COOL AS A CUCUMBER.
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.
Post-operative instructions often include anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen to help the body start to heal. Most recently, I had some dental work done and my jaw was sore in the region where the work was done, as to be expected. Several days later I ate some cheese (knowing I have a sensitivity to it, just to see if I might be more tolerant) and within 24 hours I developed an earache which began in the area of my inflammed jaw. It took 2 weeks of cooling my body to fight this inflammation that I brought on myself, and I did it without anti-inflammatory drugs. I ate cooling foods and applied essential oils (peppermint is very cooling) and within minutes the pain would subside. I had to be especially diligent about what I ate and put on my body so this inflammation would not continue (sadly for me that meant no more cheese)
What is Your Tolerance for Pain? Having an earache is painful, and one that was difficult to ignore. There are many times our bodies may be inflammed 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. If you want to be really healthy, the best thing you can do is tune in to how you feel day to day. Get your copy of my free eBook The Seven Habits of Healthy People for simple ways to begin studying your Self and get ideas to be healthy in mind, body, spirit and your perspective on life.
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. 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 this week’s 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.
Cool off from the Inside-Out 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”
For your skin, nothing helps puffy or allergy eyes like cucumber slices. Slice them thin enough so they are flexible. Lay down where you can be comfortable, even 5 or 10 minutes will cool inflammation. You’ll instantly feel the cooling sensation. 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.
Watch next week for another Anti-Inflammatory food that the healthiest people are wearing….
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.