Inflammation is one of the root causatives of many diseases. Though, inflammation is a body’s reaction to stress caused by a foreign element, too much inflammation can lead to infection, diabetes and even cancer. Unfortunately, in some people (not all) food too can cause inflammation. Alternatively, certain foods can cause inflammation in the body when you are suffering from a particular disease like arthritis.
Here is a checklist of the choice of food you may be consuming and the reason for inflammation caused by it:
Researchers have found that some bacteria in the gut secrete chemicals as a reaction to artificial sweeteners. It is an inflammatory response. This makes it difficult for the body to digest sugar.
Artificial sweeteners contain aspartame and mono-sodium glutamate. Aspartame is a neurotoxin that causes inflammation when the body attacks it. It is usually found in soft drinks (diet or healthier beverages). Other examples of foods containing artificial sweeteners include condiments, spice mixes and processed food.
In a recent study, it was found that apart from putting you at high risk of diabetes, artificial sweeteners magnify the risk of high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease.
Gluten protein in processed foods and grains is one of the most common causes of sensitivity reactions in human beings. It is known for causing inflammation in the intestinal tract. The reactions and the sensitivity extent may vary from person to person.
When the human body is unable to digest gluten, it causes inflammation in the lining of the intestines. Another reason is the presence of amylopectin A in the modern strains of starch.
In a recent study, it was found out that wheat protein (amylase-trypsin inhibitors or APIs) can cause inflammation not just in the gut but also in the kidneys, spleen, lymph nodes and the brain. It can make it worse for people who suffer from asthma, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Unfortunately, dairy happens to be another common inflammation-causing food in the market. 1 in 4 humans suffers from dairy sensitivity. Irrespective of how much you love it; it can make your life worse. Of all the reasons, intolerance to lactase (milk protein) is one of the main reasons for the dairy sensitivity that causes inflammation. This enzyme, lactase is needed to break down the sugar in the milk. Inability to digest casein proteins is another reason.
Dairy products are full of hormones and chemicals. Cows injected with growth hormones for high milk production often suffer from mastitis leading to treatment with antibiotics. These antibiotics when consumed by humans kill good bacteria leading to gut inflammation.
A few symptoms of dairy intolerance include bloating, skin breakouts, headache, and stuffy nose. Cutting down on dairy products can help in learning whether or not you are suffering from dairy intolerance.
Researchers have found saturated fats to be the cause for inflammation of fat tissue, especially the white adipose tissue. The white tissue stores energy, and doesn’t burn like brown fat cells. With the intake of saturated fats, these release pro-inflammatory elements and give rise to systemic inflammation.
A key finding reveals that gut bacteria secretes endotoxins which are carried into the blood by the fats. More fats will carry more endotoxins. The body then responds by secreting cytokines, and this triggers inflammation. Another finding reveals that saturated fats in milk and meat stimulate production of a receptor macrophage on the surface of the immune cell. Macrophages secrete cytokines and hence the inflammation.
Saturated fats are present in red meat, cheese, fast food and high fat dairy products.
A life without sugar is hard to believe, but you can’t ignore its involvement in inflammation. High sugar diet is responsible for insulin resistance, obesity, increased gut permeability and inflammation.
Constantly consuming high sugar diet can lead to three scenarios. First, with sugar rising in blood, body responds by releasing more cytokines. Second, high sugar in blood can lead to production of advanced glycation end products. These destructive molecules insinuate inflammation. Third, when blood sugar is high, cells become insulin resistant. Furthermore, the sugar is stored as visceral fat. This fat triggers release of inflammatory chemicals.
Sugar is addictive. But it is unhealthy too. Consuming it in moderate amount is the only means of avoiding harmful side-effect and disease. Natural sweeteners are the best alternative.
The vegetable oils are laden with a high amount of inflammatory fat, omega-6 and low concentration of omega-3 fat. The extent to which vegetable oil laden products are consumed leaves one with 20:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in place of 1:1. The omega 6 fats trigger inflammatory reactions and reduce anti-inflammatory omega 3 thus causing more inflammation in the body.
A little inflammation is a good sign. But too much inflammation caused by processing of vegetable oils due to the free radicals formed make them rancid. Free radicals attack cell membranes and RBCs, damage RNA and DNA strands which results in cellular mutations and more.
These fatty acids are present in sunflower, corn, safflower, grapeseed oil, peanut, soy, mayonnaise and salad dressings.
Soy products are considered healthy. This is a myth. They aren’t healthier than soy burger, soy cheese and soy milk. Soy products are healthy, but not all. Soy products such as soy energy bars, soy burgers have processed soy. Their nutritional value is low. Since 78% of soy non organic is genetically modified, this links it to an inflammation in the body.
It is difficult for a body to breakdown the processed forms of genetically modified soy. It is a foreign substance for the human body, and this leads to stimulation of inflammatory response. Frequent inclusion of non-organic soy puts you at a high risk of inflammation including skin issues such as rosacea, acne and eczema.
The food on your plate is your choice. Choose the one that promises health. Anything that can put you at a risk of inflammation should be avoided at all costs. The list above should help you in making the right choice.
Varsha is a freelance content marketer, who’s been writing passionately for the past six years. She writes for a wide assortment of niches but always preferred writing about the latest technologies and developments. Stay tuned to read more of her blogs!