8 Foods That Cause Inflammation and 8 Foods That Fight It

<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” color:#333333″=”” style=””>Inflammation is one of the body’s natural immune responses. It’s a common response the body has to injury, pain, illness, infection, and stress. Our bodies use it as a natural line of defense (a way to counter-attack those ‘foreign invaders’) and as a way to heal itself.
While you may recognize inflammation when you sprain your wrist and it swells up, that type is localized. It can also be systemic though, and affect our organs and internal structures too.
Inflammation can quickly become problematic when it isn’t just a temporary, acute response, but when it becomes chronic. Diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer are associated with it.
Many of our modern lifestyle habits alone can lead to the common condition of chronic inflammation, such as diet, pollution, lack of sleep, a primarily sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, smoking, and poor digestive health. Not only do these promote prolonged inflammation, they also speed up the aging process as well.
The good news is you can control a number of those factors that cause inflammation. Here is a closer look at the 9 worst offender foods that contribute to inflammation – so you can avoid them!
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>1. Sugar and Refined Starch
Every time you eat simple, refined carbohydrates (for example, foods with added sugar – like cereal and candy, and white foods – like white bread, white rice, etc.), it raises our blood sugar and insulin levels, then triggers an immune response. When blood sugar levels and/or insulin levels are high, the result is a pro-inflammatory response. This occurs every time you eat foods containing refined sugars and simple starches, and can lead to chronic inflammation.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>2. Vegetable Oil<span “font-size:=”” 10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif”=”” style=””>
Many vegetable oils are high in omega-6 fats. These actually are not bad by themselves, but when you eat too many of them (and not enough omega-3’s to balance it out) inflammation can result. The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1, but the typical American diet is between 1:20 and 1:50. Cook with coconut oil or ghee instead!
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>3. Dairy <span “font-size:10.0pt;=”” font-family:”arial”,sans-serif”=”” style=””>
Dairy is on this list because the human body doesn’t process the high levels of casein and lactose found in milk very well. Because of this, the body views dairy as a foreign invader, and fights it with an inflammatory response.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>4. Gluten
Wheat, rye, and barley all contain the common allergen: gluten. It’s a protein found in wheat, barley and rye and is added to things like bread to give elasticity to the dough a chewy finish, and soups and sauces as a thickening agent. Around 18 million Americans are estimated to have a sensitivity/allergy to gluten – most of which have no idea they do! When an allergen enters the body, the result is an immediate inflammatory immune response.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>5. Trans Fats<span “font-size:=”” 10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif”=”” style=””> 
When you eat trans fats, hydrogenated oils found in many processed foods, they create low-density lipoproteins, which feeds inflammation.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>6. Processed Corn<span “font-size:=”” 10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif”=”” style=””>
The food processing industry uses a number of corn derivatives such as high-fructose corn syrup, corn starch, corn oil because it is cheap and abundant. In its refined form, corn spikes blood sugar, leading to an increased insulin and inflammatory response.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>7. Peanuts <span “font-size:=”” 10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif”=”” style=””>
Peanuts are one of the most common food allergens. There are naturally occurring molds found on peanuts, and even if you don’t have an anaphylactic response to them, your body may recognize them as foreign invaders and create a defensive inflammatory response.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>8. Artificial Ingredients
If you don’t recognize an ingredient, your body won’t either. Artificial ingredients such as additives, preservatives, artificial coloring and flavoring, and the many other chemicals found in processed foods are not recognized by our bodies. Because of this, it launches an immune system response.
Luckily you can fight off and prevent inflammation with the foods you choose as well! Here is a closer look at the 9 best healing foods that can help you avoid inflammation – so you can stock up on them!
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>1. Leafy Greens<span “font-size:=”” 10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif”=”” style=””>
Studies have shown that vitamin E may play a key role in protecting the body from pro-inflammatory molecules, and one of the best sources of this vitamin is dark green veggies, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>2. Turmeric<span “font-size:10.0pt;=”” font-family:”arial”,sans-serif”=”” style=””>
This spice has been shown in various studies to have some major anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric works in the body by helping to turn off a protein that regulates the immune system and triggers the process of inflammation.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>3. Wild Caught Salmon
This fish provides healthy doses of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and are essential for brain health. Make sure your salmon is wild and not farmed, because farmed salmon does not have the same health benefits<span “font-size:=”” 10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;color:#333333;background:white”=”” style=””>.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>4. Flaxseeds and Chia Seeds
These seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are very anti-inflammatory. Try sprinkling a little freshly ground flax on your salad or adding some chia seeds to your smoothie.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>5. Berries<span “font-size:10.0pt;=”” font-family:”arial”,sans-serif”=”” style=””>
All fruits can help fight inflammation because they’re high in antioxidants, but berries especially, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties because of anthocyanins, which also gives them their rich color.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>6. Walnuts<span “font-size:10.0pt;=”” font-family:”arial”,sans-serif”=”” style=””>
Grab a handful of walnuts the next time you want a healthy snack. They’re very nutrient-dense, full of healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium. All of these things have important roles in regulating inflammation.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>7. Garlic
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” color:black;background:white”=”” style=””>These pungent vegetables are known for their immunity-boosting properties. Garlic has been shown to work similarly to certain pain medications like ibuprofen, shutting off the pathways that lead to inflammation.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”arial”,sans-serif;=”” mso-bidi-font-style:italic”=”” style=””>8. Avocados<span “font-size:10.0pt;=”” font-family:”arial”,sans-serif”=”” style=””>
This fruit is high in carotenoids, which fight inflammation. It also contains easily digestible monounsaturated fat (“healthy fat”) which helps prevent inflammation in the joints. The vitamin E and C, zinc, and selenium in avocados helps to sooth inflammation too.
Here’s an anti-inflammatory smoothie recipe to start your day off right!
1 cup water
1 cup frozen berries
3 tablespoons flax seeds or chia seeds
1 handful spinach
½ cucumber, chopped
1 serving hemp protein powder
Add all ingredients into a blender, blend, and enjoy!
If you’d like one-on-one help to start looking and feeling better set up a complimentary consultation with us by emailing us at info@crossfitsteelecreek.com