We all know eating unhealthy food impacts the size of your waistline and how much fat you store but it can also create a lot of inflammation in the body. There are so many foods that can cause inflammation on your body and in your intestinal wall through such things as bacteria, allergens or other toxins. In today’s world our diet is filled with inflammatory foods like sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats, dairy products, processed meat and refined grains. A diet filled with this type of food not only makes you put on weight and bloat but they can also cause major inflammation on the body.
So why is inflammation bad you may ask?
When food causes an inflammatory response in your gut, it affects your whole digestive system. This can cause major digestion problems, which doesn’t feel nice on the body at all. The more inflammation we have in the intestines, the more toxins enter our bloodstream. When this happens in your digestive system your body thinks there's a foreign intruder and sends mastocytes and macrophages to get rid of the intruder. These cells start an immune-response process throughout your body by ingesting foreign elements and alerting the rest of your body's protecting cells that intruders have entered the area. The macrophages attack the food your body doesn't agree with as a foreign invader. This causes your whole body to start attacking these foods and causes inflammation in your bloodstream. Eating unhealthy food is like having an infection that triggers an immune response, which causes the inflammation.
Intestinal inflammation can also be triggered by fat and blood sugar. One of your body's functions is to send glucose in to feed brain cells and inflammation in your body prevents sugar from getting to those cells, so you end up craving more glucose so you eat more sugary foods, which then increases inflammation and starts the whole cycle again.
So now that you know why you want to decrease inflammation here is a list of foods to avoid because of their inflammatory response on the body:
- Processed grain
- Common cooking oils (Polyunsaturated vegetable oils)
- Trans fats
- Feedlot-raised meat
- Processed meat
- Refined grains (white rice, white flour, white bread, pasta, crackers, biscuits)
- Artificial food additives (aspartame, MSG)
Learn to read your ingredient labels and just see where these inflammatory foods could be slipping into your diet. The good news just as food can cause inflammation and bloating in our bodies, there are also certain foods that can help reduce inflammation. I always try and eat as much of these foods as possible.
Recent studies have shown the healing power of turmeric and it’s incredible response at reducing inflammation on the body. Turmeric is great to add into your smoothies, juicers, curries or you can even buy Turmeric capsules. Turmeric is also good for when you suffer injuries and want to reduce inflammation.
Fish that is high in your omega 3 fats are great for reducing inflammation in the body. This comes from fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna or sardines. If you don’t like fish consider even taking a fish oil supplement, that can provide the body with all your healthy Omega 3 fats. If you are vegan or vegetarian then flaxseed oil is great source for getting your Omega 3 fats into your diet.
As opposed to refined grains, whole grains are good for the body. You can get these into your diet with foods like brown rice, kamut, spelt, oats, quinoa, or wild rice. You will only see whole grains in the meals plans of my F.I.T. programs.
Dark Leafy Greens
There are so many reasons to add dark leafy greens into your diet and inflammation-fighting properties is just another one. They contain Vitamin E which has been shown to play a key role in fighting pro inflammatory molecules called cytokines. My favourite dark leafy greens are broccoli, spinach and kale.
Remember if you are having digestion problems and bloating, it's important to get tested for food intolerances and see what foods could trigerring and inflammation response on the body. My bloating and tummy problems significantly reduced the moment I learnt what food's I could and couldn't tolerate. I hope you guys found this information useful. If there are any topics you want me to cover more of on the blog, leave me a comment below.