22 Jul Top 5 Inflammatory Foods And How To Avoid Them
If you are on the road to improving your health then you obviously need to consider your diet along the way. We all know that eating junk food, soft drinks and too many sweets is not great for our health, but we also need to consider the inflammatory foods we are consuming. This is why I wanted to share the top 5 inflammatory foods and how to avoid them if you are experiencing some symptoms of inflammation.
Foods that promote inflammation are among the worst offenders of the modern diet. Inflammation has become one of the biggest problems when it comes to the health of the population worldwide. While it is a natural response and assists with the healing process, too much inflammation can be debilitating.
What is inflammation?
Our body’s natural immune response to a foreign substance such as infection or injury entering the body is regarded as inflammation. You might recognize inflammation when you incur a cut to the skin and it becomes red and painful or when you twist your ankle and it swells up. This is known as localised inflammation and we need this to defend ourselves and heal.
When the inflammation becomes systemic, that’s when we have a problem. Chronic levels of inflammation starts to affect our organs and internal structures of the body. This can lead to a whole host of diseases including:
Autoimmune disease such as inflammatory bowel disease
This chronic inflammation is caused by the immune response never switching off and constantly producing immune cells. There are a whole list of lifestyle factors that can cause chronic inflammation which vary from person to person, but include stress, lack of sleep, pollution, smoking, lack of exercise and diet.
Foods that cause inflammation
Eating a diet which promotes anti-inflammatory effects can help rid your body of any toxicity causing inflammation. Consuming a wide range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and plenty of omega-3 fatty acids can serve as a protective function. We heal quicker when we are well nourished and while no one food is to blame for causing inflammation, your overall diet can have an effect on this immune response.
So let’s talk about the top offenders when it comes to inflammatory foods with suggestions on how you avoid them!
There is good reason sugar is considered the evil ingredient of our time. When you consume refined sugar in any form you experience a rapid rise in your blood sugar levels. This results in your insulin levels rising and triggers a pro-inflammatory immune response.
Switch refined sugars for raw honey, stevia, organic maple syrup or fruit but be mindful not to over consume these.
Wheat flour and grains such as rye and barley contain gluten. This is a common allergen and one the body is not designed to digest and results in an immediate inflammatory immune response. White breads are notoriously known for causing inflammation as they quickly turn into sugar irritating our bodies.
Swap wheat for almond flour or coconut flour and consume whole grains instead of refined.
Like gluten, the body can see dairy as foreign substance and it can react with an inflammatory response. You might have experienced this in the form of bloating, intestinal distress, skin rashes or the embarrassing gas.
Many people can tolerate some forms of dairy such as yoghurts (ensure they are natural with no added sugar) and kefir as the lactose and proteins have been broken down. While others can consume all dairy or no dairy. We are all unique and dairy is a grey area for some, so if you are in doubt cut it out for 30 days and see if you notice a difference.
There is nothing good to say about trans fatty acids! Trans fats are found in the majority of processed foods and create low-density lipoproteins when consumed. These LDLs fuel inflammation, promote obesity and can cause insulin resistance.
Avoid fast foods, fried foods, commercially baked products such as peanut butter and products that use partially hydrogenated oil, margarine or vegetable oil.
Highly proceed oils such as vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil and safflower are made from cheap ingredients and tend to promote inflammation. This is due to the high content of omega-6 fats. While these fatty acids are not bad, it is the imbalance caused by consuming too much and not enough omega-3 fats.
Use extra-virgin coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil or almond oil instead.
Consuming a diet high in inflammatory foods can make you feel average, but also promote aging and deprive you of energy and vibrancy. Give your body a break by cutting these top inflammatory foods and you are bound to see positive results in your total wellbeing.
Inside the online gym I have detailed nutrition and lifestyle questionnaires, autoimmune meal plans, recipes and lots more to help you reduce inflammation and improve digestive health. Learn more about the online gym here