The body does not stay young forever. Certain movements may become more difficult, joints can become inflamed, and you feel more tired as you age. All three of those examples can be attributed to the Standard American Diet. In addition to daily wear on the body, Americans consume foods that contribute to inflammation and joint pain.
Some of the most common inflammatory diseases include arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, cancer, heart disease, and bursitis. Inflammation itself is a natural bodily response to foreign invaders or things like bacteria and viruses. Chronic inflammation, however, is a different story. This is an immune response that goes to fight off “invaders” that aren’t actually there. This can lead to an attack on the body’s own tissues. Most inflammatory conditions, like arthritis, can result in:
- Joint swelling
- Stiffness in joints
- Redness in the affected area
- Loss of joint function (in worse cases)
Food isn’t the only thing that causes inflammation. Things like stress, dehydration, smoking, lack of sleep, or unhealthy gut bacteria can also cause inflammation in the body. Start eating an anti-inflammatory diet to help remedy this inflammation. This means that you need to get rid of inflammatory foods like the ones listed below.
For most people, sugar is a hard one to eliminate. Sugar feeds bacteria, cancer cells, and it can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay. Since sugar is actually acidic, this increases inflammation in the body and ruins your pH balance. Eliminate sodas, fruity drinks, alcohol, pastries, candies, or other processed foods. You can use sugar substitutes like stevia, agave, grade B maple syrup, or blackstrap molasses.
In the same vein as sugar, avoid artificial sweeteners because these trigger an inflammatory response in the body. A big culprit of inflammation is high fructose corn syrup. It can cause the liver to become inflamed. Avoid sweets and processed foods and steer clear of these names: dextrose, fructose, golden syrup, maltose, sucrose, or sorghum syrup. Use all natural ingredients like dates, stevia, or agave.
Most people love dairy products, and these people don’t recognize the repercussions. Not a lot of people think that dairy products could harm them. Well, they do and hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics that are fed to cattle make their way into your milk, yogurt, or ice cream. You should avoid milk, butter, cheese, cream sauces, protein powders that are not plant based, cookies, and cakes. This can be tough, but there are lots of non-dairy options to consume. Try substituting dairy with coconut milk, almond milk, coconut oil, and cashew cheese to decrease inflammation.
If you regularly consume alcohol, then you could slowly be inflaming your esophagus, larynx, and liver. As alcohol consumption continues, the chronic inflammation can increase your risk of cancer and tumor growth. What drinks do you substitute for the alcoholic beverages you leave behind? Try a couple detox waters, different teas, fresh pressed juice, or lemon water.
Meat & Processed Meats
If you read the above description on dairy products, then you can assume that eating meat can also cause inflammation in the body. The diets that are fed to animals, which primarily consist of soybeans and corn, are full of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Plus, processed meat is usually preserved, cured, and salted. Most of these meats or meat products contain coloring agents or toxic carcinogens that can cause bowel cancer, constipation, or other gut troubles. The best option would be to avoid meat altogether. If you must consume meat, try to eat free-range, organic meats that are grass fed.
MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a common preservative/additive that is commonly used for flavoring in processed foods. Used as a neurotransmitter in the body, MSG is a synthetic substance that damages nuclei or causes neuron loss in an unborn child’s brain. MSG can also induce allergy symptoms, headaches, stomachaches, insomnia, or sweating in adults. MSG is commonly found in Asian restaurant because it is a flavoring agent. Instead of using MSG, add more seasonings like pepper, sea salt, paprika, ginger, or cayenne. Also, cook your own Asian food at home so you don’t have to worry about it.