'You are what you eat' because that certain foods can be good or bad for you. They are bad if they are inflammatory foods and good if they are not. If you are a doctor who treats inflammatory conditions, like neck pain or low back pain, would not you want your patients to eat foods that help to reduce inflation as oppose to consuming inflammatory foods? But how can you tell?

What patients eat can affect their outcome. As a Baltimore chiropractor I have found that review of the literature not only reveals the answer but provides the perfect guide to eating well. So, this article begins with the promise that eating certain foods can actually make things hurt worse-increases infection-while eating other foods can actually help less pain and promote faster healing. These are known as anti-inflammatory foods and they are closely related to competitive omega fatty acids. Swelling, redness, heat and pain occurs when tissue become inflamed. It may be overt, like a sprained ankle, or hidden benefit the skin, like in your stomach.

So, what foods should or should not be consumed and why? An example of inflammatory foods are those high in refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils, like potato chips and many baked goods. Refined oils and trans fats are used by manufacturers to extend the shelf life of their products. They are notorious preservatives. On the other hand, olive oil, avocado oil and grape seed oil are natural and are known to be anti-inflammatory. Salmon is very high on the list of ant-inflammatory foods.

The reason has to do with the competitive omega fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and some omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, “according to an excerpt by the University of Maryland Medical System. Now, red meats, such as a good, juicy steak, are high in omega-6 fatty acids. So, does that make it bad? No! It's extremely good for you. A good steak is loaded with essential amino acids and other nutrients. It's just that the key to improving health and reducing infection is to balance the amount of omega-6 (eg, nuts, eggs, poultry, cream, cheese, butter) against the omega-3 (eg salmon, tuna, turkey). The saturated fats contained in omega-6 foods compete with the omega-3 foods for vital digestive enzymes, like seagulls fighting over french fries on the boardwalk.

As a post on the University of Maryland Medical System commented, “Omega-6 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids: They are necessary for human health … Along with omega-3's, omega-6's play a serious role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. ” Anti-inflammatory foods include colorful, high fiber vegetables like sweet peppers, celery, raw carrots, onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, apples, pears, berries, nuts, grapes, bananas, citrus fruits and so on (omega-3's ).

So here's my advice: Limit fatty animal products like red meats and dairy products. Instead, eat more lean cuts of chicken, turkey and fish. Olive oils and avocado can and should replace unhealthy oils from corn, soybeans, safflower, sunflower and other vegetable oils. Sweets should be limited, including all bakery products like cookies, cakes, pies and exports. We all know that our modern diet of processed and fast foods tends to generate pollution and other evils, like obesity. To counteract bad eating, give close consideration to the competitive omega fatty acids.

Here's a suggestion: Quinoa and avocado salad (SERVES 4)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 avocados, cut up in pieces
  • A few discharged tomatoes
  • 2 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 green onion

Dressing:

  • C cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • Salt
  • Cayenne (very small amount)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well
  • In saucepan, bringing 2 cups water and t tsp. salt to boil. Add quinoa. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until water is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
  • In a bowl, mix together the ingredients in cooled quinoa. Toss with dressing.

Serve with fresh parsley on top and enjoy!