Certain foods can either help us or harm us. Some foods can even increase the symptoms of irritable bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis. This disease in particular can create inflammation and ulcers in your intestines.
Ulcerative colitis is not a fatal illness, but it is a lifelong one that comes with many challenges. In fact, it’s even difficult to get life insurance for ulcerative colitis patients.
When it comes to this painful disease, some foods should be avoided in order to live a healthy, less inflamed life. Let’s look at some of those foods and how they cause inflammation. We’ll also discuss foods that help reduce inflammation.
Foods that Cause Inflammation
A lot of the foods that cause inflammation are the ones that most Americans eat on a daily basis. Below are some foods that you should avoid if you deal with inflammation.
If you struggle with obesity and inflammation, it would be good to exercise along with integrating healthier eating habits. You can even experience weight loss in the comfort of your own home by doing workout programs and eating better.
Another name for processed sugar is sucrose, which is a combination of glucose and fructose. This includes white and brown sugars. Both have a tendency to cause inflammation in the body.
Sucrose can be found in most of the foods that Westerners eat, like breakfast foods, candy, baked treats, canned fruits and vegetables, toppings for bread, sauces, frozen meals, and even some diet foods. Many companies add processed sugar to their low-fat products to make them taste better.
Processed sugar can be found in drinks as well. From sodas and some fruit beverages to macchiatos and frappuccinos, there is sugar in them all. Even in “healthy drinks” like electrolyte-infused sports drinks, there is sucrose.
Always check the nutrition label on whatever you buy to see how much sugar is in it. Limiting the amount of sugar in your diet can help you feel better by leaps and bounds.
Artificial Trans Fats
Unlike natural trans fats, artificial trans fat comes from hydrogen being mixed with vegetable oil. This process is called hydrogenation.
These fats can be found in some brands of popcorn, vegetable oils and margarines, fried fast foods, pizza, non-dairy coffee creamers, and a variety of baked goods.
Artificial fats can cause a plethora of health issues including severe inflammation. As stated above, check the labels on the products you eat and keep track of what you’re ingesting.
There are two types of refined carbohydrates — sucrose and refined grains like wheat. Wheat is used for bread, tortillas, bagels, waffles, cereals, and pizza. And these are all the things that Westerners love to eat.
The problem with refined wheat is that there are no nutrients or fiber in it. All that’s left after the refining process is starch and very little protein. They also don’t fill you up like whole grains do and therefore, you tend to overeat.
As good as refined grains may taste, they are not nutritious and don’t satisfy. They can inflame the body by elevating your blood sugar levels. They should be avoided as much as possible.
Hard liqueurs, cocktails, and even wine cause inflammation by creating endotoxins. Endotoxins are chemicals that can be found in certain bacteria. When you have endotoxins, your body immediately becomes inflamed to try to clear out the bacteria.
It might be beneficial to have a food diary and track all that you eat during the week. It can be easy to resort to unhealthy choices of eating and excessive drinking when you’re busy with work and family, but the long-term effects of alcohol abuse are detrimental to your health.
Foods that Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is painful to live with, but there are certain foods that you can eat to help reduce it. Green vegetables, nuts, fish, and fruits all are excellent for reducing inflammation. Below, we will look at each food type in detail.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Green vegetables include spinach, kale, and broccoli. Green leafy vegetables contain vitamin E, which helps reduce inflammation. Start to incorporate more leafy greens into your diet, and you will definitely see a reduction in inflammation.
Something to try with leafy greens is stir-frying them. Steaming vegetables is also tasty. Just be sure that you don’t completely drench it with butter or unhealthy trans fats and lose sight of the nutrients in them.
Examples of nuts are pistachios, hazelnuts, and almonds. Nuts have a lot of great anti-inflammatory nutrients in them. They are a tasty snack and contain calcium, zinc, and magnesium. However, try to avoid eating them with too much salt.
Fish is a great item to eat any time of the day. Fatty fish like salmon, herring, and sardines are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation. Most fats contain omega-6, which is not in itself a bad thing, but you need to couple it with omega-3 so that there is a balance. Too much omega-6 causes inflammation and other health issues.
Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, and oranges are perfect for decreasing inflammation in the body. Fruits are very hydrating and have a lot of nutrients in them. It also might be good to have fruit-infused water. Adding cucumber to your water is very refreshing.
There are many ways to enjoy these anti-inflammatory foods. Try to have meals with leafy greens and add fish for protein. Have fruits and nuts as a snack during the day. Remember to drink lots of water.
Eating Right Is a Lifestyle Change
It is possible to live a healthier life when you choose to eat right and avoid foods that are high in processed sugar and trans fat. Society doesn’t make it easy, but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a healthier lifestyle.
Instead of processed sugars, try natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Cheese is a great natural trans fat. Try eating whole grains like barley and brown rice. Limit your alcohol intake.
Gradually integrate these healthier choices of eating. Have a cheat day where you eat whatever you want. Don’t forget to live in the process of trying to be healthy. You’ll feel better when you eat healthier, and you will have an easier time finding both health and life insurance policies.