Inflammation is part of the body's defensive mechanism. When a cut swells up and turns red, that's inflammation healing you at work. However, it can contribute to...
Here’s How Your Diet Can Help Fight (Or Cause) Inflammation
Inflammation is a phenomenon that many people are familiar with. It's a response of our bodies to fight off an infection, injury, or certain irritants. Although inflammation occurs to protect you, it can be very disturbing and discomforting. Inflammation can occur from smoking or low levels of physical activity, but sometimes it's caused by food as well.
If you are bothered by inflammation regularly or want to avoid inflammation, it's best to avoid the foods that cause it. Fortunately, there are many foods that fight inflammation too. This article will discuss foods that cause inflammation and those you can consume to fight inflammation.
Foods That Can Cause Inflammation
We all have natural bacteria living in our gut. These bacteria aren't harmful and even help protect our bodies. This is also the reason why certain foods can cause inflammation. The natural bacteria in your gut could respond badly to certain foods you eat, triggering inflammation.
One of the kinds of foods that can cause inflammation is foods that are thoroughly processed. These foods have the highest level of processing, which is determined by a classification system called NOVA. This system has categorized ultra-processed foods as foods that usually have five or more extra ingredients you normally wouldn't use to prepare a meal, for example. These ingredients have the purpose of imitating the sensory qualities of natural foods.
There are many different ultra-processed foods you can consume, with some of the most popular ones being chocolate or sodas. In these foods, you can find high fructose corn syrup or maltodextrin, for example. These are substances that you will only find in these ultra-processed foods. Other ultra-processed foods are ice cream, prepackaged candy, cakes, margarine, packaged cereals, and mass-produced packaged bread.
Sugar that is added to foods will also cause inflammation. However, many companies have already 'removed' sugar from their products to make them seem healthier. However, they often simply replace it with other substances. Nowadays, it's difficult to know whether or not something has sugar in it or not, because they use so many different names for it.
You're probably already familiar with the name glucose, but did you know that sucrose, levulose, isoglucose, maltose, and molasses are also different sources of added sugar in foods? Other sources of added sugar are high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, corn sugar, fructose, agave, honey, and maple syrup.
To avoid inflammation caused by foods with added sugar, it's best to check the labels of the foods you consume for any of these sources. You could also cook for yourself more. This way, you will be in control of what's going into the food.
Lastly, foods that contain certain fats can cause inflammation as well. Of course, our bodies need fats in order to function, but some fats aren't good for our health. These fats are saturated fats and trans fats. You can often find these kinds of fats in ultra-processed foods as well, so if you avoid those as much as possible, you will avoid a lot of bad fats as well.
For example, you can find saturated and trans fats in cream, cheese, margarine, and butter. However, these fats are also used in lard, fatty meats (like fatty beef, for example), pork, lamb, and poultry with skin.
Foods That Help Fight Inflammation
Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that will help your body fight inflammation as well. Anti-inflammatory foods also have the advantage that they will boost your immune system and fight diseases like diabetes, depression, and heart disease as well.
Avocados have a lot of fats in them, but these are healthy fats that our bodies need to function properly. The polyphenols inside avocados work as antioxidants, which means that these will fight any damage inside your body. Avocados are also filled with plenty of other nutrients that you need, like fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C, A, E, and B. They are even low in sodium too.
Carrots are another kind of food that will fight inflammation in your body. This is because of the beta-carotene inside them, one of the most powerful antioxidants. When you eat carrots, your body will convert these antioxidants to vitamin A, which is also great for you. Eating carrots also comes with other advantages, like reducing the risk of cancer. They are low in calories and high in fiber too, which makes them great for helping you lose weight.
Oranges contain a lot of nutrients that are great for your body. They contain a lot of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, fiber, and folate. The latter two help your heart stays healthy, while vitamin C helps your immune system and keeps your blood vessels strong.
Almonds are great for fighting inflammation! They contain a lot of healthy monounsaturated fats in addition to vitamin E and manganese. They contain magnesium and plant protein as well. In addition, studies have shown that eating almonds helps lower the risk of heart disease, as they can improve the balance of fatty acids in your blood.
Strawberries contain many vitamins and minerals that are important for your body, like vitamin C, for example. They also contain a lot of antioxidants, which is why this fruit is great for fighting inflammation.
There are certain fats that our bodies need, and one of these is called omega-3 fatty acids, which you can find in salmon. Studies have also shown that people who consume more of these acids have a lower risk of getting dry eyes. Another advantage of eating salmon is that the healthy fats will keep your cholesterol on the right level.
Let us know in the comments below - What is your favorite way to combat inflammation?