Foods that Reduce Inflammation
Say nay—and yea—to fats. Trans fats and saturated fats contribute to chronic low-grade inflammation in the body. Studies have shown, however, that another kind of fat reduces inflammation: omega-3 fatty acids, which are members of the polyunsaturated fat family.
- Avoid large quantities of butter and margarine, whole milk dairy products, fatty cuts of meat, fast food and junk food like cakes, cookies, candies, crackers and chips.
Eat cold water fatty fish (such as wild salmon, albacore tuna, halibut, shellfish, sardines, herring and mackerel), canola, cold-pressed high oleic safflower or sunflower oil, flaxseed and walnut oils, walnuts, soy and green leafy veggies.
Go natural. Fare that is highly processed or loaded with refined sugar will leave you feeling sluggish and swollen. Choose foods that are as close to their natural form as possible and step up your intake of fruits and veggies that are the colors of the rainbow. These two practices will also improve your intake of the anti-inflammatory compounds known as antioxidants and phytochemicals.
- Avoid large quantities of soda, sugar-packed juice drinks, cakes, cookies, candy and sugary cereals.
- Eat whole grains, soy, tomatoes, broccoli, sweet potatoes, beans, peas, lentils, garlic, citrus fruits, cherries, blueberries, pineapples and flax seeds.
Power up with protein. This nutrient is essential for building, maintaining and repairing virtually all the cells in the body, but especially those in your muscles. If your diet is low in protein, your risk of inflammation will swell, along with your susceptibility to injury and sickness. Aim to eat one serving of protein (one egg, 1⁄2 cup of tofu, or meat that is the size of a deck of cards) with all meals and snacks.
- Eat lean red meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and soy foods like milk, cheese, yogurt and burgers.
Stay hydrated. Toxins created in your body during physical activity fuel the fires of inflammation unless you consume enough fluid to flush them out. Drink enough so that you visit the restroom every 2 to 3 hours and your urine appears clear or pale yellow.
- Avoid drinking multiple cups of coffee every day. Try replacing one cup of coffee with green tea. Let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes to maximize its antioxidants.
- Drink water, flavored seltzers, herbal teas; caffeinated beverages such as diet soda and other reduced-calorie drinks also count toward the goal of 68 to 96 ounces of fluid daily.
Cut back on pills. Do you make a habit of reaching for Advil or another pain relieving medication at every muscle or joint ache? If so, you’re well aware of the powerful punch these pills place on the pain and inflammation commonly experienced by dancers and athletes—but pain relievers have a dark side. Short- and long-term side effects can include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, stomach irritation, ulcers and even kidney ailments. Furthermore, pain meds trick your body into thinking it’s ready to hit the dance floor, when a little rest and relaxation may be what you really need in order to heal.
Take supplements for joints. Cartilage prevents bone-to-bone contact and helps absorb shock; excessive wear and tear can cause joint pain and inflammation. Two essentials for cartilage health are glucosamine, which forms a structural basis for cartilage, and chrondroitin sulfate, which is a component of protein that gives cartilage its flexibility and durability. A recent review concluded that taking these in supplement form can relieve pain and improve mobility. The recommended dosage is 1,500 mg of glucosamine and 1,200 mg of chrondroitin daily for 2 to 4 months. Avoid taking these supplements if you have diabetes or a shellfish allergy; discontinue if you experience bloating or diarrhea when actively using either supplement.
Karlyn Grimes, a registered dietician, holds a dual master’s degree in nutrition and exercise physiology from Boston University and is a faculty member in the Nutrition and Biology departments at Simmons College in Boston.
Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.
Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.
Postmodern pioneer Trisha Brown redefined how dance is seen and felt. A founding member of Judson Dance Theater, Brown frequently collaborated with other experimental artists like Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, and Steve Paxton.
She embraced pedestrian movement, pairing everyday gesture with rhythm and fluidity. "It's liquid," says Wendy Perron, who danced with Brown in the '60s and '70s. "Like a river with many tributaries, water coming out of a faucet, or being on a raft and seeing the water move away in different directions." Brown also pushed beyond stages with choreography in fields, museums—even on the sides of buildings.
There's a common misconception that a dancer's body has to be thin. But the truth is that talent knows no body type, and the number on the scale never determines an artist's capabilities. Here are some extraordinary dancers fighting the stereotype of what a dancer "should" look like.
We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)
So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.
The coolest place she's ever performed:
I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!
Something she's constantly working on:
My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'
My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.