By Natalie Mekahal
Do you love to eat? I do! I am here on a mission to guide you in what foods to eat all year-round, starting this month with the summer season and the holy month of Ramadan, the perfect way to begin a full detox and re-evaluate your dietary needs. You’re thinking “that’s another lady telling us to eat salad every meal? Let me just skip this article and look at beautiful pictures.” But wait, I can show you exactly how to welcome summer with a fresher and more beautiful you, without any boring salads for lftar to break your fast!
Food is a culture in Kuwait. Social gatherings, business meetings, dates, and hunger all make you want to try a new restaurant in Kuwait each week. How exciting is that? One day you feel like you are in Italy as you crunch on the last pizza bite, the next week you taste the rich and creamy hummus of Lebanon, and by the end of the month you are in Tokyo overindulging on sushi. When you eat out, you really do not have control of what is being put into your food, which makes us sometimes doubt our culinary choices.
The culprit here is not only quantity and quality of food; it’s how inflamed our bodies are with all the toxins in the food we have been eating over the years. Inflammation is the swelling of the body; it is our body’s way of telling us that they are in danger and we need to find a solution to reverse the hidden problem. Maintaining a strong, healthy immunity is the only way to fight disease, infections and physical pain. Inflammation primarily causes pain because the swelling pushes against the nerve endings which are sensitive, and send pain signals to the brain.
Let us ditch that pain, and the excess fat with our last bittersweet date with inflammation. Let us put it to sleep, Kuwait!
Inflammation is an important key factor, because it helps us in fighting off or preventing arthritis, joint pain, fatigue, headaches, fever, gastrointestinal problems, acne, allergies and auto immune diseases (such as multiple sclerosis or cancer). There is a saying that states “abs are made in the kitchen.” And this is true because no matter how long or hard a person exercises, it all comes down to the quality of food and lifestyle choices. People who fast, especially during Ramadan, usually break their fast with yoghurt and dates, which is a great combination. However, people always wonder is a healthy option to eat for Iftar after a long day of fasting.
Here are 10 anti-inflammatory foods that are proven to fight off inflammation in the body and should be staples in all diets and cuisine:
- Avocados are a buttery fruit that are versatile and can be served with a pinch of sea salt and olive oil, or a teaspoon of raw honey. They are a great source of healthy unsaturated fat and antioxidants.
- Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain which is an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce swelling and inflammation in the body. The vitamin C in this sweet fruit helps us in achieving a healthy summer glow.
- Garlic is not only a wonderful ingredient in your meals, but also helps to prevent our blood vessels from becoming blocked, and thus decreasing the formation of blood clots.
- Onions will make your eyes tear, but boy will they make you smile with their anti-inflammatory properties and protection against heart disease, diabetes and cancer!
- Turmeric is a spice that is not spicy at all! It is mostly used in curries to give it a nice yellow color. Curcumin, which is found in turmeric, has overwhelming benefits which have been found to help combat Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and cancer.
- Spinach is loaded with vitamin B, vitamin E and omega-3’s which are all anti-inflammatory.
- Sirloin steak or grass-fed beef serve you a healthy dose of omega-3’s, beta carotene (hello, summer glow!), vitamin E and CLA which improves blood sugar and reduces body fat.
- Duck is high in saturated fat like all meats, and is very good for our bodies when it comes from healthy, grass-fed animals. Duck is rich in vitamin B-3, proteins, iron, and selenium which improve the body’s immunity because of its antioxidant role.
- Salmon is high in good fats and omega-3s. It is always better to choose wild salmon rather than farmed. Salmon helps repair damaged cells and helps control inflammation.
- Dark Chocolate. Yes, dark chocolate. This is not a typo. Chocolate is a very nutritious food. Choose a high quality of chocolate made with organic cacao beans, without any added milk or sugar. Opt for 85 percent, 90% or even 100% cacao bars. Real chocolate is bitter and one serving is more than enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. The antioxidants and flavonoids found in this little piece of paradise reduce the inflammation that can cause a stroke, heart attacks or embolisms.
Keep this copy of bazaar with you next time you are grocery shopping or eating out! Make sure you are eating most foods from this list, daily. Your skin, which is your largest organ, and your body will thank you for your healthy small changes in your diet. Stay healthy, stay gorgeous.
Have a great holiday folks, and Ramadan Kareem!