Most of us try to incorporate healthy foods into our diet. Lean proteins and healthy fats are good additions; added sugar, and processed foods are best avoided. Although the nutritional value of food, in that respect, is important, it’s also important to understand that different foods contain different compounds that can cause other results within our bodies beyond the typical conversion to energy. Specifically, inflammation can be caused by a number of foods. Although it may not surprise you to know that “unhealthy” food can cause inflammation, it might shock you to learn that a number of healthy foods can be inflammation-causing-culprits as well.
Yogurt is often thought of as a healthy breakfast option, and it certainly can be, but it’s important to check the label. Many yogurts are nutritionally equivalent to ice cream and full of fat with lots of sugar. Sugar can cause inflammation and other obvious health consequences such as weight gain. Choose a yogurt that doesn’t have added sugar. Greek yogurt tastes great and can be a good choice, although it tends to have less calcium. Also consider yogurts with probiotics, as these can have digestive benefits.
What? Really? Well, sometimes. Tomatoes belong to a group of plants known as nightshades, which also includes white potatoes and red and green peppers. Tomatoes are a beautiful, delicious, and seemingly harmless fruit, unless you have a sensitivity to solanine. For those folks, eating tomatoes can lead to inflammation that makes arthritic joints sore, encourages the growth of tumors, and increases the risk of developing heart disease.
It’s been hammered into our lexicon that wheat is the healthy alternative to white bread, and that can be true, but usually isn’t. Wheat comes with its own set of health concerns. Why? Because it’s been engineered that way. In an effort to increase wheat production, scientists have genetically modified the wheat we eat so that 5 percent of its proteins are completely unique. Consequently, this unnatural tampering with nature has resulted in many people suffering from wheat allergies and associated inflammation.
4. Citrus fruits
Most people don’t have a problem with citrus fruits; in fact, they enjoy their many benefits. However, for those who have what’s known as a citrus allergy, citrus fruits can cause inflammation and contribute to the development of chronic diseases. If citrus allergies affect you, try tart cherries instead, which have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food, according to research from the Oregon Health & Science University .
Nuts are full of good fats and can be one of the healthiest and most nutritious food choices available. But if you suffer from osteoarthritis, the histamine in nuts can actually attack your joints and cause painful inflammation. If you find yourself hurting while doing simple tasks after eating nuts, you may want to cut them out of your diet!
A number of varieties of rice are extremely healthy and offer many benefits. However, highly processed white rice, and refined carbohydrates in general, is void of nutrition and can cause inflammation since it quickly turns into sugar within the body.
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Oregon Health & Science. Researchers say tart cherries have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. PR Newswire. 2012 May 30.