Inflammation is the body's healthy response to injury and infection, a way of defending ourselves by sending immune cells and key nutrients to the areas that need them most. Chronic inflammation can be quite dangerous. When inflammation as an immune response is never "shut off," so to speak, the constant production of immune cells can do permanent damage. Conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and diabetes can be made worse or better depending on a person's diet.
The causes of chronic inflammation can vary person to person, but include being overweight, experiencing lots of stress and even breathing polluted air. Smoking, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of sleep are also inflammation culprits.The foods we choose to eat -- or not to eat -- can also affect inflammation. Getting your fair share of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and omega-3 fatty acids has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory effects. Diet can serve as a protective function. When our bodies are best nourished, we're able to heal quicker. It's likely that no one food is to blame for causing inflammation, but that your overall diet could contribute. There are foods that exaggerate inflammation because they themselves are irritants.
Here are some of the worst offenders
you might want to avoid:
Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. The majority are man-made and, therefore, difficult to process. Our body doesn't have a natural mechanism for breaking it down," which can trigger an inflammatory response.
Too much sugar can alert the body to send out extra immunity messengers, called cytokines.
White Breads and Pastas
White breads and pastas break down quickly into sugar, and in turn lead to inflammation. They've been refined in a way that goes against nature, goes against what our bodies need. Processing away the nutritional properties of whole grains leaves fast-digesting carbohydrates beyond empty calories, which irritate our bodies.
Animal fats = saturated fats. Some is needed, but consume in moderation
Alcohol is naturally irritating to our insides, but shouldn't cause lasting problems unless you overdo it. Alcohol turns into immediate sugar when it's metabolized.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids (heavy seeds and vegetable oils)
The average American gets more omega-6 fatty acids via diet than omega-3s (fatty fish and walnuts), but this imbalance can lead to inflammation.
Whole milk or even 2% is still high in saturated fat and could mean trouble. But a majority of adults have at least some difficulty digesting milk, so overdoing it could trigger a true inflammatory reaction.
There's some research in animals to suggest that the preservative and flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate can create inflammation. Not much is known about its health effects. It's a chemical our bodies are not used to, so it's best to avoid.
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture.Even without a diagnosis of celiac disease, a number of people report feeling better after eliminating gluten from their diet. In fact, a full 30% of American adults are now actively avoiding gluten.
What is an anti-inflammation diet?
The anti-inflammation diet is comprised of healthy, wholesome, unprocessed foods. Anti-inflammatory fats are a cornerstone of this diet. We recommend foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, flaxseed, hempseed and walnuts. In addition, other anti-inflammatory fats include extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, hempseed oil and walnut oil.
Fruits and vegetables are high in inflammation-reducing antioxidants, especially onions, garlic, peppers and dark leafy greens. These are high in inflammation-fighting carotenoids, vitamin K and vitamin E.
Herbs and spices include compounds to fight inflammation. For example, turmeric, oregano, rosemary, ginger and green tea contain bioflavonoids and polyphenols that reduce inflammation and limit free radical production.
Some of the most potent anti-inflammatory vegetables are peppers and the spices derived from them, such as cayenne pepper. All chili peppers include capsaicin (the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it has), which is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes.
If you're not getting relief or only temporary relief from chiropractic, it's possible there's another cause of inflammation. You could be having an inflammatory response from the foods you are eating. Consider changing your diet and speaking to a specialist to see if foods could be the culprit.