5 Foods That Cause Inflammation


Listen to “5 Foods That Cause Inflammation”.

Guest post by Catherine Kakenya

I’m sure you’ve seen all over the internet people recommending anti-inflammatory foods, and you’re wondering what that’s all about. So let’s talk about inflammation and how it could be good or dangerous to the body. 

Inflammation is when you get hurt, and your body releases white blood cells to protect you from harm. Let’s say you fall and bruise your arm; you’ll notice redness, warmth, and swelling around the hurt area that’s the white blood cells protecting you. Inflammation is necessary because, without it, minor injuries could be fatal. 

There are two types of inflammations:

Chronic inflammation– occurs inside the body in response to fighting toxins from cigarettes or other substances. It also prevents atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fat cells in the body. The body sees this as abnormal and foreign, fighting the fat cells since they block blood flow. 

Sometimes, the walls break down and rupture the plaque, causing a mingle between blood forming clots that prevent blood flow. These clots result in most heart attacks and strokes. 

Acute inflammation– occurs when you fall and bruise your knee or elbow, leading to swelling and redness in that area as white blood cells protect the area. The same thing occurs when we are suffering from flu or infection. 

To prevent chronic inflammation, if you feel you could be at risk of a heart attack or your doctor has warned you, you should begin exercising, eating healthily, losing weight, and quit smoking. 

Below are food types that could cause inflammation:

  1.  Refined Sugars

According to research, a diet rich in refined sugars leads to obesity, insulin resistance, low-grade inflammation, and increased gut permeability. These result in severe conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and allergies. 

A study done on mice showed that sugar intake resulted in adverse effects on antioxidant imbalance, carbohydrate metabolism, and increased inflammation.  

Another study done on sugar-sweetened soda showed that it increased the chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women. These results didn’t change despite other dietary and lifestyle choices. 

In a six-month study, obese people drank a bottle of regular soda every day, which increased uric acid levels in their blood. Uric acid causes increased inflammation and insulin resistance. In the controlled group, drinking milk or diet soda didn’t increase uric acid.

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  1.  Gluten

When someone with gluten sensitivity consumes gluten foods, their immune system causes inflammation, affecting the body’s organs and soft tissues. As much as there won’t be physical symptoms such as swelling and redness, there will be joint pain. The joint pain may be persistent or may come and go.

Foods most high in gluten are; barley, pasta, wheat, spelt, rye, beer, cereals, cookies, cakes, and pastries. 

In a study, sixty-six patients with rheumatoid arthritis were randomized to either a vegan diet without gluten or a balanced non-vegan diet for one year. Of the twenty-two patients who stuck with the vegan diet, nine patients showed an improvement compared to only one patient out of twenty in the non-vegan group. This study proved that dietary modifications could be a great tool in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. 

  1.  Refined Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates have had a bad reputation for quite a while now. Let’s note that not all carbohydrates are bad for you. But when consuming them, make sure to consume limited amounts of refined carbohydrates as they’re bad for your health and cause inflammation. 

Refined carbohydrates hearten the development of inflammatory gut bacteria, according to research. This bacteria leads to an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. 

Refined carbohydrates have most of the fiber removed. The fiber in food is necessary as it promotes the feeling of fullness, feeds the good bacteria in your stomach, and boosts blood sugar control. 

Examples of refined carbohydrates are; white rice, pastry, white flour, soda, white bread, snacks, pasta, breakfast cereals, refined sugar, and sweets.

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  1.  Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Moderate alcohol consumption may help with a few health benefits. But excessive consumption of it leads to adverse effects on your health. In a study, the more an individual consumed alcohol, the higher the uric acid level in their bodies, leading to inflammation.

When one drinks heavily, bacterial toxins move out of the colon and into the bloodstream. This condition is also known as “leaky gut,” it often results in organ damage. 

  1.  Processed Meat

Processed and red meats are high in saturated fats, which often cause inflammation. According to studies, a high intake of these meats leads to stroke, heart disease, and cancer, usually resulting from inflammation. 

Types of processed meats include; bacon, salami, sausage, meat jerkies, pepperoni, hot dogs, and some deli meats. 

Final Words

All the above are food types that you should avoid if you want to be healthy and keep illnesses at bay. Inflammation is a severe condition that could sometimes be fatal. Avoiding the above foods and indulging more in anti-inflammatory foods could help improve your health.

About author: “My name is Catherine. I’m a Health and Wellness Freelance writer. I love writing informative, fun, yet educational content. I’m a plant-based lifestyle enthusiast too. You can find me on LinkedIn.”