Inflammation is needed for the process of healing and protection in cases of tissue damage, meaning that inflammatory response is completely natural. What inflammation actually does is indicating that the body is healing and protecting itself.
However, chronic inflammation has been associated with serious conditions like stroke, migraines, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and heart-related diseases. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for staggering 30 percent of deaths in the world.
Mounting evidence shows that making certain lifestyle changes helps lower the risk of developing these diseases. The first step toward protecting yourself from these deadly diseases is to avoid the inflammatory foods below:
9 INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Excessive sugar intake can have numerous consequences, such as increasing the risk of obesity, inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. It was also found to cause acne and degrade the teeth. It is recommended to limit your soda, candies, and pastries intake as well as to start incorporating healthy sugar alternatives in your diet, such as honey, stevia, and blackstrap molasses. Sugar found in sweets should be avoided at all costs but natural sugars found in fresh and dried fruit are completely safe.
2. Common Cooking Oils
Most cooking oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids but low in omega-3 fatty acids. Such imbalance triggers inflammatory reactions and may lead to development of the diseases above over time. The best would be to avoid vegetable oils like sunflower oil, grape seed, cottonseed, corn, and sunflower oils and to choose healthier alternatives like macadamia oil and extra virgin oil.
3. Trans Fats
Trans fats are known to increase bad cholesterol and suppress healthy cholesterol. Such diet may lead to obesity, insulin resistance, and chronic inflammation, all of which are associated with even more serious diseases. Trans fats are found in processed goods, fast food, foods prepared with hydrogenated oil shortening, and deep-fried foods. Therefore, if the label says that partially hydrogenated oil shortening was used in the preparation, toss the product!
4. Dairy Products
While only an estimate, up to 60 percent of people are unable to digest milk. Taking this into consideration, it`s not surprising that milk causes inflammation. Some individuals may even experience stomachache, hives, acne, respiratory stress, diarrhea, and constipation. There are numerous dairy products available and the list of foods containing butter and cheese is endless. People sensitive to milk are recommended to swap milk for kefir and unsweetened yogurt.
5. Feedlot-Raised Meat
Meats produced by commercial suppliers usually have a diet high in omega-6 fats and low in omega-3 fats. Therefore, these animals tend to gain extra weight, mostly through unhealthy and unnatural process involving poor diet and use of artificial supplements. This doesn’t mean that you should completely eliminate meat from your diet, but at least choose healthier options such as meat from animals fed organic foods and more omega-3 fats.
6. Red Meat and Processed Meat
As reported by researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, red meat like lamb and pork contains Neu5Gc, a molecule which isn’t naturally produced by the human body. In other words, the body is resistant to it and its presence triggers an inflammatory response. Processed meats are to blame for many cancers in the colon, rectum, lungs, and esophagus. Red meat is less detrimental but it still should be eat in moderation. Healthier alternatives include fish and poultry.
7. Refined Grains
Refined grains are lack vitamin B and fiber and their regular consumption is linked to an increased glycemic index and development of diabetes, coronary disease, and even cancer. Refined grains are typically found in flour, bread, pasta, pastries, rice, crackers, and chips. Avoiding them is quite difficult, but it`s possible. All you have to do is to read the labels carefully or grow your own, which is far better.
8. Artificial Food Additives
MSG, aspartame and other common additives are known to cause inflammatory reactions. They are found in packaged foods but may find their way in restaurant-served foods, too. Since they are difficult to avoid, at least enrich your food with anti-inflammatory foods and spices.
It has been found that alcohol triggers inflammation and irritation of the liver, voice box, and the esophagus. Chronic inflammation may lead to tumor growth in the affected areas. Of course, the best substitute for alcohol is pure water, although natural juices, jasmine green tea, and a cup of ginger tea also do the trick.
9 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
1. Fatty Fish
Boiled or baked fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel are some of the best foods to help fight inflammation.
Besides being extremely tasty, avocado is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods available.
3. Leafy Greens
Broccoli, kale, and collards boost resistance to inflammation and only a serving or two daily is enough to prevent inflammation.
Turmeric has been long used to treat joint swelling, bruises, toothache, and rheumatoid arthritis due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties.
The anti-inflammatory properties in ginger called gingerols can prevent and treat pain as well as reduce swelling by inhibiting the formation of inflammatory compounds.
Only an ounce of walnuts a day is enough to boost your manganese, copper, and omega-3 fats intake as well as to supply your body with the needed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
7. Holy Basil
Holy basil is cheap, easily accessible, and extremely potent anti-inflammatory agent!
Besides its anti-inflammatory properties, beets also contain notable amounts of vitamin C.
Both bell and hot peppers are a good way to boost your resistance to inflammation. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers, is used to combat swelling and pain.