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Suffer from inflammation? These are the foods to avoid

Food that makes you sicker

I normally try to encourage my clients to add healthy foods to their diet, rather than removing foods. However, when it comes to inflammation, there's really no way around it. If you feed your body inflammatory foods, you're going to make an existing inflammation worse and could even be the reason it's there in the first place.

Now, what do I mean with inflammation? Inflammation occurs when inflammatory cells travel to the place of an injury or foreign body like bacteria. If inflammatory cells stay too long, it may lead to chronic inflammation. It is the chronic inflammation where dietary changes can make a huge impact. This together with other lifestyle changes; like minimizing stress and increase exercise as well as the all-important social connection we all need in our lives. 

Chronic Inflammation can show up with a range of symptoms like fatigue, body pains, insomnia, depression, anxiety, GI-issues, gastric reflux, constipation, weight gain or loss, frequent colds, to name a few. 

So, what are the foods to avoid? Luckily, it's not rocket science. The foods that are generally considered unhealthy, like the ultra-processed and processed foods are on top of the list. Here is my top 6 of foods to avoid:

1. Refined carbohydrates, or grains that have lost their bran and germ. Examples include foods made with white flour, such as white bread, most cakes, cookies and other sweets, and many types of cereal.

2. Sweets and sugary beverages. Examples include sweets, cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream and other desserts. Sugary beverages include sodas, sweetened iced tea, punches, sports drinks and many coffee drinks.

3. Unhealthy oils. Examples of these are sunflower, canola, ricebran etc. Instead stick to olive oil, avocado oil & coconut oil. 

4. Excess alcohol. Heavy alcohol consumption contributes to systemic inflammation by interfering with the body's natural defenses against the influx of gut microbiota and its products.

For some people it may be enough to avoid above foods to relieve inflammation, however if you want to go a bit more in-depth, I'd suggest to avoid following for a period of time as well:

5. Gluten. Some people experience an inflammatory reaction when they consume gluten. A gluten-free diet can be restrictive, and it is not suitable for everyone. However, if a person suspects that gluten is triggering symptoms, they may wish to consider eliminating it for a while to see if their symptoms improve.

6. Nightshades: Plants belonging to the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes, seem to trigger flares in some people with inflammatory diseases. There is limited evidence to confirm this effect, but a person can try cutting nightshades from the diet for 2–3 weeks to see if their symptoms improve.

Want to know what anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet to aid a healthy gut? Read my previous post here.

Need a hand to improve your food habits?

If you would like to discuss how to improve your gut health and food habits, don't hesitate to get in touch with me. As a trained holistic health coach with lots of experience within anti-inflammatory foods I'm here to guide and coach you!


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