When I started participating in Ironman races, I learned that a diet of pizza, wine, and donuts was not the best nutrition plan to fuel my body for a year of demanding training culminating in a grueling 140.6-mile race.
So, on a cold January day after a holiday season of unhealthy eating, like so many others who make resolutions at this time, I resolved to change my ways and stepped into a tiny windowless office to meet with a certified nutrition coach – an expert on nutrition, fitness, performance, and healthy lifestyles.
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One of the first things she told me to do was to eat clean, natural foods and cut highly processed foods from my diet.
Processed Foods in Your Diet Can Cause Inflammation
She explained that these processed foods were aiding and abetting a silent and secret killer: inflammation. Study after study has shown links between processed foods and increased inflammation in the body. Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing system and helps fight injury and infection. But chronic inflammation can have damaging consequences over the long term, from harm to arteries, organs, and joints, as well as – if left unchecked – chronic diseases, such as heart disease, blood vessel disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions.
So, I cut out all those foods that I adored so much that caused inflammation and oxidative stress on the body—sugar, white bread, MSG, soda, processed meats, cookies, ice cream, beer, and wine. Well, cut down, if I’m being honest. I’m not a Tibetan monk.
A Natural & Whole-Food Diet to Fight Inflammation
I began eating a more natural, whole-food diet with a balance of lots of veggies, like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach. I also started eating good fats such as nuts, seeds, virgin olive oil, and coconuts. I even added lean proteins like chicken and fish to my diet.
I also began researching foods that reduce inflammation and provide antioxidants to help keep the body healthy and help you perform better and recover from intense exercise faster.
7 Foods That Reduce Inflammation
Blueberries – Blueberries contain a plant compound and type of flavonoid called anthocyanin. This antioxidant gives blueberries their blue color and many health benefits. Anthocyanin helps fight and reduce inflammation.
Blueberries are jam-packed with Vitamin C, K, and manganese, which support immune function and energy production. In addition, blueberries protect against heart disease and cancer and promote bone strength, skin health, and healthy blood pressure.
Spinach – In addition to helping prevent cancer, promote eye health, and reduce hypertension, spinach has high amounts of anti-inflammatory compounds neoxanthin and violaxanthin that can flush out the free radicals from your body and help prevent inflammation. Rich in niacin, flavonoids, and carotenoids, spinach can also reduce your risk of strokes, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It’s also loaded with Vitamin K, which supports bone density and heightened cognitive function. Finally, it’s full of fiber, which can help prevent gut discomfort and inflammation.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon contains antioxidants, including cinnamaldehyde, giving it a rich aroma and flavor and reducing inflammation. Studies have found that cinnamon supplementation could significantly increase the blood's antioxidant levels while lowering markers used to measure inflammation, such as C-reactive protein.
Turmeric - Many people promote Turmeric as a dietary supplement for various conditions, including arthritis, digestive disorders, respiratory infections, allergies, liver disease, depression, and many others. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a powerful antioxidant.
Cocoa powder – Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, a naturally occurring antioxidant in foods like fruits, vegetables, tea, and chocolate. Cocoa has been linked to numerous health benefits, including reduced inflammation, better blood flow, lower blood pressure, and improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Cherries – Cherries contain anthocyanins which are anti-inflammatory compounds that help protect against chronic disease and speed recovery. Cherries also have fiber, vitamins C, A, and K. They contain potassium, magnesium, and even calcium! Most importantly they are an amazing source of antioxidants like beta-carotene.
Ginger – Ginger has been used to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight the flu and the common cold. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger and is responsible for many of ginger’s medicinal properties, including potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It may help reduce oxidative stress.
A Healthy Diet for a Healthier Body
My smoothies became jugs of free-radical-sucking goodness, filled with these anti-inflammatory ingredients.
I’ve added another crucial anti-inflammatory ingredient to my arsenal: CBD. I'm a big believer in the benefits of CBD to help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. It can help relieve aches and pains. It has healing properties and can accelerate recovery.
- CBD provides sustained, balanced energy.
- The most clinically tested lutein for improved vision and focus.
- A spearmint-based nootropic for better memory recall and faster, more accurate reactions.
SummaMix can be mixed with water or a smoothie for a delicious, healthy drink. The CBD in SummaMix is treated using the patented DehydraTECH™ process to speed onset and significantly enhance bio-absorption, thus vastly increasing its beneficial impact.
SummaMix fits into my healthy lifestyle and helps my performance and recovery as an athlete. It has no caffeine, sugar, or additives. This is important because ingesting sugar can raise blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation. Caffeine can cause insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, nausea, increased heart rate, and energy crashes.
Fight Inflammation & Supercharge Recovery With SummaMix
Recently, following a months-long rigorous review process, SummaForte became one of just three brands (out of hundreds) using CBD to receive NSF’s Certified for Sport® certification for SummaMix.
NSF International is an independent and accredited non-governmental organization whose mission is to protect and improve global human health by leading the development of public health and safety standards and by testing and certifying products and systems to those standards. The Certified for Sport® designation is looked to by athletes, athletic trainers, doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and others to ensure that a product does not contain unsafe contaminants, prohibited substances, or masking agents.
Some Final Thoughts
Athletes can feel comfortable using SummaMix and other SummaForte products, including its CBD-infused kinesiology tape, SummaTape™, knowing they all use the same premium CBD and adhere to the same high standards of health and safety.
SummaMix is a great anti-inflammatory gladiator that, along with the other healthy foods and ingredients I’ve added to my diet, help me perform at my best.