Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation – a word that has become a hot topic; where everyone is looking for the best way to reduce inflammation and improve their overall health.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is one of the key parts of the body’s immune response. It is the body’s attempt to heal injury, to fight foreign viruses and bacteria and also repair. It also plays a role in many chronic diseases – the food we eat can play a huge part in increasing or decreasing the inflammatory response. Research shows that it impacts your likelihood to develop heart disease, obesity, dementia, chronic pain and auto-immune diseases.

The good news is by changing your diet you can reduce the toxic load from processed and sugary foods. Here are some ingredients you may have in your pantry that are playing a major role in inflammation:

  1. Artificial Sweeteners – diets high in artificial sweeteners can increase changes of developing glucose intolerance and metabolic disease.
  2. Sugar – this is simple Excess Insulin = Increased Inflammation. According to Dr Amy Shah of Mind Body Green  “When blood sugar levels surge, the pancreas produces a rush of insulin, activating pro-inflammatory envoys called cytokines. This happens when we eat processed sugars but also with any high glycemic load (GL) foods—like refined carbohydrates—that spike insulin. Several studies have confirmed a low GL diet produces less inflammatory biomarkers.Start with tracking your sugar intake for a day and then halving your sugar for the next day. Stretch goal: Try to eat 25 grams or less a day.”
  3. Seed Oils – Omega 6 Fatty Acids are an important for optimal brain, skin, bone and metabolic function. The issue is when Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio is out of balance which then leads to inflammation. The more Omega 3’s we consume, the less Omega 6 that is available to tissues to produce inflammation. Omega 6s are found in vegetable oils.
  4. Dairy – Most people do not tolerate dairy products well. I would recommend speaking to a clinical dietician on whether your body has an intolerance to dairy. However, when a lot of people eliminate dairy from their diets symptoms such as headaches, skin breakouts, bloating, and a stuffy nose clear up—this is a sign that their internal inflammation is dropping as well.
  5. BPA Foods – Bisphenol A, or BPA, is already linked to many scary problems ranging from birth defects to obesity. In addition, research now links BPA to increased inflammation in post-menopausal women. Luckily, more and more manufacturers are offering their products in BPA-free packaging; read labels carefully, and reach for BPA-free products whenever you can.
  6. Saturated & Trans Fats – Several studies have shown that saturated fats trigger adipose (fat tissue) inflammation, which is not only an indicator for heart disease but it also worsens arthritis inflammation. Harvard School of Public Health researchers helped sound the alarm about trans fat in the early 1990s. Known to trigger systemic inflammation, trans fat can be found in fast foods and other fried products, processed snack foods, frozen breakfast products, cookies, donuts, crackers and most stick margarines. Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient labels.
  7. Gluten and Casein – People who have joint pain and are sensitive to gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye, or casein, found in dairy products, may find relief by avoiding them. And those diagnosed with celiac disease, in which gluten sets off an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine and sometimes causes joint pain may find relief when they adopt a gluten-free diet. There may be an overlap in which some people with arthritis also have gluten sensitivity or also have celiac disease.
  8. Alcohol – Is a burden to the liver. Excessive use weakens liver function and disrupts other multi-organ interactions and can cause inflammation. It is best eliminated or used in moderation.

*References from and Arthritis Australia Foundation.


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