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?

What kinds of things cause inflammation?

Inflammation is a nat­ur­al response to some­thing our sys­tem does­n’t like. Our body releases chem­ic­als from cells to widen blood ves­sels and pro­mote flu­id move­ment, cir­cu­la­tion, and an immune “attack” against what it sees as a prob­lem. Viruses and bac­teria are examples of for­eign invaders that cre­ate this response. 

Opening our blood ves­sels requires a num­ber of factors, includ­ing the release of histam­ine from spe­cial cells called mast cells. 

Histamine can not only be released by cer­tain kinds of foods, but our bod­ies can respond to cer­tain foods’ with the release of histamine.

Histamine-rich foods

You do not have to be spe­cific­ally aller­gic to these foods to have histam­ine reactions!
  • 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:

Chronic head­aches
Chronic pain
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:

Organic free-range chick­en
Green beans
Sweet potato

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

Other obvious anti-inflammatories

Sugar reduc­tion. I think we ALL know that too much sug­ar does­n’t make you feel well, and there are numer­ous reas­ons we should all take a step back here!

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

My per­son­al favourites:

Vitamin C (20003000 mg) — but mind to not get these from oranges!

Omega‑3 fish oils (2000 mg 3:1 EPA:DHA ratio) not only change how our immune sys­tem responds but decreases the use of inflam­ma­tion-reac­tion pathways

Vitamin D (40005000 IU)

Turmeric (Curcumin) with act­ive curcumin­oids (and activ­ated by black pep­per) in cap­sule form for joint-related inflammation 

Stinging Nettle (in cap­sule or tea form) reduces swell­ing in the face and reduces itch­ing. Check out the link to read its bene­fit in a research study above!

Boswellia (or Frankincense) is won­der­ful for joint and gut-related pain and inflammation 

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 pain and swell­ing-free holiday!

To your health!

Dr. Aoife ND

Please share if you feel this is use­ful for your inflam­ma­tion-filled friends and family :)

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