Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to protect the body from injury or infection. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can contribute to a number of health problems. Certain foods have been found to promote inflammation in the body, and reducing or avoiding these foods may help to reduce chronic inflammation. Some common inflammatory foods include:
- Sugar and refined carbohydrates – These foods can cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can lead to inflammation.
- Processed and fried foods – These foods are often high in unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates, and may also contain harmful additives and preservatives.
- Red meat and processed meats – These foods are high in saturated fats and may also contain harmful compounds such as heme iron, which can promote inflammation.
- Dairy products – Some people may be sensitive to dairy proteins, which can trigger inflammation in the body.
- Gluten-containing grains – Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and can trigger inflammation in some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
- Vegetable oils – These oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can promote inflammation when consumed in excess.
- Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can increase inflammation in the body, especially when consumed in excess.
It’s important to note that not all foods affect everyone in the same way, and some people may be more sensitive to certain foods than others. If you suspect that certain foods are contributing to inflammation in your body, it may be helpful to work with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to identify and address any underlying food sensitivities or allergies.