Last month I spoke about the effect that stress can have on your body and how our thoughts can bring about actual chemical changes. But did you know that the food you eat can have an equally damaging effect?
Inflammation is a normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. We all need some level of inflammation in our body to stay healthy, however this inflammatory response can get out of hand.
If your immune system mistakenly triggers an inflammatory response when no threat is present, it can lead to excess inflammation in your body. Stress causes inflammation and chronic stress affects the bodies ability to regulate inflammation, leading to disease. Low-grade chronic inflammation has been implicated in a range of diseases such as arthritis, asthma, allergies, stroke, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression and autoimmune diseases.
If we live on a diet high in sugar and full of highly processed foods, chances are that you are increasing the inflammation in your body. Sugar triggers the release of inflammatory markers in your body. It isn’t only found in the obvious foods such as cakes, chocolate, fruit juices, soft drinks, ice cream and biscuits or the spoonful of sugar you put in your coffee, but may be disguised as fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, lactose, maltose, malt syrup or glucose.
Trans fats are another culprit. They are found in fast foods, fried products, processed foods and most margarines. Oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, soy, peanut and vegetable oils, all trigger inflammation. Other foods that are just as guilty, include refined carbohydrates such as white bread, crackers, white rice, white potatoes and many cereals. These foods have a high glycemic index which means they raise your blood sugar very quickly. This stimulates the production of products in your body that increase inflammation.
Other inflammatory foods include alcohol, dairy, processed meats, refined grains and food additives such as MSG.
Instead include more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. Try and eat a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fatty fish such as wild salmon, fermented foods such as kefir, garlic, blueberries, broccoli, sweet potato, coconut, extra virgin olive oil, green tea and spices such as clove, cinnamon, oregano, thyme and turmeric.
Remember inflammatory reactions in the body are NORMAL, and needed. Our bodies are designed to deal with some inflammation – we just don’t want to be inflamed all the time. This is what happens when we eat a diet high in inflammatory foods.
So make sensible choices. Eat well, take time out for yourself and decrease the stress on your body.
You will feel so much better for it!
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References: www.sciencedaily.com/releases, www.thatsugarfilm.com/diet-and-inflammation, www.articles.mercola.com/sugar-side-effects, www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritisdiet/foods-to-avoid, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au, www.articles.mercola.com/anti-inflammatoyr-foods-herb-spices, www.wellnessforce.com/resource/top-10-anti-inflammatory-foods/
Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.