August 15, 2018 1 Comment
Last week, we shared our top 5 anti-inflammatory foods to add to your plate. And while incorporating those foods is a great start on your way to a healthier lifestyle, cutting down on the foods that cause the inflammation is the first place is just as important.
Fighting chronic inflammation? Try swapping out these 5 inflammatory foods:
You’ve probably heard this before but it’s worth repeating: cut out refined sugar from your diet. The average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar daily! All this sugar contributes to cancer growth, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and more.
And it’s inflammatory. Why? Refined sugar spikes blood sugar and insulin levels really quickly. When your blood sugar spikes like this, production of pro-inflammatory cytokines goes up.
You can still have sweets on an anti-inflammatory plant-based diet. Just switch from refined sugars to whole food sweeteners like dates, date paste, date syrup, pure maple syrup, mashed bananas. Get some more whole food sweetener tips here.
Cheese isn’t just addictive, it’s one of the top sources of saturated fat in the American Diet. Studies show saturated fat sets off fat tissue inflammation in the body. The more saturated fat we eat, the bigger our fat cells get, and the more systemic inflammation we’ll experience.
Full-fat milk is also linked to inflammation as it messes with our gut microbiome and decreases the amount of good bacteria that normally keeps our body’s inflammation in check.
Swap your cheese for nut cheese (try this quick and easy recipe) and definitely stock up on nutritional yeast. Found in the spice aisle, nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that gives dishes a delicious nutty and “cheesy” flavor. It's great for sprinkling on pastas, salads, soups, and popcorn.
What about Alfredo sauce or Mac and Cheese? There's a dairy-free solution for both: our Mama’s Mac Sauce.
Finally, swap out your glass of milk with a plant-based version: soy, oat, almond, cashew, coconut, rice.
Worried carbs will make you overweight or diabetic? Keep in mind that not all carbs are created equal!
Refined carbs - the ones found in processed and packaged foods like white pasta, crackers, cakes, cookies - don't have their fiber and nutrients in tact. Without the fiber, they spike our blood sugar rapidly so just like with refined sugars, pro-inflammatory cytokine production increases.
And those who eat refined grains instead of whole grains appear to produce more PAI-1 in the blood, a marker for inflammation.
Limit white rice or choose brown rice or another whole grain (quinoa, millet, farro).
Swap out white pasta for whole grain or brown rice pasta.
Buy or make breads that have 100% whole wheat and limited or no added salt/sugar.
Make oatmeal for breakfast instead of sugary-cereal.
Studies show that meat, especially red meat, elevates the C-reactive proteins, which are biomarkers for inflammation.
Meat contains Advanced Glycation End-Products or AGEs. When meats are grilled or cooked on other forms of dry heat (as often is the case with processed meats) the AGE levels skyrocket. In high levels AGEs are harmful and spark inflammation, which can lead to several serious diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, and certain types of cancer.
Make plant-based foods the center of your plate instead of animal products. Explore our healthy recipes for hearty plant-based mains.
Don’t want to cook? No problem. MamaSezz will cook and deliver ready-made plant-based comfort foods to your door. Browse meals.
Like meat, too much alcohol also raises C-reactive proteins. The more alcohol we consume, the higher our C-reactive proteins. Excessive alcohol consumption has also been shown to change our intestinal lining, which means bacteria can get into our bloodstream and — you guessed it — cause inflammation.
If you want to keep it simple, reach for a good old fashioned glass of water. Or spice up your glass by adding some fresh slices of fruit or berries.
You can also pour yourself a cup of tea — preferably green tea as it’s packed with inflammation-fighting antioxidants.
Looking for something a little more decadent? Try this warming and anti-inflammatory Turmeric Latte.
Discover how Carolyn Kaufman healed her MS symptoms and lost 145 pounds by eating this way. Read her story here.
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