How the foods we eat and chronic inflammation are killing us slowly
By Roy Kim, Jul 14 2014
In many health related articles, inflammation is mentioned and considered a bad thing. However, many people don’t really understand what it is and how and when it is harmful to us. In this article I want to talk about what inflammation is and what foods trigger inflammation and what foods reduce inflammation.
Inflammation is your body’s way of defending itself. For example, when you burn or cut yourself, the affected area will turn red and swell up. This is known as acute inflammation. Your body is calling out it’s white blood cells to clear out the infection and heal the damaged tissue. In this case, inflammation is a good thing. Inflammation is triggered anytime your body feels it is being harmed.
Chronic inflammation is the type of inflammation we need to be worried about. It is the root cause of many of illnesses we experience such as diabetes, allergies, depression, arthritis, cancer, heart-disease and many more. To put it simply, when we suffer from chronic inflammation, our body is constantly fighting and defending itself. Since there is nothing to fight it ends up attacking itself and killing us slowly. Although chronic inflammation is triggered by a large range of stimuli, I want to focus on what foods trigger and reduce inflammation.
Foods that trigger inflammation
- Saturated/Trans fats
- Omega-6 fatty acids
- Refined carbohydrates
- Gluten and Casein
- Milk and Dairy
- Synthetic Nitrates
Foods that reduce inflammation
- Fatty Fish
- Grass-fed beef
- Whole grains
- Dark leafy greens
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Tart cherries
The reason these foods trigger inflammation is because our bodies were not designed to consume them or at least not designed to consume them in the amounts we do. I also want to clarify that omega-6 fatty acids are not inherently bad, but the amount we tend to consume them relative to omega-3 fatty acids is probably too high. Read further here.
Like I mentioned earlier, the foods we eat are not the only things that trigger and reduce chronic inflammation. Other factors include exercise, stress, toxins and allergens. If you feel you may be suffering from chronic inflammation, a simple blood test will let you know if you need to take action.