Inflammation occurs in many different forms. Period cramps, acne, and skin conditions like eczema are all common cases of inflammation. Typically, when we notice inflammation, we take medication to fix the symptom rather than the root cause, but unfortunately, it may be the wrong thing to do. When you experience inflammation, it is a signal from your body that there’s a bigger problem that may not be as obvious.
Listen to your body-it’s speaking to you! Ignoring inflammation, or simply treating the symptoms and not the root cause can lead to bigger health issues down the line, depending on what you’re dealing with. An increasing amount of health professionals are recognizing inflammation as the main cause of disease. Thankfully, there are some well-known causes and straight forward solutions.
While seemingly essential for cooking food, most oils are inflammatory. Since most oils have omega-6 fatty acids, which are okay in balance with omega-3 fatty acids, it is incredibly easy to eat it in excess. You can also find omega-6 fatty acids in most salad dressings and mayonnaise. The healthiest oils to use are coconut oil and olive oil, although neither should be used in excess.
There has always been a case for why you should steer clear of carbs. Most carbs aren’t very nutrient dense and just provide you with filling, yet very empty, calories. The wheat of the 21st century is a lot different from when it was first discovered. The wheat that is grown today is genetically modified in order to grow faster, more dense, and be more resistant to pests. Our bodies are having a hard time processing this new wheat, resulting in a rise of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Your best bet is to avoid it all together, but if you must, make sure that your wheat is whole and unbleached. For those that love bread, sourdough is your best bet as it requires a longer processing time which includes the breaking down of gluten into amino acids.
Dairy is the most well known cause of inflammation. Irritable bowels, bloating and cramping are all common side effects of eating dairy for a large portion of our population. Even people who are not lactose intolerant may have problems with the proteins found in dairy. Whey and casein are proteins that are hard to digest, with casein having a similar structure to gluten. Dairy-free substitutes are very helpful, but some of them still contain those milk proteins.
If you’re having inflammatory responses to food the process of elimination is the main way to figure out what the problem is. Keep a food diary, read the labels on everything, and make your way to a healthy body!