As we’ve repeatedly discussed, inflammation is not a bad thing; without an inflammatory response, healing from even the least-threatening wounds would not be possible.
Chronic (long-term) inflammation is not a good thing, however. Monsour Mohamadzadeh, Ph.D., and director of the Center for Inflammation and Mucosal Immunology at the University of Florida explains the difference:
“In a healthy situation, inflammation serves as a good friend to our body. But if immune cells start to overreact, that inflammation can be totally directed against us.”
Although the title of this article – and some of its contents – focuses on those with inflammatory diseases, the vast majority of information contained within applies to us all. With that in mind, we’re going to discuss foods to avoid to keep inflammation levels in check.
The Role of Food
Everything that we eat has an effect on the body. During digestion, food is broken down into its basic elements, most notably carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Vitamins and minerals contained in food are absorbed – as are unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates, and other non-desirables.
Put simply, what food enters our mouths determines how our body functions. In this regard, the levels of inflammation are no different.
WITH THIS IN MIND, HERE ARE THE TEN FOODS TO AVOID:
1. SUGAR/HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
Sugar is perhaps the unhealthiest food (or ingredient) in existence. Consider this: just until very recently, scientists thought that obesity was the primary cause of diabetes. However, new research shows that sugar has a strong contributory effect on diabetes – beyond the simply caloric properties as it was once thought.
2. REFINED CARBS
Researchers believe that the refined carbohydrates – adulterated and without their natural fiber – in modern diets stimulate the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria. This increases the risk of both cardiovascular disease and obesity.
While fiber promotes feelings of fullness and is beneficial for overall health, refined carbs cause cravings and boost inflammation levels.
3. ALCOHOL (IN EXCESS)
While moderate alcohol consumption provides some health benefits, higher amounts can lead to severe problems. One such problem is “leaky gut”: an influx of bad bacteria transferred from the colon to the body. This condition can drive widespread inflammation – and may even lead to organ damage.
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