Best And Worst Foods For Inflammation
Inflammation refers to your body’s physiological response from your immune system to facilitate healing of an injury. Physically, inflammation can be experienced as swelling, redness, heat, stiffness, impaired mobility and pain. Inflammation can be caused by an excess amount of free radicals or oxidation in your cells, and becomes more common as we get older. Chronic inflammation or unresolved inflammation is the real concern that can cause tissue destruction, leading to degenerative diseases, scar tissue and premature aging. There are many possible causes of excessive inflammation such as autoimmune disease, a poor diet, leaky gut, allergies, fatty liver, mechanical trauma, wear and tear on the joints, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, certain viruses and chronic infections.
Here are some foods to steer clear of if you want to reduce inflammation:
Is found in foods such as white rice, white bread, white flour, noodles, cereals, baked goods, pasta and biscuits. These are refined grains which are sources of empty calories, this means that they are high in calories but are devoid of nutritional value. Excess sugar can cause elevated insulin levels that results in our blood sugar levels to plummet which ultimately causes inflammation. Nature Sweet is an all natural healthy and tasty sugar replacement.
The thing is, humans don’t need milk and the majority of the population lack the necessary enzymes to properly digest milk. If you eat dairy and suffer from symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal distress, or any other negative side effects, this may indicate that you are sensitive to lactose. If this is the case, I recommend you eliminate dairy from your diet altogether. For many people, milk is an allergen which can trigger inflammatory responses such as sinusitis and allergic rhinitis.
Are found in some deep fried foods, baked goods, processed foods and foods prepared with margarine and/or hydrogenated oil. Trans fats should definitely be avoided as not only do they increase ‘bad’ cholesterol and lower ‘good’ cholesterol, but they also cause inflammation, insulin resistance, obesity and their consumption can lead to degenerative illnesses. If you want to promote good health, it is best to steer clear of these bad boys.
Artificial food additives
Ingredients such as aspartame, artificial colors and monosodium glutamate (MSG) can trigger inflammatory responses and contain chemicals that are potentially toxic to the nervous system. Reports have proven that these chemicals can increase inflammation and flare-ups in people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Alcohol can cause leaky gut and cause an overgrowth of unhealthy gut bugs. It obviously also places a strain on the liver and heavy intake can lead to chronic liver inflammation and eventual cirrhosis. Alcohol flushes magnesium out of your body, and this can impair stress coping mechanisms and lead to chronic anxiety.
Here are some foods that reduce inflammation:
Dark leafy greens
Vegetables such as kale, cabbage, spinach, broccoli and Bok choy are nutritional powerhouses that are loaded with antioxidants as well as rich sources of vitamin E, K and C. Regularly consuming these foods is a sure way to combat inflammation, restore cellular health and promote overall wellness.
These small blue fruits are bursting with antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. Studies have also proven that consuming more blueberries slows cognitive decline and boosts brain and mental health. Aim to have ½ a cup a day to reap the benefits.
Oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation and may even lower your chances of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Omega-3s are some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory substances and as they are highly concentrated in the brain, it is essential to get adequate amounts to support healthy cognitive and behavioural function. If you don’t regularly consume oily fish, a fish oil supplement may be helpful.
This product has got to be one of the most versatile, and has many benefits for your skin, hair and internal system. The fats in coconut oil are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties.
Raw nuts and seeds
Nuts must be fresh and good choices include almonds, macadamias, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachio, cashews, walnuts and Brazil nuts. Good seeds to add to your diet include flaxseeds (linseeds), sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds. Nuts and seeds are great sources of protein and healthy fats and are filled with antioxidants to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Their deep purple color is caused by the antioxidant betalain, which is known to be an amazing anti-inflammatory. Dietary benefits include repairing cell damage and providing high levels of inflammation-fighting potassium and magnesium. Due to its high amount of fiber and folate it also protects against heart disease and cancer.
Ginger and turmeric
Many studies have proven that these spices contain anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is the compound found in turmeric that is its active anti-inflammatory component. A study discovered that curcumin is a lot more powerful than aspirin and ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. Used fresh, dried or in supplement form, ginger helps to reduce inflammation and is especially beneficial for arthritic pain, muscle pain and improving movement and agility.
Garlic and onions
These pungent vegetables also happen to be prebiotics which means they feed good bacteria in the gut and are also highly anti-inflammatory. The natural sulfur compounds in garlic reduce substances that cause inflammation, and onions obstruct the agents that promote inflammation in arthritis. It is most beneficial to consume garlic raw. If these vegetables are not to your liking, you can supplement with sulphur which is found in Collagen Food powder.
Not only is dark chocolate delicious and satisfying, it is also loaded with antioxidants to reduce inflammation and provide a guilt-free treat. Recent research has revealed that gut bacteria ferments and breaks down the components in dark chocolate which allows their anti-inflammatory properties to take effect. To obtain these benefits, you must choose a dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao.
For more information and tips on reducing inflammation, check out the book ‘Healing Autoimmune Disease’.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.