Do you have joint pain and stiffness? Do you experience an increase in pain after prolonged sitting or upon rising in the morning? Or are you frequently taking ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin to alleviate pain? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be suffering from too much inflammation!
There are two types of inflammation that occur in our bodies: acute and chronic. Acute Inflammation is critical to our bodies' healing process and is a natural and productive response to tissue damage. Chronic Inflammation, on the other hand, is ongoing and occurs with persistent injury or infection or is associated to diseases such as arthritis, obesity, and diabetes. And, unfortunately, chronic inflammation usually leads to tissue damage. The good news, however, is chronic inflammation can often be controlled with diet and does not come with the side effects that frequently occur with medication!
When it comes to tissue healing, what you eat can greatly impact the healing process. Foods high in sugar and saturated fats cause an over stimulated immune system which can produce joint pain, fatigue and tissue damage. Diets high in processed food do not supply your body with suitable nutrients to recovery as well as it could. The top 9 inflammatory foods that you’ll want to avoid at all costs are:
Excessive sugar consumption leads to increased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, acne, and type 2 diabetes.
2. Common Cooking Oils
Many cooking oils contain extremely high levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and abysmally low levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
3. Trans Fats
There’s nothing good about trans fats. Trans fatty acids are known to substantially increase bad cholesterol while simultaneously lowering good cholesterol. In addition to promoting inflammation, trans fats encourage obesity, insulin resistance and many other degenerative illnesses.
4. Dairy Products
As much as 60 percent of the world’s population cannot digest milk. Dairy products can cause gastrointestinal distress with constipation or diarrhea, skin rashes, acne, hives, and even breathing difficulties.
5. Feedlot-Raised Meat
Many commercially-raised animals are subjected to very poor living conditions. These animals are also fed a diet that is high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and low in anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
6. Red and Processed Meats
Experts suggest that ingesting red meat causes humans to develop anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, a harmful immune response.
Regular high consumption of alcohol can lead to a plethora of issues, including irritation and inflammation of the esophagus, larynx, and liver.
8. Refined Grains
Refined grains have a dramatically increased glycemic index and can encourage the progression of degenerative diseases.
9. Artificial Food Additives
Artificial food additives such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG) have been reported to trigger and worsen inflammatory processes in the body.
Conversely, eating an anti-inflammatory, well-rounded diet of appropriate carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals along with adequate water intake can reducing inflammation and allow your body to heal properly. While there are no magic foods, making minor additions and subtractions from your diet can go a long way in combating these chronic conditions and get you on track to feeling better. A few tips for beginning an anti-inflammatory diet are:
The following foods are also recommended, because they possess anti-inflammatory components like omega-3, calcium, fiber, vitamin E, iron, lycopene, betalains, allicin, and anthocyanins:
In a nutshell, anti-inflammatory foods are those that any nutrition expert would encourage you to eat - in general, foods that include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins (like beans and nuts), fatty fish, and fresh herbs and spices. An anti-inflammatory diet is widely regarded as healthy, so even if it doesn't help with your condition, it can help lower your chances of having other problems. Don’t let your diet stack the odds against your health! Do your best to keep inflammation in check by choosing a wide variety of delicious, antioxidant-rich foods and get back on track to feeling better.