Are you using foods that cool you down or heat you up? Cucumbers are the first anti-inflammatory foods we’ll talk about in this series of foods that support a Pure Body, and we won’t just be eating them. “Superfoods” are the most recent buzzwords in healthy living. They provide high energy, antioxidants and plenty of nutrients.
Real health, however, comes from keeping inflammation (Heat) under control. Inflammation is a huge factor in many diseases whether it’s rheumatoid arthritis, MS, allergies, even aging. Think about when you’ve gotten an injury: a burn, pulled muscle or twisted ankle. A doctor’s first instructions will be to put ice on the injury, to cool it down. Foods can cause systemic inflammation as well. Those packaged foods with additives and take out food with chemical fillers are the biggest man-made culprits. Corn, wheat, dairy, soy and potatoes are also considered inflammatory so when you can choose, limit your intake of these foods.
Post-operative instructions often include anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen to help the body start to heal. While it’s important to follow your doctors instructions, there are also many steps you can take to support your body in fighting the heat from injury or stress. Peppermint essential oil is very cooling although it can interfere with over the counter meds. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding this one to your natural routine.
There are many times our bodies may be inflamed and we don’t realize it or we just attribute it to “getting old”: digestive disorders, chronic headaches, general aches and pains on a daily basis. It can be helpful to keep a food and activity journal indicating how you are feeling to help identify potential culprits in your daily routine. Each person is different. What causes one person to become inflamed may be ok for another.
Balance is the Key While there are many foods that are cooling to the body, they cannot compensate for a diet that is heavy in processed foods, the wrong fats, refined sugars and chemicals. Man-made foods in general as well as GMO or improperly processed grains can contribute to systemic inflammation and should be used in small quantities, if at all. The best thing you can do is begin to pay attention to how you feel after eating different foods. If you wake up one day feeling bloated, with puffy eyes or aches and pains, simply think about what you ate the day before. If you suspect a food is causing inflammation in your body, just take a break from it for a week or two and re-introduce it at a time when you can observe your body’s response. This is a simple way to begin understanding your system and what is best for you.
Ayuervedic medicine looks at the whole body and classifies many foods as either cooling or heating the body up. There are many foods that are cooling when eaten or applied to the body, and yes they can fight that systemic inflammation! Make anti-inflammatory foods a part of your everyday diet for REAL wellness inside and out.
Cucumber is a cool food. It comes in hundreds of varieties including heirloom. But you can experience great results just from the common varieties. Ideally, use organic cucumbers. If you don’t make sure you peel the skin first to remove any pesticides or preservative coatings. Cucumbers contain silica, which is soothing to the skin. Cucumbers are also mild diuretics and support the kidneys.
You can cool off from the inside out when you eat and drink certain foods. My favorite way to hydrate, especially in the heat of summer is with a pitcher of cucumber water. All you have to do is add 2-3 slices of cucumber to a glass of water, or 1/2 a cucumber sliced into a half gallon pitcher. If you let the cucumbers sit in the water for several hours, the cucumbers really infuse nutrients into the water. This is what I drink anytime I cleanse to lessen the burden on my body. You will instantly feel this drink cool off your insides.
I love eating cucumbers sliced, just with a sprinkle of Celtic Sea Salt. I have a stash of cucumber recipes and just found a new one at Albion Cooks, with a fantastic “brazil nut cheese”
Puffy eyes? Add some cucumber slices. Slice them thin enough so they are flexible. Lay down where you can be comfortable, even 5 or 10 minutes will refresh. You could also mix up a quick mask just by blending fresh, peeled and diced cucumbers with a little bit of plain yogurt and some ground oats. Slather it on your entire face and rest 10 minutes. Gently wipe off with a soft cloth.
Splash some of your cucumber water on your facing after washing or your body after a shower to refresh your skin and senses.
Five other cooling foods that support detoxing in the body:
- Aloe vera
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please use common sense – go to the doctor if you have a serious issue and need medical attention.