Chronic inflammation is at the root of many health problems, including cancer and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and MS. Stress, environmental factors and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to inflammation but the main culprit is diet. While inflammation isn’t always a bad thing, as it can trigger the body’s response to healing, persistent internal inflammation can be a symptom of a serious health problem. Reducing foods that cause inflammation will leave you feeling better while reducing long-term disease risks.
Dr. Andrew Weil, creator of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet, believes that the key to optimum health is, “Stabilizing blood sugar by eating low-glycemic-load meals, eating lean protein with healthy fats, drinking plenty of water, and having high quantities of fiber from fresh fruits and vegetables all contribute to increased metabolism, which helps the body burn fat rather than store it.”
Want to reduce inflammation? Step one is a diet that limits these 9 foods:
Highly processed foods
Highly processed foods often contain trans fats, which are known to cause systemic inflammation. Avoid foods that have partially hydrogenated oils listed in the ingredients. Manufacturers are allowed to list 0 trans fat if there is .05g or less, so check your labels.
Our bodies don’t have a natural mechanism for breaking down sugar, especially when we eat in larger quantities. It causes an inflammatory response, causing swelling, pain and poor memory. It also causes wrinkles, so for vanity’s sake go easy on the sweet stuff.
For those with lactose intolerance milk products are hard to digest. The lactose causes inflammation, gas and other unpleasant side effects.
Highly refined carbohydrates
Foods such as bagels, pizza, crackers and cakes quickly turn to sugar when broken down, triggering an inflammatory response. Skip the breads and empty carbohydrates in favor of whole grain choices, like brown rice or quinoa. Your jeans will thank you.
Alcohol is naturally irritating to the body and breaks down quickly into sugar. In small quantities, alcohol can be beneficial but keep it to a glass or two, or the positive effects will diminish.
We need some saturated fat in our diet, but it should be eaten in moderation. Saturated fats contain arachidonic acid, which causes the inflammation. Rather than a fatty piece of steak, choose leaner meats and fish. You’ll feel better – and look better, too!
Omega 6 fatty acids
A healthy balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids is what we strive for. Too many Omega 6’s, found in seeds and the oils extracted from them, can cause inflammation. These oils are commonly found in processed snacks and fast foods. Choose olive oil when cooking and eat foods such as salmon and walnuts, which are rich in Omega 3’s.
They are hard for the body to digest and can result in excess gas. Our bodies also see them as a foreign substance and may attack itself. Learn to enjoy foods without extra sugar or use natural sweeteners sparingly.
While coffee does have some health benefits, it can trigger the stress hormone cortisol and cause inflammation. In addition, acidic beverages can irritate the GI tract and cause swelling. Choose teas, preferably green, when possible.
Inflammation can also cause fluid retention in your feet and legs. If you’re experiencing swelling, we can help. Soxxy Compression Socks decrease muscle soreness while reducing the risk of blood clots, and increasing circulation. If you’re tired of granny looking compression socks, check out our line of stylish Compression Sox.