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Is the food you eat causing chronic inflammation?

Chronic inflammation is a condition that develops over a long period of time. As we grow older, the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle can take its toll on our body. In particular, the food that we eat plays a big part in how susceptible we would be to chronic inflammation.

Common symptoms of chronic inflammation can include:​
  • gastrointestinal problems such as constipation or diarrhoea
  • Excessive mucus production
  • Breakouts and acne

Research has shown that chronic inflammation is associated with diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s. Read more about the dangers of chronic inflammation and other ways to fight against chronic inflammation.

Reducing the amount of inflammation-causing foods in our diet, and increasing our intake of anti-inflammatory foods can help us to lesson and prevent the unpleasant effects of chronic inflammation.

Inflammatory Foods: Eat Less Of These

Deep Fried Food

Let’s face it – deep fried food that are crispy on the outside, and juicy and tender on the inside can be very hard to resist. However, deep fried foods are highly inflammatory. The usual suspects include French fries, chicken nuggets, fried chicken, and other fast food comfort meals. Do you know what else goes through deep frying? Donuts!

Healthier Choice: Air frying, baking, or roasting can also boost food flavours and avoid the negative health effects of deep frying.

Highly Processed Food

Highly processed foods often contain copious amounts of salt, sugar, and additives to improve its shelf life and flavour. Did you know that more than 70% of a supermarket’s shelf inventory consists of processed food? These include breakfast cereals, processed meats such as bacon and ham, canned food, and microwaved meals and pizzas.

Healthier Choice: For healthier snacks or quick meals on the go, reach for baked nuts, home-made muesli or oat bars, cottage cheese with fruits, or a whey protein shake.

Added Sugar & Sugary Foods

Eating foods high in sugar triggers our brain’s feel-good chemical, dopamine, that makes us crave for even more of it. Eating too much sugary foods can trigger an inflammatory response in our body. Be careful to where you may be unknowingly consuming more sugar than you thought: sports drinks, granola, flavoured yoghurt, tomato sauce, and flavoured coffees are foods that are high in added sugar.

Healthier Choice: frozen fruits, naturally sweet foods such as banana, coconut, dates, and berries, or blend them into a smoothie!

Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Eat More Of These

While there is no one-size-fits-all diet plan, research has shown that a diet that is minimally processed, predominantly plant-based, and low in saturated fat, additives and added sugar is the most effective in promoting long-term physical and mental health.

The below types of food are known for their inflammation-fighting qualities:

  • Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, barley, and buckwheat
  • Nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
  • Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Healthy food don’t taste good? You don’t have to sacrifice your tastebuds in order to be healthy. The key is to start with fresh, high quality ingredients, and experiment with a variety of condiments such as herbs, spices, and olive oil to bring out the flavour. A little goes a long way!
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