We all know that we should avoid fast food and foods high in fat and sugar. What many of us overlook are the seemingly healthy foods that might be causing underlying inflammation. Here we will look at some of the hidden culprits of joint and body inflammation.
The Hidden Dangers of Dairy
Cow’s milk serves the evolutionary purpose of fattening up calves to make them strong enough to be without their mother. The unfortunate side effect of this design is that the same qualities that fatten calves do the same for humans when they drink milk. Dairy has been in out diets for centuries. While most American’s think drinking milk is something completely natural, it may actually lead to many serious side effects in the body. Dairy is considered a high inflammatory food for most people. Fortunately, there are many alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk and rice milk for low inflammatory milk options.
Pass on the Iodized Salt
Salt is widely recognized for its effects on blood pressure. But did you know that certain types of salt could also lead to inflammation? Iodized salt is the most common type of table salt. While it is cheap and readily available it is not the best salt option. This type of salt has high quantities of sodium, which can lead to swelling in the body. When you opt instead for unrefined salt like Celtic or Mineral salt you will be adding a number of healthful compounds like calcium, potassium and magnesium and avoiding unwanted inflammation.
The Controversy over Citrus and Tropical Fruits
Although the jury is still out on citrus and tropical fruit, some studies have linked them to inflammation. Fruits like bananas, oranges, mangos and pineapples have a higher fructose content than other fruits. They are commonly restricted in the diets of people who have problems managing their blood sugar. Studies have shown that some people are sensitive to citrus fruits and their bodies react with an inflammatory response. It is important to be aware of your own bodies reaction to certain foods to understand what contributes to your swelling.
Pay Attention to Agave
Agave nectar ranks very low on the ever-important glycemic index because it its low level of glucose (it contains fructose instead). Fructose does not raise blood sugar levels the same way as traditional sweeteners because our bodies do not metabolize it very well. Because of this, agave has been marketed as a wonder sweetener with claims for limited impact on our bodies. This seemingly healthful sweeter is not exactly what you might think. While it unlike traditional sweeteners, it is still full of sugar. It has a fructose content of a whopping 90 percent. This means that agave has a higher fructose content than any other common sweetener, including much-avoided high fructose corn syrup. In addition to high fructose levels many people have found that using agave as their sweetener of choice leads to inflammation.
Limit Your Amount of Barley and Rye
How dangerous can a couple of healthy and delicious grains be on our bodies? They are endorsed by many dietary experts because they do not lead to the sugar spike seen when you eat refined carbs. However, studies have shown that these two grains can create inflammation in some people. But why some people and not others? It’s our old nemesis again – gluten. Anyone who has even the mildest sensitivity to gluten (and many of us do whether we know it or not) barley or rye can cause tissues to inflame.
Don’t Go Nuts for Peanuts
By now you’re probably starting to see a theme. Many of the foods that are common allergens and sensitivities like milk and gluten are hidden causes of inflammation. Peanuts also fall into this category. They are obviously a common and severe allergen, and have been linked to broad inflammatory responses in those people who cannot tolerate peanuts. With better options like cashews or almonds, there is no need to miss out on nuts as a great source of quick protein.
Packaged Seasoning Mixes May Be Doing You In
Think about some of your go-to meals. Chances are they include a packet of quick grabs like taco seasoning, ranch dressing mix or some other soup or flavor mix. While they may taste delicious and make life super simple, they might be causing swelling in the body. Most of these mixes contain artificial coloring, preservatives, as well as high levels of salt and sugar. All of these things have been linked directly to joint inflammation. You might be surprised just how easy it is to make flavor boosters with much healthier ingredients.
Personal Inflammation Foods
What the heck is a personal inflammation food anyway? This varies from person to person. When you research what foods are the worst offenders for causing inflammation it becomes apparent that it varies depending upon who you ask. Experts disagree, doctors disagree, research definitely disagrees and people disagree.
This is because all of our bodies are uniquely different. What bothers one person a great deal, will cause no reaction in someone else. It’s important to pay close attention to what you eat and how your body reacts. If milk doesn’t seem to be a trigger for inflammation, they go ahead and enjoy all the pizza and cheese you like (well, within reason). Maybe you find that coffee is a trigger for your inflammation, then try tea. Know your body and fuel it with foods that work for you.
By understanding how food impacts our bodies we can do a better job of controlling our inflammation. Pay attention to how your body responds when you eat these hidden causes of swelling. By knowing what you can and can’t eat, you can drastically decrease your inflammation.