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Inflammatory diets: What foods to avoid

Modern science has come to regard inflammation as one of the main culprits for many lifestyle and degenerative disorders. There are various causes of inflammation. Some foods we consume daily, can also lead to higher inflammation.

Inflammatory foods

Animal studies show that high–fat, high–sugar diet damages good bacteria in the intestines. This reduces the protective mucus barrier in the intestines. In turn, this causes our immune system to get into a higher gear causing tissue damage.

Dietary fibres, fruits and vegetables improve the immune system response and prevent damage.

An article published in 2012 in the journal BMJ Journals showed that in animal studies, diets high in fat and starch have the same effect as a low-fiber diet.

Read on this website: Benefits of fiber.

Western food is high in dietary emulsifiers and food additives. It thins out the intestinal mucus layer, increases intestinal permeability (allows harmful substances to get into blood from intestines), and damages healthy bacteria in the intestine.

Use healthy oils such as olive oil and canola oil, instead of margarine. Choose lean meat instead of red meats, processed and deli meats. Instead of salt, use herbs for flavour and seasoning.

Mediterranean kind of diet is healthy.

Digestive system and inflammation

The inner lining of our intestines is made of a thick mucus layer and certain cells that protect us from various gastrointestinal disorders. However, certain foods damage this layer as well as destroy the healthy bacteria in our intestines.

Dr David Johnson, professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia discusses the role of inflammatory diets in such diseases and what foods to avoid in this commentary on Medscape.

Autoimmune conditions

Animal studies show that the standard Western diet consisting of fast food, red meat and animal fats increase risk of Crohn’s disease (an autoimmune digestive system disease) by five times.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, is inflammation of the intestine. IBD is another autoimmune digestive system disease. An article published in 2017 in the journal BMJ Journals showed that certain inflammatory foods may be playing a role in such disorders.

It is thought that many autoimmune conditions, apparently unrelated to the digestive system, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, also involve digestive system damage.

So, it is a good idea to avoid inflammatory foods to potentially protect ourselves from many other autoimmune conditions. too.

Read on this website, a very comprehensive article about the healthy roles played by our intestinal bacteria and how to protect them from harm.

In conclusion

Processed foods involve dietary emulsifiers and food additives. They can damage healthy bacteria in your intestines, thin out the intestinal mucus layer and cause a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Digestive system damage is linked to several autoimmune conditions, such as IBD and Crohn’s disease.

Mediterranean diet is healthy. Use healthy oils such as olive oil and canola oil. Choose lean meat. Use herbs for flavouring.

First published on: 17th October, 2018

Image credit: Pablo Macedo on Pexels.com

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