Foods That Can Cause Inflammation

Although adverse reactions to a food product are generally mild the response can be severe enough to cause a chronic immune system response within the body. This means that some autoimmune based forms of chronic illness and arthritis may be triggered by these food sensitivities. There are definitely foods which can trigger inflammation just as there are foods which can help to reduce it.

The foods you consume do matter. A sensitivity or allergy to a specific food or group of foods can trigger an immune response within the body causing or increasing the incidence of an inflammatory flare. Foods that can help to reduce inflammation are ginger, turmeric, lemon, onions, garlic, strawberries, pineapple. Foods rich in vitamin C or those with a high omega-3 fatty acids content such as salmon, olive oil, and walnuts are also highly beneficial.

Vitamin C, D, and B-12 in food or supplement form may naturally aid in the treatment of inflammation. Many individuals with inflammatory disorder are found to have a vitamin D or B12 deficiency so these are vitamins that most individuals should seek to include in their food or supplements.
Stay away from bad fats in oils by cooking with healthier oils such as Olive or Canola oil. Reduce your consumption of margarine or switch to an omega rich brand containing zero trans-fats. Butter contains transfats but it is important to note that butter also provides other nutrients so is still an acceptable food choice.

Antioxidants may have the ability to slow the course of an inflammatory based illness. Blueberries, broccoli, pomegranate, spinach and green tea are just a few antioxidant rich foods which can be helpful for reducing inflammation. The unique phenols in strawberries work much along the same principal as the anti inflammatory drugs Aspirin and Ibuprofen but without the blood thinning properties. Strawberries help to block the COX or cycloxogenase enzymes whose activity has been shown to contribute to inflammation so eating these spring berries may help to reduce inflammation.

Foods high in manganese may be beneficial to those who suffer from such forms of Arthritis as Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. Manganese is found largely within the bones and aides in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism, as well as the formation of bone. Although many individuals have inadequate amounts of Manganese, it is not recommended that Manganese be taken in supplement form because too much of this mineral can interfere with the absorption of other important minerals such as Iron.

Eating Manganese rich foods such as almonds, beans, blueberries, brown rice, buckwheat, cabbage, cloves, cinnamon, garbanzo beans, garlic, grapes, green beans, kale, lentils, molasses, pineapple, pumpkin seeds, oats, raspberries, romaine lettuce, sesame seeds, spinach, squash, strawberries, swiss char, tomatoes, turnip greens, whole grain rye, and walnuts will insure an adequate amount within the body.

Yogurt is an important food for those with inflammatory based illness. It is important for our optimum health that we have good bacteria within our intestinal tract. Some medications will kill these bacteria. Fortunately consuming a probiotic yogurt on a regular basis will help to replenish these good bacteria. Cherries are another good food for those who suffer from Arthritis. Not only are Cherries a strong anti-inflammatory but they also contain Anthocyanins which are a natural pain killer. For those with chronic pain this can be a nice bonus.

 A surprising food fact: It is generally understood that cooking food can reduce the nutrients within them but in the case of some antioxidant rich foods the opposite is true. Steaming can increase the antioxidant content. Sweet potato, spinach, tomatoes, white potatoes, red and green peppers, red and white cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, and carrots all show an increase in antioxidants by up to fifty percent when steamed compared to raw.

Foods that can cause inflammation

There are a number of foods which may initiate an inflammatory response by the body's immune system but it is cheese and other dairy products that are considered to be at the top of the list for foods most likely to trigger an inflammatory response.

Other foods that rank high on the list of possible triggers for autoimmune based illness are corn, wheat, oats, rye, eggs, citrus fruits, nuts, sugar, salt, coffee, and nightshade plants such as tomatoes, white potatoes, red and green bell peppers, chili peppers, eggplant and tobacco.

Good fats - bad fats? Inflammatory based disorders can be irritated by a diet which is high in the type of fat found within red meat, oils, and margarine. Studies indicate that cox-2 enzymes within the body cause more inflammation when there is a higher imbalance between the omega-6 fatty acids and the omega-3 fatty acids in the body.

If you are a person who suffers from an inflammatory based form of Arthritis (such as Rheumatoid arthritis), then decreasing the amount of red meat, french fries, and other fatty foods that you consume is very important. Rather than frying foods broil, grill, or poach them. Eat lean white meats or fish in place of high fat beef to help decrease the risk of inflammation caused by a fat imbalance.

Read the nutritional labels on the foods you purchase. Decrease your intake of foods containing omega-6 fats saturated and trans-fats and increase your intake of omega-3 fats flax seed, walnuts and oily fish as this may help to reduce the imbalance and help to stop the body's inflammatory attack.

If you believe you may be having problems consuming a specific grain product such as wheat then take extra care when eating other more healthy grain products as many times a cross contamination will occur between the various grains during their growth, harvesting, or packaging phases.

Generally safe foods for people are rice, oily fish such as salmon, most vegetables other than those from the nightshade family, cherries, cranberries, pears, prunes, apples, and sweet potatoes. Especially important for individuals with inflammatory health issues are fruits and vegetables with high antioxidant properties.

A person can test for a food sensitivity by participating in an elimination diet plan. In an elimination diet all suspect foods are removed for about a four week period. If a specific food is causing the inflammation, then there should be see some positive improvement in health during this time frame.

Foods that are generally safe to consume throughout an elimination diet are rice, oats, sweet potatoes as well as most fruits and vegetables other than those within the nightshade family of plants. 

Eliminated foods are re-introduced back into the diet at a rate of about one per week. This should be sufficient time for a specific reaction to any re-introduced food to be noted. If a decrease in health after the re-introduction of any one food is noticed then the offending food has been found. It is important to note that often it is not one food but instead a group of foods which is causing the body to have the inflammatory response. Trial and error really is the best means of discovering which foods affect each individual. An immune response based illness is very individual to each person who suffers from it.
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