Best and Worst: Top 10 Most Inflammatory and Anti-Inflammatory Foods!


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Inflammation: A localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection. 
We all know when something is inflamed. But, what about inflammation on the inside of our bodies? Internal inflammation can happen for a host of different reasons: high temperatures when cooking food, eating processed foods, sugar, trans fats, etc. A high level of inflammation within the body can cause many health problems. An easy way to combat this? Eat more anti-inflammatory foods and eliminate the inflammatory ones. 
But, what is an anti-inflammatory food? More importantly, what is an inflammatory food? While you know healthy, whole foods from processed foods, none of us can see the true effect they have on our bodies (sometimes, until it's too late).
Often diseases such as diabetes, PCOS, excess weight gain, coronary heart disease and countless other illnesses can be contributed to the inflammation from various foods. Here is a list of some of the most anti-inflammatory foods. 
TOP 10 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
1. Wild Alaskan Salmon: Salmon contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s (wild is better than farmed) and has been known to help numerous ailments. Try and incorporate oily fish into your diet twice weekly. If you don't like fish, try a high quality fish supplement.
2. Kelp: High in fiber, this brown algae extract helps control liver and lung cancer, douses inflammation, and is anti-tumor and anti-oxidative. Kombu, wakame and arame are good sources.  
3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The secret to longevity in Mediterranean culture, this oil provides a healthy dose of fats that fights inflammation, can help lower risks of asthma and arthritis, as well as protect the heart and blood vessels. 
4. Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale and cauliflower are all loaded with antioxidants. Naturally detoxifying, they can help rid the body of possible harmful compounds.
  
5. Blueberries: Blueberries not only reduce inflammation, but they can protect the brain from aging and prevent diseases, such as cancer and dementia. Aim for organic berries, as pesticides are hard to wash away due to their size. 
6. Turmeric: This powerful Asian spice contains a natural anti-inflammatory compound, curcumin, which is often found in curry blends. It is said to have the same effect as over-the counter pain relievers (but without their side effects). 
7. Ginger: Ginger contains a host of health benefits. Among them, it helps reduce inflammation and control blood sugar. Ginger tea is a great addition to any diet.
8. Garlic: Though a little more inconsistent (in terms of research), garlic can help reduce inflammation, regulate glucose and help your body fight infection. 
9. Green Tea: Like produce, this tea contains anti-inflammatory flavonoids that may even help reduce the risks of certain cancers. 
10. Sweet Potato: A great source of complex carbs, fiber, beta-carotene, manganese and vitamin B6 and C, these potatoes actually help heal inflammation in the body. 
TOP 10 INFLAMMATORY FOODS

These foods have been linked to obesity, increased risks of numerous diseases and even death in some cases.
1. Sugar: Sugar is everywhere. Try and limit processed foods, desserts and snacks with excess sugar. Opt for fruit instead. 
2. Common Cooking Oils: Safflower, soy, sunflower, corn, and cottonseed. These oils promote inflammation and are made with cheaper ingredients. 
3. Trans Fats: Trans fats increase bad cholesterol, promote inflammation, obesity and resistance to insulin. They are in fried foods, fast foods, commercially baked goods, such as peanut butter and items prepared with partially hydrogenated oil, margarine and vegetable oil.
4. Dairy: While kefir and some yogurts are acceptable, dairy is hard on the body. Milk is a common allergen that can trigger inflammation, stomach problems, skin rashes, hives and even breathing difficulties. 
5. Feedlot-Raised Meat: Animals who are fed with grains like soy and corn contain high inflammation. These animals also gain excess fat and are injected with hormones and antibiotics. Always opt for organic, free-range meats who have been fed natural diets. 
6. Red and Processed Meat: Red meat contains a molecule that humans don't naturally produce called Neu5GC. Once you ingest this compound, your body develops antibodies which may trigger constant inflammatory responses. Reduce red meat consumption and replace with poultry, fish and learn cuts of red meat, once a week at most. 
7. Alcohol: Regular consumption of alcohol causes irritation and inflammation to numerous organs, which can lead to cancer. 
8. Refined Grains: "Refined" products have no fiber and have a high glycemic index. They are everywhere: white rice, white flour, white bread, pasta, pastries... Try and replace with minimally processed grains.
9. Artificial Food Additives: Aspartame and MSG are two common food additives that can trigger inflammation responses. Try and omit completely from the diet.
10. Fill in the Blank: Do you constantly have headaches or feel tired? Sometimes, you may develop an allergy to a food and not even know it. Coffee, certain vegetables, cheese... there might be a trigger you aren't even aware of. Try and take a few foods out to see how you feel and slowly incorporate them back in to see if there might be a hidden culprit lurking in your diet! 

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  • All diabetes and Obesity is related to inflammation. Blood sugar is the common link and this was scientifically proven. You do not have to have diabetes to have a blood sugar problem.

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  • In reply to healthreform:

    Yes, this is so true. There's so much you can do with diet alone! Inflammation is such a problem, but we don't often think about the internal effect certain foods have on our diet or our bodies! Thanks for sharing your link.

  • We can do so much through diet alone. Does that inflammatory alcohol include red wine?

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Hi, Jackie! Actually, red wine has been proven in some cases to reduce inflammation within the body since it has tons of antioxidants. However, it is still high in sugar, so like anything, moderation is key. Also, clear liquors like gin (since it's made from the juniper bush) and tequila can act as natural pain relievers in the body. Just a sidenote! :)

  • In reply to rbfrey7:

    I'll have to remember that. Thanks!

