I’m 10 weeks postpartum and started working out about five weeks ago. My body felt ready and my mind felt overdue for a good sweat session. I craved a run.
Working out definitely took on different meanings while I was pregnant. And while i stayed active the entire 37 weeks and five days before my sweet Nora was born, what I did to work out changed a lot. Postpartum, my energy was (and still is) focused on sweet Nora and healing my body from likely the hardest athletic event I’ll ever endure—birth.
While my workouts changed in both activity and intensity and my body changed visually, less obvious was the change in my muscle tone and stamina. So while working out has felt amazing (I can’t even begin to explain how good that first run felt), I’ve also been dealing with my fair share of muscle soreness.
Namely, I’ve developed a bout of self-diagnosed “runner’s knee,” which after only two weeks of being back to running has me back to being benched on the sideline. To be blunt, it sucks. But I’ve been doing everything I can to stay positive and remind myself I’m only two months postpartum, after all. I’m also trying to heal my body through ice, arnica gel, acupuncture, and incorporating lots of healing foods into my diet.
So, whether you’re trying to overcome an injury or just looking to maintain a healthy body, below are foods that help the body fight inflammation, and those that don’t do you any favors.
Foods That Fight Inflammation
Tart Cherry Juice: High in antioxidants, and specifically a phytonutrient called anthocyanins, cherries are a serious inflammation fighter
Salmon: Research shows omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the body. The protein will help repair inflamed muscles after a hard workout, too.
Ginger: Gingerol is the active anti-inflammatory compound that’s been shown to reduce muscle soreness up to 25 percent!
Turmeric: Long used as an inflammation fighter, turmeric has an active ingredient—curcumin—known to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Add to food or, more effectively, take a supplement.
Dark Leafy Greens (kale, chard): Leafy greens are high in vitamin E, a vitamin believed to protect against pro-inflammatory molecules. They are also rich in lots of other vitamins and minerals with health-promoting properties.
While it’s not realistic to omit entirely, realise there are certain foods that are pro-inflammatory to the body. A diet high in trans-fats (processed foods), omega-6 vegetable oils, and saturated fats specifically are culprits. Steer clear of pro-inflammatory foods including soda, fried foods, refined carbohydrates (such as white breads, pasta and processed snacks), red meat, and margarine.