WHAT IS INFLAMMATION?
Inflammation is a protective tissue response to injury or destruction of tissues, which destroys, dilutes, or walls off both the injurious agent and the injured tissues. There are various forms of inflammation such as acute, chronic, interstitial, subacute, this is just to name a few.
Chronic inflammation will spread slowly and lead to severe metabolic breakdown, which can lead to many negative issues for your long term health. Chronic inflammation is now linked to a host of modern diseases such as, obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, cancer, and often, depression. The question is what causes such chronic inflammation? There are various causes but an important pro inflammatory to be aware of is what we are putting into our bodies.
I recommend that certain foods be increased in ones diet in order to alleviate some of their symptoms.
This is not always a 100% cure all. Everything is individual based. Adding nutrient dense foods into your diet will only help in the long run and lower your risk for inflammation. Below I have listed some of the key inflammatory foods as well as some of the top anti inflammatory foods.
INFLAMMATORY FOODS THAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED ALTOGETHER
Just like sugar, artificial sweeteners can often be an immune trigger. Although it seems like a healthier option due to the 0 calories, artificial sweeteners have been linked with many cancers in women.
It is no secret that frequent use of alcohol promote high levels of inflammation and complications. The liver, esophagus, and colon can experience many symptoms. Although moderate alcohol intake is sometimes recommended, this is typically about 5 ounces for a woman and twice that for a man. Excessive consumption will start to have an opposite affect on your organs as inflammation increases and the immune system will be compromised.
Vegetable oils that are often used at home and in restaurants promote a high inflammatory reaction, due to the Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 products are at very low levels.
Trans fat products are extremely inflammatory. Moderate to high consumptions of trans fat will lead to high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes to name a few. These fats are typically found in fried food, packaged sweets and chips.
MEAT (PRIMARILY RED)
Red meat can significantly increase your inflammation. According to Oxford University, the intake of red meat can increase your risk of cancer by three fold. This is due to a specific molecule that humans do not possess. Eventually your body will develop antibodies, which will then trigger inflammation. Try avoiding all red meat, including pork or substitute with beans as a protein.
It is now documented that 60% of the population cannot digest dairy products. Some have made changes and some live with the symptoms. Milk and dairy products trigger inflammatory responses such as constipation, diarrhea, rashes and mucous build up. Consuming these products daily or even moderately can cause various muscle and joint reactions. There are many products on the market now that make replacing dairy easy and painless.
TOP ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Herbs can be very calming and have an overall soothing reaction with acute and chronic inflammation. Key herbs to focus on for this purpose are basil, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, rosemary and thyme.
The more diverse your fruit group is in color, the more phytonutrients you are taking in assuring you are getting as many antioxidants as possible. The higher antioxidant level you take in, the more of an anti- inflammatory it becomes. Fruits to focus on for antioxidants would be blueberries, cherries, cranberries, pears, strawberries and pineapple.
You can never get enough vegetables. An array must be eaten regularly to benefit from the anti- inflammatory properties. Vegetables also contain unlimited amounts of phytonutrients. There are so many nutrients that scientists have yet to discover them all. An array to start with are leafy greens such as spinach and kale . Brussel sprouts, purple cabbage, red peppers and radishes are another great anti-inflammatory source.
Omega 3 found in nuts, seeds, soybean and wheat germ can have significant anti inflammatory responses.
To learn more about the benefits of these wonderful foods and learn new and exciting ways to incorporate them, feel free to contact me!
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