Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response that promotes healing.
Sounds great right? To a certain extent, it is great, but when inflammation is present for prolonged periods of time or is triggered for the wrong reasons, it can lead to serious health problems.
Almost all major illnesses and diseases are related to chronic inflammation.
Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis have all been linked to inflammation.
One of the best ways to protect your body from chronic inflammation is by monitoring your diet.
The Most Inflammatory Foods
The top 5 foods that cause inflammation in the body are more difficult to avoid than you may think.
If you eat out and aren’t preparing your own meals, it’s hard to know what ingredients you’re taking in with each bite.
So being an informed consumer is key to making sure you’re able to be in charge of your health.
Here are the top 5 foods to cut out of your diet to help control inflammation.
For those of us with a sweet tooth, this is bad news- but not surprising.
Sugar has been associated with chronic low-grade inflammation in multiple studies. It’s been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, fatty liver disease, depression, as well as many other illnesses.
Cutting refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup and fructose out of your diet can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing these inflammatory diseases.
Sugary beverages like sodas are the number one culprit related to increased inflammation due to sugar intake.
Processed meats are cooked at high temperatures which cause advanced glycation end products or AGEs to produce at greater rates than foods cooked at lower temperatures.
These AGEs have been linked to inflammation and other diseases like colon cancer, heart disease, and obesity.
Red meat has also been associated with these symptoms, but processed meats pose a much greater risk to health than unprocessed meats.
Some examples of processed meats are:
- Hot dogs
- Lunch meats
Trans fatty acids are formed through the industrial hydrogenation of vegetable oils- sounds delicious, right?
This process is done to make oils more solid, for an extended shelf life of packaged goods, and because it’s a very cheap ingredient for food companies to utilize.
Small amounts of trans fats occur naturally in some foods like dairy products and meats, but most trans fats are produced through the adding of hydrogen to oils.
Not only do trans fats raise your LDL (the bad cholesterol) and lower your HDL (good cholesterol), they’re also very inflammatory.
Trans fats are often found in these treats:
- Microwave popcorn
- Fast foods
- Frozen pizza
- Non-dairy coffee creamer
Many countries have enacted laws about the amounts of trans fats that are allowed in food products.
The United States banned trans fats in foods in 2015 and allowed manufacturers three years to comply with the new guidelines.
That term was extended and trans fats were supposed to be off of the market as of January 1, 2020. There are many baked and fried goods that are exempt from the ban of trans fats.
Oh no! Not carbs too.
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love carbs. They’re delicious, filling- but pretty bad for you if you’re eating the wrong kind.
It turns out that refined carbs cause oxidative stress in the body, which leads to inflammation.
Consuming refined carbs has been associated with spikes in blood sugar, insulin resistance, and other inflammation-related diseases like diabetes.
Refined carbs are essentially empty calories. Your body processes them quickly and this causes the need for more food. The increased caloric intake leads to weight gain.
High intake of refined carbs in adults has been linked to an almost threefold increase in the likelihood of dying from an inflammatory disease.
Some examples of refined carbs are:
- White bread
- Breakfast cereals
- Flavored yogurt
There are many downsides to excessive alcohol consumption.
Alcohol has been associated with inflammation in the intestines. This inflammatory response makes it more difficult for the body to regulate inflammation and can lead to increases in alcohol-related organ damage.
Asthma, lung injury, liver disease, and many other illnesses have been linked to extreme alcohol consumption.
It’s advised that men limit alcoholic beverages to two per day and women to one per day to avoid excessive intake.
How To Fix The Damage Done By Inflammation And Prevent New Inflammatory Responses
What can be done to remedy the inflammation that’s already been caused by these foods?
In addition to cutting out the above inflammatory foods from your diet, it’s a good idea to incorporate supplements and vitamins to help prevent new damage and repair old inflammatory damage.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that’s a free radical fighter (the cause of oxidative stress that leads to inflammation). This anti-inflammatory vitamin is also an immune system booster.
Vitamin C is used to treat many inflammatory conditions and has amazing health benefits in addition to the anti-inflammatory perks.
Glutathione deficiency is more prevalent in patients with inflammatory diseases.
Decreased glutathione levels have been shown to be related to increased levels of inflammatory markers.
Rebalancing glutathione levels is beneficial in preventing and treating inflammation throughout the body.
This ancient yellow spice works like magic on inflammatory conditions.
The anti-inflammatory has been used for centuries to treat more ailments than maybe any other vitamin or supplement.
It’s currently used to reduce the inflammatory response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, anxiety, and muscle soreness.
Curcumin has even been used recently for COVID-19 patients.
How To Get The Most Anti-Inflammatory Benefits From Your Vitamins
Not all vitamins are absorbed equally. While glutathione, vitamin C, and curcumin are all great for reducing inflammation, they are not widely bioavailable.
Bioavailability is the ability of the body to absorb a substance fully.
The best way to take these supplements so they become more bioavailable is through liposomal encapsulation.
The encapsulation acts as a protective sheath that shields vitamins from the harmful stomach acids that break down foods in the GI tract.
With a protective barrier around the vitamins, they’re able to travel through the GI tract to the small intestine for greater absorption than traditional pill or powder supplements.
To learn more about how liposomal encapsulation can help you get the most bang for your buck from your vitamins and supplements, click here.