Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Inflammation is a major issue for many individuals…it can manifest in a number of ways, from migraines, back pain, joint pain, anxiety, skin issues, weight gain, autoimmune conditions such as ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis, poor concentration and memory issues…you name it! There are few symptoms that we experience that aren’t in some way influenced by inflammation!
How can we reduce the inflammation that runs rampage in our body?
Diet plays an enormous role when it comes to quenching the fire of inflammation running riot through the body.
Here are five ways your diet can hugely impact inflammation in your body
1. Curb your High carb foods
Certain foods promote inflammation through their impact on our blood sugars…yes high blood sugars, also called hyperglycaemia, promotes inflammation in the body.
Choosing foods that have a low impact on our blood sugar has a substantial impact on the inflammation present in the body.
Which foods have an impact on blood sugars?
Foods high in carbohydrates, particularly wheat-based foods such as bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers and pasta, all have an impact on our blood sugar. Despite often being labelled as ‘healthy wholegrains’ these foods have a huge impact on our blood sugar as well as gut health. Wheat, rye and barley grains should be avoided in order to reduce your inflammatory levels.
Long term consumption of a high carb diet can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where the cells of our body become resistant to up taking glucose to use for fuel. This leaves us vulnerable to a host of symptoms, from blood sugar highs and lows, dizziness, emotional dependence on food and sugar addiction, low energy, low mood, weight gain to increased inflammation which can then progress on to type II diabetes. You can read more about how a Keto diet can prevent type II diabetes in this article.
Give us our daily bread!
Swapping high carb for low carb is a fantastic way of ensuring you still enjoy the foods you love without the negative impact on your health. Wheat-free, low carb breads, pastas and crackers are thankfully readily available and make a perfect substitute for the inflammation-inducing traditional wheat-based products. Or you can make your own, we have loads of low carb, low sugar and gluten free recipes on our site like these Keto bread rolls.
High carbohydrate foods promote further inflammation through production of damaging free-radicals. The free radicals produced when we burn glucose for fuel, result in damage to the energy-producing element to your cell, the mitochondria. When the mitochondria become damaged, they become dysfunctional, resulting in poor energy output and a feeling of chronic fatigue, the mitochondria also become a source of inflammation which then damages neighbouring cells and mitochondria!
2. Avoid Inflammatory Foods
Certain foods and their end-products following digestion result in an increase in inflammation. This happens through the stimulating of our cells at the deepest level, at the level of our genes, to increase the production of inflammatory markers. In order to reduce inflammation, we must reduce the intake of inflammation-inducing foods.
Which foods increase inflammation?
Certain fats increase inflammation. Particularly omega-6 rich fats.
Omega-6 is a pro-inflammatory fat. It stimulates more inflammatory proteins to be produced. Omega-3 has the opposite effect and suppresses inflammation.
Reducing our consumption of omega-6 rich foods is key in reducing inflammation in the body. Increasing our consumption of omega-3 is also a powerful way of reducing inflammation and balancing out the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in the body.
Deep fat fried- foods
Grains are also high in omega-6.
Omega-3 rich foods such as
wild, fatty fish,
high quality tinned fish such as mackerel, sardines and tuna.
Organic, free-range eggs and pasture-raised meat are also a good source of omega-3 fats.
Supplementation with a high quality, wild fish oil or algae oil has beneficial anti-inflammatory effects on the body as well as being an essential nutrient for brain function and mental wellbeing.
Balance out our healthy fat profile by using:
Organic Coconut Oil
Extra-Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil
Extra-Virgin Cold Pressed Avocado Oil
Cold-Pressed Macadamia Nut Oil
High quality, food sourced supplements can have a powerfully restorative and anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
Nutrients, in their proper amounts, form and ratios are essential for physiological function. Not only do we need sufficient nutrients to function normally, we need them to heal, combat the bombardment of stress of our modern climate and to thrive physically and mentally.
Evidence-based sources of anti-inflammatory supplements include:
4. Good Gut Feeling
Improving gut health has a powerful effect on all aspects of our health. Inflammation can be driven through leaky gut, a condition that sees the delicate lining of the gut damaged through foods such as gluten (found in wheat) and stress.
Leaky gut allow the passage of food particles into the blood stream, triggering an inflammatory reaction. This can result in a host of symptoms such as skin issues, migraines, joint pain and autoimmune reactions.
Having great gut health also means looking after your good gut bacteria!
Try and eat fermented food regularly to keep good gut bacteria in balance
5. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a powerful way of reducing inflammation. When we undertake fasting as a regular practice, it helps us to access our fat-burning machinery. This is beneficial for a number for reasons.
It helps to burn body fat, particularly belly fat which in itself is a source of inflammation.
Fat burning produces ketones, which suppress inflammation and are a great source of fuel for your body, particularly your brain!
Intermittent fasting to begin with, can be as simple as stopping eating at 7pm, having a light breakfast or a fat coffee, then eating again at lunchtime.
To lean more about the steps you can take to increase fat burning, reduce inflammation, increase energy and balance hormones, click here to read more about our up and coming health programmes or purchase a copy of the second edition of Primal Living in a Modern World by Pauline Cox BSc MSc, currently on offer with a £5 discount.