So you have heard people talking about it and you want to know more about inflammation and how to prevent it. Topline Foods has the answers.
Inflammation is a biological process initiated by the immune system in response to injury, infection or irritation. When inflammation persists it actually becomes chronic inflammation which is the cause of numerous diseases like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Heart disease and cancer are two leading causes of death in developed countries and are caused by chronic inflammation.
Foods play a huge role when it comes to inflammation. By controlling what you consume you can increase as well as reduce inflammation in your body.
Foods You Should Avoid:
- SUGAR! It is found in sodas, juices, candy, desserts, pastries, jams, jellies, even milk and linked to obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. You may have seen that commercial, “corn or cane sugar it doesn’t matter. Sugar is sugar”, well not really. Refined sugar is definitely not good for you regardless of where it comes from. Start reading labels and try to avoid foods that have more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Good substitutes are honey, agave syrup and blackstrap molasses. Try to sweeten your meals with berries, figs, dates and other fruit. It takes a while to get used to it, but the difference you will feel in your body and mood is priceless.
- TRANS FATS! Found in deep fried and processed foods, donuts, chips, cookies, as well as foods prepared with hydrogenated oils. They increase your LDL cholesterol, decrease the HDL, are directly related to obesity and promote inflammation. Trans fats increase cholesterol in your body more than any other type of fat. Bottom line is steer clear of trans fats.
- DAIRY! Amazing, right?! That is because we get it after it has been heavily processed. Also, about 60% of the population cannot digest dairy. It is commonly found in milk, cheese, sour cream, cream sauces and even some crackers. Small changes and moderation is the key here. Try Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Kefir is an acquired taste but really good for you as it is easy to digest and has beneficial bacteria.
- RED AND PROCESSED MEAT! These foods trigger inflammation in our bodies and research shows that eating processed meats can cause cancer. Clearly increased cholesterol and fat intake goes hand in hand with this. The term ”processed meat” refers to hot dogs, deli meats, ham, sausages, salami and bologna. They are full of chemicals that do not belong in our body, have you heard of nitrates?! When it comes to red meat, moderation is the key. The best red meat to consume is lean cuts of organic grass fed beef. It is recommended we have 3 servings per week and substitute with organic hormone free chicken, antibiotic free, free range turkey and wild caught fishthe rest of the week.Protein is the key for a healthy and fit body, however, be smart about where you get it from. Chemicals and sodium do not add any nutritional value and can actually make you very sick. So choose lean cuts of organic grass fed meat, all natural pork and organic chicken as well as wild caught seafood.
- ASPARTAME and MSG! Sugar substitutes and packaged foods contain these. You should do your best to avoid processed foods as much as you can.
Foods You Should Eat:
- WILD CAUGHT SEAFOOD! It has heart healthy omega 3’s and salmon is the king with about 2 grams of omega 3 per 3oz serving. Keep in mind that wild caught seafood is much higher in Omega 3’s than farm raised seafood. American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week.
- COLORFUL PRODUCE! Such as carrots, yams, berries, squash, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, onions, you get the idea. Flavonoids and carotenoids, the substances that give fruits/vegetables their color are powerful antioxidants and fight inflammation. Keep in mind that frozen fruits and vegetables have as much, if not more, nutrients than fresh since they tend to be picked and frozen at the peak of their ripeness. Unlike the fresh ones we get at the store which tend to be picked green and ripen on the way to the store while exposed to heat and other elements on the way.
- WHOLE GRAINS! Like oatmeal, brown/black rice, barley, whole wheat pasta and quinoa (technically a protein). These foods lower the levels of CRP (C-reactive protein) in the body which is the marker of inflammation.
- EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL! According to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compounds found in olive oil stops the production of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.
Keep in mind that Topline Foods has you covered when it comes to eating healthy and fighting inflammation. We have a great selection of organic free range chicken, organic grass fed beef, all natural pork, nitrate and nitrite free sausages, wild caught seafood and more.