Reducing inflammation during the holiday season

Christmas sea­sons are tough on those with chron­ic inflam­mat­ory con­di­tions. Hives, rashes, chron­ic stuffy or runny noses, sinus infec­tions, sore joints…these are all aggrav­ated by foods that cre­ate inflam­ma­tion. But what does that actu­ally mean?

Histamine, the chem­ic­al released in aller­gic reac­tions from cells called mast cells, can be triggered by a num­ber of things in our envir­on­ment, includ­ing through foods.

Here is a small list of histam­ine-rich foods that are the most com­monly con­sumed. When a body sees them, a series of chem­ic­al reac­tions begin that trig­ger aller­gic-like responses (if they are not in fact aller­gies):

  • Alcohol (but red wine espe­cially)
  • Citrus Fruit (oranges (ahem, clem­entines), lem­on, grapefruit)
  • Banana, Kiwi, Pineapple
  • Avocado
  • Nuts and Nut but­ters
  • Processed and cured meats (salami, ham)
  • Gluten
  • Dairy (*cheese*)
  • Soy and soy products

So, it is reas­on­able to assume if you are a per­son who suf­fers from any of the fol­low­ing:

Asthma
Eczema
IBS
Chronic head­aches
Chronic pain
Lupus
Celiac dis­ease
Hashimoto’s thyroid­it­is

…as a few examples of chron­ic inflam­mat­ory conditions…that you might want to be extra care­ful dur­ing the hol­i­days to not load up on clem­entines, red wine and olives as your pre­ferred hol­i­day snacks.

It’s all about balance.

Rotate high histamine with low histamine foods.

Enjoy your hol­i­day. Just remem­ber, eat­ing the histam­ine foods in mod­er­a­tion should be okay. Here are a few examples of low histam­ine foods:

Blueberries
Pomegranates
Pears
Organic free-range chick­en
Green beans
Broccoli
Arugula
Beets
Sweet potato

Download this free PDF for a quick go-to guide of the com­mon high and low histam­ine foods.

Consider anti-inflammatories if you are prone to inflammation.…

My per­son­al favour­ites:

Vitamin C (20003000 mg)

Omega-3 fish oils (2000 mg 3:1 EPA:DHA ratio)

Vitamin D (40005000 IU)

Stress moderation is key.

The more stress hor­mone that is present in the face of an aller­gic reac­tion, the more that reac­tion can really get going. So it stands to reas­on, redu­cing your stress can be a huge asset for a more inflam­ma­tion-prone sys­tem! Read an earli­er blog post I have for stress-bust­ing ideas for the hol­i­days.

Moderation, moderation, moderation.

No all-or-noth­ing. Enjoy the foods you like and mix the ones that are enjoy­able that are also less inflam­ma­tion-pro­du­cing, and you’ll be able to have a hol­i­day that you can be proud of.

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