By now, most of us know what inflammation is. But for those who do not really understand fully what inflammation is, we can go through it for the purpose of clarity. Inflammation can be seen as a localized physical condition where part of the body may become swollen, reddened, painful, or hurt. It is mostly a result of a reaction to injury in the body.
You can agree with me that inflammation is not necessarily good for the health and general well-being of the body. But what if we told you that not all inflammation is bad for the body? Would you believe it? Inflammation is basically the body’s natural response to protect itself, and you would want to avoid anything that can cause chronic inflammation.
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Studies have shown that chronic inflammation is the root cause of most illnesses, and we all know that illnesses and diseases prevent one from enjoying and leading a healthy life. When you know the foods that cause inflammation and avoid them, you will reduce the risk of contracting these chronic diseases and improve the overall energy, mood, and quality of your life.
Inflammation is not only because of a swollen knee or ankle; it is a little more complicated than that. In fact, most times, you may not notice that it is present, especially if you do not exercise or eat properly. Once your body begins to inflame, you are at risk of everything, ranging from migraines to allergies to flu and colds and even weight gain. It can lead to gout, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart diseases, and even the dreaded cancers in more severe cases.
No matter how healthy you think you are, as long as you live in this fast-paced world filled with different harmful toxins, chances are you may have some form of inflammation. We will be talking about what causes inflammation and the kinds of foods to avoid to reduce or prevent body inflammation in a minute, so please stay with us.
Moving straight to the order of the day, we have agreed that inflammation is not good for the body, and there is a very high chance that we even have inflammation without knowing it. Have you taken a minute to ask yourself what you can do about it? Before then, let us start with the causes of inflammation.
What causes inflammation?
Some of the causes of inflammation include stress, dehydration, alcohol and tobacco consumption, gut bacteria imbalance, and lack of sleep. However, the most common cause of inflammation that people do not know about is consuming an inflammatory diet. So we will be mentioning the top thirteen foods that everyone should avoid at all costs.
In no particular order, there are:
Studies have shown that over sixty percent of the world’s population cannot properly digest milk. Some researchers even believe that digesting milk even after infancy is not normal. This is because milk has been known to be an allergen that can trigger inflammation in the form of constipation, stomach upset, skin rashes, breathing difficulties, hives, and diarrhea in some cases.
Also, chemical compounds like antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones fed to cattle may compound the problem. They are found in cereals, powders, cream sauces, cookies, bread, etc. They can be substituted with homemade nut milk and coconut milk. Coconut oil and cashew oil can replace butter and cheese.
This food additive is not popular but you must steer clear of it completely. It enhances the flavor in most processed foods. They contain corn sugar, sugar cane, molasses, and fermented starch. This food additive can trigger headaches, drowsiness, facial pressure, tingling on different parts of the skin, and even numbness. It may also trigger sweating, weakness, flushing, and chest pain. They are usually present in Asian foods and restaurants. Instead of MSG, try using enhanced salt and pepper to flavor foods.
Naturally-made corn (ancient corn) has been known to be healthy and nutritious. However, the type of corn we find in processed foods and grocery stores is not healthy because they are genetically engineered. Corn is mostly genetically engineered and also the most prone to pesticide residue. Have you heard of glyphosate? It is a widely used pesticide farmers use on crops that are genetically engineered.
When this chemical kills off good bacteria, bad bacteria thrive. The bad bacteria and pesticides are responsible for causing achy joints and many digestive conditions. Instead, replace them with organic corn or small vegetables, beans, and peas.
Enough sodium is mostly needed for muscle and nerve function, regulation of blood pressure, etc. However, too much of everything is bad, and too much sodium leads to kidney problems, low bone density, fluid retention, inflammation, and even high blood pressure. Excess sodium is mostly excreted from the body through urine and sweat.
Recent studies reveal that a high intake of refined studies is connected with organ damage and enhanced inflammation of the body organs. These refined salts are heated to extreme temperatures and contain a lot of additives. They are mostly found in anything served in restaurants, fast foods, and processed foods. Himalayan salts or all-natural unrefined sea salt are good replacements. Spices and herbs can also be used to flavor meals.
Consumption of large amounts of alcohol can cause inflammation of the liver, larynx, and esophagus and may even cause irritation. The constant inflammation often leads to tumor growth at these inflammation sites. The alcohol is found in beers, ciders, liquors, and wines. They can easily be replaced with filtered water, freshly pressed juices, and teas.
Meats that are commercially prepared come mostly from animals that eat corn, soybeans, and other grains, which contain a high level of omega-6 fatty acids and low levels of omega-3 fats. The animals are also given different hormones and antibiotics to make them reproduce faster and stay free from infection. If not otherwise stated, assume that all meat (beef, poultry, and pork) found in markets and restaurants are non-organic meats. Replace them with meats from animals that eat natural diets of vegetables and grass.
Foods that contain trans-fatty acids are known for their double whammy behavior of increasing the levels of bad cholesterol and decreasing the levels of good cholesterol, increasing inflammations. Saturated fats are also known for increasing fat tissue inflammation, which may cause heart disease and worsen arthritis inflammation. They are mostly found in fast foods, deep-fried foods, margarine, baked foods, and frozen foods.
But you can substitute them for partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable shortening, and foods that do not contain trans or saturated fats. Unless stated otherwise, it is safe to assume that all commercially prepared foods contain bad fats.
Common cooking oils
Cooking oils commonly used in most homes and restaurants contain a high amount of omega-6 fatty acids and low amounts of omega-3 fats. With the excess consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals is increased, and they are harmful to the body. You can find them in polyunsaturated vegetable oils, peanut oils, and soy oils. These oils are used to process, bake, fry, and make fast foods. You can replace them with avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and macadamia oil.
If you intake excess sugar, it may cause tooth decay and even increase the risks of obesity, inflammation, and other chronic diseases. Sugar is also known for feeding cancer cells and bad bacteria, making it difficult for the immune system to fight diseases. Because of its acidity, it can even cause direct inflammation to the skin. These types of sugars are found in beverages, fruit and soft drinks, snacks, pastries, desserts, and punches. Natural substitutes are maple syrup, blackstrap, molasses, agave, and honey. Fresh berries and natural dried fruits can also fix your cravings.
In conclusion, what are those other foods that you think may cause inflammation to your body and organs? If you know them, write them down and try to discuss them with a health professional. It will do you a lot of good. Stay away from inflammatory foods, and you will lead a healthy and more fulfilled life.
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