Inflammation simply means immune system performing its duty. It is your body’s protective attempt to stop injury in its track and initiate recovery. External invaders like bacteria can cause infection and damage your tissue. In this case, inflammation response functions to prevent additional damage and repair the tissue damage. However, a healthy response can have adverse effects if it persists for too long. This unhealthy kind of inflammation is called as chronic inflammation.
Excessive inflammation has been linked to many chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer that kill millions of people yearly. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease caused an estimated 17.3 million deaths in 2008, while cancer caused 7.6 million deaths in the same year. In addition, many people with risk factors remains undiagnosed.
The foods that you consume may have pro- or anti-inflammatory properties which can affect the extent of inflammation in the body.
|Sugary foods and beverages
– Soft drinks
– Fruit juices
|Concentrated sugars added to processed foods promote overconsumption. When you overeat excess sugar, it causes injury to your cells and inflammation in your body.||– Check sugar content on the food labels when buying processed foods.
– Look for corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, golden syrup, maltose, sucrose in the ingredient list.
– Try foods and snacks with natural sugars, not added sugars like fresh fruit.
– White rice
– White bread
|Refined grains lack most of the original nutrients but still contain almost all of the calories. When ground into flours, most grains act like sugar in the body, triggering inflammation and hence lead to many negative downstream consequences to your health.||– Eat more unrefined carbohydrate such as wholemeal breads, brown rice, oatmeal, beans, fruits and vegetables.|
– Burger patty
|Chronic inflammatory response has been linked to cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research has found that processed meats that have been smoked, cured, salted or chemically preserved are possibly a cause of colon, rectal, oesophageal and lung cancer.||– Avoid processed meats as much as possible.
– Eat more organic products if possible.
– Deep-fried foods
– Fast foods
– Commercially baked goods
|Trans fats increase bad cholesterol in the body while reducing good cholesterol. It also promote inflammation and insulin resistance, further increasing the risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome.||– Avoid eating deep-fried foods and fast foods prepared outside.
– Choose processed foods that do not contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils or vegetable shortening in the ingredient list.