Inflammation can be caused by a number of different factors, many of which you have no control over such as an injury or disease that you are living with. However you do have control over lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. The following is a list of foods that trigger inflammation and should be avoided as much as possible.
- Eating sweets is the guilty pleasure of many, but it doesn’t come without its side effects, inflammation being one of them. As the body digests sugar it releases inflammatory messengers called cytokines into the system. When looking for sugars in your foods beware of any ingredients that end in “ose” such a sucralose or fructose.
- Refined carbohydrates are one of the leading foods contributing to obesity and other chronic conditions due to being high on the glycemic index. The reaction they have on the body stimulates inflammation through the production of advanced glycation end. The temptations of refined carbohydrates are everywhere in our grocery stores. While carbohydrates are necessary in a diet, people should opt to eat complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat, fruits and brown rice.
Omega 6 Fatty Acids
- Omega 6 fatty acids are a necessary part of the human diet. This is not something you should eliminate from your diet but rather watch your consumption of it. Omega 6 fatty acids are most commonly found in vegetable and corn oils, soy, mayonnaise and many salad dressings. Excess consumption of omega 6 fatty acids will encourage the body to create pro-inflammatory chemicals.
Fried & Processed Foods
- Most fried and processed foods contain some or even all of the 3 ingredients listed above. In addition to being high in fats, sugars and preservatives they also contain a much higher amount of sodium. All of these macronutrients combined is a recipe for inflammation and discomfort. Cutting back on these foods also helps to restore the body’s natural immune defenses.
- If you were considering replacing sugar with aspartame you should think again. Aspartame is a “neurotoxin” which is a chemical that affects the brain. If your body is sensitive to aspartame your body will treat it as a “foreign substance” and the immune system will start to attack it. This response by the immune system will trigger inflammation in the body. If you are looking for a healthy option to sweeten foods or beverages try a natural sweetener like stevia or agave.
Alcohol & Tobacco
- Aside from all of the other negative effects tobacco and alcohol have on the body, they also promote inflammation. Excessive consumption of alcohol weakens the liver and impacts multi-organ function in the body. This makes the internal system much more susceptible to inflammation. Smoking increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis among other health problems.
For those suffering with inflammation there is hope that you can make an impact on decreasing the swelling and discomfort associated with it. Avoid these foods to help cut down on your inflammation. Reducing or eliminating these ingredients from your diet will also lower your risk for heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Making these changes can lower the amount of inflammation you suffer from and improve your quality of life overall.