Having a goal that feels a bit vague can be hard to wrap your head around. Sure we can all feel inflamed every now and then, but how can we really tell if our insides are inflamed all of the time? That is a great question and something that is better suited for your doctor to answer but one thing we do know is that chronic inflammation is being increasingly linked to a myriad of health concerns. Even though you may not be able to tell if your feeling inflamed or not, there are ways in which you can reduce inflammation, whether you can feel it or not–it all comes down to the food you eat.
If your goal this year is to reduce inflammation in your body or if you are ready to try this for yourself now, these are foods that are considered inflammation inducing to the body and are foods you are going to want to avoid.
This one probably isn’t a shock to see. More and more is gluten seen as something we ALL want to avoid and not just those with celiac disease. Research conducted by the Mucosal Biology Research Centre found that humans are unable to digest gliadin (the protein found in gluten). When your body cannot digest something this results in unwanted substances entering the bloodstream, triggering an immune response and causing chronic inflammation.
Researchers think that being able to digest milk as an adult is abnormal and as adults get older their ability to digest dairy decreases. If your body does have a hard time digesting it, then your body will show inflammation.
Sugar can come in many forms. In its many forms, sugar increases the levels of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Cytokines are cell signaling molecules that assist in communication in immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation. If these levels are increasing from eating sugar, then that is a good sign that inflammation has increased your body too. Sugars like white or brown refined sugar, corn syrup, and evaporated cane juice should be avoided.
In moderation, alcohol has been shown to produce an anti-inflammatory response. However, studies show that in excess it has the opposite effect. Since alcohol doesn’t have provide any nutrients to the body, the body works on overdrive to get rid of it. In large quanities, it can really disrupt your system and take it away from more important things it should be fighting off.
So if you are looking to reduce inflammation this year, try to eliminate or consume minimally gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and alcohol.