inflammation 101

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Let's say you cut your finger. It immediately becomes red, swollen or inflamed. This is the body's protective response to defend against bacteria and infection, which is called inflammation. This type of inflammation is obviously a great thing. It turns ugly when the inflammation, much like an autoimmune disease, responds to parts of the body that don't need assistance. This type of inflammation is caused by stress to your body, whether it be through the foods you are eating, environmental factors or lifestyle choices. For example, if you eat a box of candy, let's say Sour Patch Kids, what happens in the body? The ingredients in this popular candy are sugar, corn syrup, modified corn starch, citric acid, tartaric acid, natural and artificial flavors, yellow 5, yellow 6, red 40, blue 1. Sour Patch Kids aren't grown in an actual "patch" and are made in a lab. Our bodies are really smart but they don't know what the hell Yellow 5 or Modified Corn Starch is. So when you snack on some SPKs at the movies your body is like WTF is going on right now, what is this intruder invading my body? As a response, your body treats this unknown, foreign agent as an enemy and attacks. Bring on the inflammation! This type of inflammation sticks around and accumulates and if there is too much of it in the body, it can create even larger and much more serious problems down the road like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimers. 

S Y M P T O M S

Skin Problems like acne and psoriasis
Premature aging
Arthritis
Stiff joints
Weight Gain
Problems losing weight
Urinary Tract Infections
High Blood Pressure
Chronic Pain

Below you will find a list of foods that inflame the body and a list of foods that are anti-inflammatory. It shouldn't surprise you that most real foods have a positive effect on your body and processed junk has a negative effect. If you reduce the amount of inflammation in your body you will lose weight, look younger and feel healthier. Remember that when picking which foods from these lists that you want to eat!

I N F L A M M A T O R Y  F O O D S

Sugar
Soda
Candy
Processed foods
Protein Bars
Fried Foods
Processed Meats
Refined Flour
Pizza
White Bread
Crackers
Pasta
Pretzels
Flour Tortillas
Cereal
Bagels
White Rice
Milk
Cheese
Yogurt
Butter
Artificial Sweeteners
Saturated Fats
Excess Alcohol


A N T I - I N F L A M M A T O R Y  F O O D S  

H E R B S  &  S P I C E S
Garlic
Ginger
Basil
Turmeric
Curry Powder
Rosemary
Thyme
Cinnamon
Chili Peppers

P R O T E I N
Beans
Lentils
Black Peas
Chickpeas
Black-eyed Peas
Edamame
Tempeh
Tofu
Soy Milk
Soy nuts
Almonds
Walnuts
Hemp Seeds
Flax Seeds
Chia Seeds

G R A I N S
Barley
Basmati Rice
Brown Rice
Buckwheat
Quinoa
Steel-cut Oats
Wild Rice

V E G E T A B L E S
Spinach
Collard Greens
Kale
Swiss Chard
Broccoli
Cabbage
Brussels Sprouts
Cauliflower
Bok Choy
Carrots
Beets
Onions
Peas
Squashes
Sea Vegetables
Mushrooms (enokidake, maitake, oyster, shiitake)

F R U I T
Raspberries
Strawberries
Blueberries
Peaches
Nectarines
Oranges
Pink Grapefruit
Red Grapes
Plums
Pomegranates
Blackberries
Cherries
Apples
Pears

H E A L T H Y  F A T S
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Walnut Oil
Hazelnut Oil
Sunflower Oil
Organic Canola Oil

T R E A T S
Dark Chocolate (>70% pure cocoa)
Raw Cacao
Organic Red Wine