing the foods that we believe contribute to the problem, and increasing the healing foods, is definitely a good thing!
So, with those in mind, here is this weeks meal plan (more fish than I normally put on the meal plan, but a new resolve to eat more of it!)
|Monday||Strawberry Banana Steel Cut oats||Hummus and chicken wraps (3/4 way down on page)||Apple Chips||Salmon, sweet potatoes and green beans|
|Tuesday||Salmon Frittata (seen at bottom) with leftover Salmon||Fruity Rice||Citrus Salad with Greek Yogurt (w/out the sugar)||Asian Vegetable Salad and Grilled Chicken|
|Wednesday||Cheesy Spinach Bites||Green Salad
|Trail Mix: Almonds, shredded coconut and dried apples.||Greek Stuffed Tomatoes with rice filling|
|Thursday||Strawberry and spinach smoothie with OJ||Tuna salad on Rice crackers with sliced apples||Cottage cheese and salsa on whole grain crackers||Tuscan White Bean Stew|
|Friday||Steel cut oats with blackberries and cinnamon||Veggie wraps
|Cashews and raisins||Rosemary Chicken with roasted Vegetables (second recipe)|
Don’t forget, you can print this meal plan from the archives page!