  • In reply to jtithof:

    No problem!

  • In reply to jtithof:

    As a registered dietitian with the Midwest and National Dairy Council, it is good to see that kefir and yogurt are recommended for their respective health benefits, but I am concerned about some or the information included regarding dairy and inflammation. While milk is one of the top 8 allergens affecting Americans, the actual prevalence is very low. Cow

  • In reply to MelissaRD:

    Good lord Melissa. You are obviously biased and must defend dairy. Although, it is nice of you to openly state that you are in that business lol. The research that shows the negative effects of dairy is overwhelming. But, you already know this. As rbfrey7 states, it's more important for children/teens. But, for adults, cow's milk has a number of problems. Even goat's milk is easier to digest than cow's milk. But, acknowledging that diet is personal to a point and that different foods affect folks in different ways, eliminating dairy completely has done wonders for way too many folks - but...you already know this. In any event, after I eliminated dairy from my diet, I have felt better overall. It's not the only culprit, of course, but definitely one of them. But then, you already know this. I've also eliminated all sugar, except for a few fruits from my diet. That has had an effect, as well. And, I do not eliminate or add foods all at once, having been a biochemist for many years in a few different fields. The actual prevalence of milk allergies is very low?? Seriously Melissa. Not cool at all. For you to state something like that is ridiculous...and you KNOW that. And if you do not, well, you are not qualified to take part in any discussion on the topic.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Hi, Melissa. Thanks so much for your comment. Dairy's role is important for growing children and teens - we aren't disputing that. That's why we state that dairy "can" cause certain problems, and it has been estimated that as much as 60% of the population cannot digest milk by the time they are adults. I've done studies with individuals cutting back on dairy versus a full dairy diet and the results are astonishing. Of course, there are benefits for dairy - it is important - but often times, it can be a trigger that people don't think about. I think it should be a personal choice based on that person's overall diet and health.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    CCC,

    I'd love to read that study about dairy. Can you direct me to the journal that published it? Thanks!

    Lindy

  • In reply to lindygrey:

    Hi, Lindy. There are TONS of articles, but here are a few: http://www.healthiertalk.com/dairy-6-reasons-you-should-avoid-it-all-costs-1831, http://www.celestialhealing.net/milkpage.htm, http://www.godairyfree.org/The-Dairy-Free-Challenge.html,

  • In reply to rbfrey7:

    Those are merely links to online articles, not journals. Those links have as much credibility as these posts here.

    I'm not saying milk may have inflammatory effects, but you need to site legitimate peer reviewed journals/studies, not editorials. Otherwise, your arguments/points have little merit, even if they are right.

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    In reply to peanutbutter:

    *cite*

  • Glad it makes sense! :)

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    These two together bug the crap out of me...SAY FEEDLOT MEAT SUCKS WHICH IT DOES and then eat healthy animals then in the next point EAT LESS RED MEAT!! I CALL BULL$%^T!!!

    EAT MORE HAPPY ANIMALS FED THEIR SPECIES APPROPRIATE DIET!!

    5. Feedlot-Raised Meat: Animals who are fed with grains like soy and corn contain high inflammation. These animals also gain excess fat and are injected with hormones and antibiotics. Always opt for organic, free-range meats who have been fed natural diets.

    6. Red and Processed Meat: Red meat contains a molecule that humans don't naturally produce called Neu5GC. Once you ingest this compound, your body develops antibodies which may trigger constant inflammatory responses. Reduce red meat consumption and replace with poultry, fish and learn cuts of red meat, once a week at most.

  • fb_avatar

    I feel happiness to read the content that you are posting.
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  • fb_avatar

    This isn't a bad guide, but a lot of these contradict the info at nutritiondata.com

    Examples, corn oil is strongly anti-inflammatory, while blueberries and kelp are actually neutral, not anti-inflammatory.

    Seems like a lot of this was written based on assumption of what is "healthy". Not that I'm saying that blueberries and kelp are bad for you, or that corn oil is a good idea. Just that their specific inflammation properties don't seem to match up

  • fb_avatar

    Thanks for sharing. I too injured my tailbone and endured years of pain until my new chiropractor told me to do kegels. Laugh – I did until i tried the exercise. ooohhhh that hurt. But now I am pain free.

    http://mhlnk.com/344FE6E7

  • fb_avatar

    A great deal of the corn, grain, & soy that we (and feedlot animals) eat are GMO, which may present more problems than anything else. We just don't have enough data to say it's safe. The US stands alone among developed countries in allowing GMOs to serve as food sources.

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    I was raised on goats milk till I was 8 1/2 when I was then introduced to cow milk it tasted like ice cream to me I had a huge reaction with my bowels and my eyes changed from a beautiful clear blue to a very milky green to this day if I go dairy free for 2 weeks my eyes are blue but the second I eat or drink dairy back to the funky green color and now that im older I get intestinal swelling with too much dairy and painful groin swelling I don't have an std its from my allergy not to mention im allergic to pork and sunflower anything its really hard to eat right for my body when my family has other nutritional needs as well I wish there was a forum with recipes to help in situations like mine

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    Of vegetables you can have an allergy too, a hugely overlooked one is the allium family, onions, garlic, even green onions and chives can cause inflammation and allergies and most never even suspect it's possible to be allergic to them.

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