First, let us talk about what inflammation is?
Inflammation is our body’s natural defense mechanism. Damaged cells, tissues, infections, wounds, and pathogens are recognized by the Immune System and the body begins to heal itself. It is the body’s attempt at self-protection to remove harmful stimuli and chronic inflammation can eventually lead to several conditions and diseases.
Acute Inflammation: caused by bacteria or tissue injury
Chronic Inflammation: Pathogens cannot be broken down in the body, including types of viruses, foreign bodies lingering, or immune responses that are overactive.
Per research here are five foods to avoid that heavily increase inflammation in our bodies:
- Sugar – No surprise here, sugar spikes glucose in our blood and increases the level of pro-inflammatory messengers called cytokines, in addition to weakening our immune system.
- Vegetable-Oil – super high in inflammatory fat omega-6, society is cooking/eating an overload of this harmful product that is causing a severe imbalance in our healthy fats ratio, leading to high inflammation (no good for the gut)
- Fried Foods – (AGEs) Advanced Glycation End products cause high levels of inflammation that form when food is cooked at high heat, pasteurized, deep fried, smoked etc. (the instant gratification is not worth the long-term effects)
- Artificial Sweeteners – “No-Sugar” “No Calories” are common buzz words to indicate new found chemicals are in the product. Science shows a significant increase in glucose intolerance and a rise in bad gut bacteria all leading to type 2 diabetes. This decreases our levels of good bacteria which are known to help diminish anti-inflammatory compounds. (and your brain still triggers “sweet” in the body!)
- Refined Flour – pizza, crackers, pasta, pretzels, breakfast cereal and more will spike your insulin levels since they all have been undressed of their nutrients and healthy fiber. Insulin is a pro-inflammatory response hormone which is threatening every time we reach for that morning bagel! (use grain-free, almond/coconut/chickpea/brown rice/or green banana flour instead)