Top 8 Foods That Cause Inflammation:
The human body is an incredible and perfect machine you know, which is why inflammation is important. Inflammation is a mechanism your body uses in response to injury and/or infection by sending immune cells and key nutrients to the areas that need it most, its a reaction from the body to defend itself.
Inflammation is normally associated with redness, warmth, swelling, and pain caused by increased blood flow. Inflammation should be taken seriously, chronic inflammation can cause permanent damage, leading to more severe disease like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and many more.
There are many causes for this chronic problem including chronic pain, obesity, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and others, but one of the main causes is the food you eat…or don’t eat. When our bodies are well nourished we’re able to heal quickly if we cut our finger, or have muscle strain, or get a cold, maybe even preventing chronic inflammation. It is possible that one food, one tiny piece of something, is the cause of inflammation.
Each person’s body and metabolism is different so it’s hard to say what’s good or bad for your unique body, but here is a list that might help you with some foods that exaggerate inflammation because they themselves are irritants, so use caution with what you eat and remember to listen to your body.
1. Trans fats: This should be no surprise to any of you, trans fats can induce inflammation by damaging the cells in the lining of blood vessels.
2. Sugar: Too much sugar can alert the body to send out extra immunity messengers called cytokines, and our body wasn’t meant to break down as much as we consume.
3. White breads and pastas: Simple carbs break down quickly into sugar, which goes directly into our blood, which leads to inflammation, which irritates our bodies.
4. Cheeseburgers: These deliver a 1-2 punch, first of all animal fats have been linked to inflammatory carcinogens for a while now, and saturated fats contain a compound called arachidonic acid that creates inflammation naturally.
5. Alcohol: If you overuse it can irritate your insides, making it easy for bacteria to pass through the intestinal lining, leading to irritation and inflammation. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a glass of wine, maybe two, small amounts of alcohol may lower risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s, remember the key is moderation.
6. Omega-6 (Fatty Acids): When your diet is rich in omega-6s but low in omega-3s it can turn off the inflammatory messengers, that’s why the possibilities of inflammation are high, from an imbalance in your body. Try more fatty fish and walnuts.
7. Whole Milk: Since it is high in saturated fat, too much milk can lead to a true inflammatory reaction and digestion difficulties.
8. Gluten: Gluten is the protein content of wheat, many doctors and nutritionists recommend avoiding it whether or not you have celiac disease, studies continue showing that gluten can lead to bloating and/or digestion changes that could be an inflammatory response to gluten.
Edited 7/29/14 SCD