I hired a book from the library called the Inflammation Free Diet and in it, it categorises certain foods as being inflammatory on the body. This is the same inflammation that causes the reaction in our bodies like allergies, digestive issues and Endometriosis. So, if we are aware of the foods that cause inflammation, we can reduce their impact on our bodies. I was quite surprised by which ones were inflammatory!
The idea is to reduce these foods where possible and make better choices on days when we do eat out 🙂
1. Beans and legumes are slightly inflammatory. Beans and legumes are high in starches and sugars which elevate blood sugar, which indirectly affects inflammatory reaction in the body. They are not huge but combining them with onion and chili peppers will reduce this effect.
2. If you must eat meat, choose pork or beef. Younger animals and organ meats are much more inflammatory. It has to do with the Omega 3 content and fat content in these meats. It is also interesting that these fats, that surround the meat actually create a balance of Omega 3 versus Omega 6 which is important to reduce inflammation. Younger animals have less selenium and a less variable ratio of Omega 3 & 6. Lamb is one of the most inflammatory meats we can eat – interesting since New Zealand is all about lamb!
3. Poultry and eggs are inflammatory. This has to do with the grains that the chickens eat. They are more inflammatory then meat, according to this book! They contain a high level of arachidonic acid, plus a unfavourable Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. Too much Omega 6 is inflammatory and due to the high grain diet, this is inevitable.
4. Cold water fish, which are wild and mercury free are brilliant anti-inflammatory options. These include Mackaerel, Tuna, Herring, Sardines and Salmon. It is hard to find these wild and mercury free though – unless you live in a remote part of the world. Most Salmon served and bought is farmed, using …. you guessed it grains! They thereby become inflammatory, rather than anti!
5. Spicy Cuisines are anti-inflammatory! Use Garlic, Ginger, Chilli Pepper and curry and it will have an anti-inflammatory reaction in the body. I personally love Thai food! Great gluten free, meat free and vegetarian option! You know I love my ginger already!
6. Grains of any description are slightly or inflammatory in nature. It doesn’t matter if it is gluten free or not, grains are inflammatory. It has to do with a slight rise in blood sugar. They include rice, oats and all the grains. Naturally, these are hugely important to our bodies but we can reduce their inflammatory action by not combining them with chicken or grain fed fish and soaking the grains overnight – oats, buckwheat etc.
7. Nuts and seeds are mildly anti-inflammatory. They generally have a well balanced Omega 6 to 3 ratio, which aids in reducing inflammation. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower and sesame seeds are not as good and slightly inflammatory as the omega 6 volume is higher. So, soak your nuts and seeds and enjoy in moderation.
8. Vegetable oils are inflammatory. Sunflower oil, grape seed, sesame and walnut oils have a high Omega 6 volume compared to Omega 3, which creates an inflammatory action. The better options are Olive Oil and Coconut Oil. Ideally, don’t heat oils before use.
9. Sugary, fatty and junk foods are inflammatory – kinda figured this one! High sugar, high fat = inflammation. Kinda obvious really!
10. Fruits can be slightly inflammatory, especially those high in natural sugar like grapes, Mangoes and Bananas.
So, I hope this list helps make your choices a little easier to helping your body reduce inflammation. I know it certainly opened my eyes on the cold fish options!
It is easiest to eat mostly raw food or fruits and vegetables and that way we kinda cover off a whole lot of things all at once!