The first thing we need to understand about inflammation is that it creates acidity in the body and an acidic, inflammed body is bound to be in pain and left unaddressed will develop into chronnic illnesses.
What we don't often pick up on is the slow progression that finds us "all of sudden" with symptoms that you wish would just go away. It may start with a sour, grumbling tummy that gives you gas and bloating and maybe even violent diarrhea or painful pellet poops from constipation.
Combined with inflammatory foods (which I'm going to chat about below) begin to create acidity and inflammation in the body. To put it simply, without addressing the dysbiosis (fancy term for imbalance) in the gut and body, what once was gas and bloating with some unhappy poops can lead to a larger diagnosis such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or potentially even crohn's or colitis.
While eating that salty bag of chips after a stressful day or satisfying your sweet tooth after a meal, foods are either helping you or hurting you, there really isn't an in between.
Here are the top foods that are causing inflammation and pain in your body and my favourite swaps for each food:
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of sug per day for women and 9 teaspoons for women, however most adults are consuming upwards of 22 teaspoonds of sugar per day.
Studies have shown that sugar is linked to fatty liver, leaky gut, diabetes and even cancer. Overgrowth of bad bacteria, such as candida can also be due to high sugar consumpton leading to increased inflammation and pain. Read more on how to kick candida to the curb.
Swap it for: honey, maple syrup, stevia or monkfruit
Note: Studies are now showing that erythritol can affect the good bacteria in your gut, so stay clear of this one in your local health food store.
Due to the inflammatory/acidic nature of dairy, the bodies immune response is triggered, to reduce the inflammation. The body balances the inflammation by buffering with a chelation method using minerals such as calcium. The body does this by pulling calcium from the bones to buffer the acidity (uh pretty much the exact opposite that we thought dairy did) and in turn can contribute to arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Swap it for: Coconut or nut based cheese, milk, yogourt and ice creams. You can also enjoy sprinkling nutritional yeast on your dishes for a cheesy flavour.
While gluten-free diets may seem like just a fad, most people don't understand what gluten really is doing.
Studies show that gluten can increase inflammation and even leaky gut by affecting the strength of the gut lining. While eating small amounts of gluten may seem harmless it's not just those that suffer from celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten that will be affected. Studies also show that those without a sensitivity, can experience a trigger in inflammation and pain as well. Be aware that gluten is hidden in many places you may not expect such as salad dressings, meats and even the sticky part on your envelopes.
Swap it for: Oat, buckwheat, almond or coconut flour. Gluten free baking is a bit of an art, so I encourage you to follow a recipe. Give my Buttery Dinner Roll a try.
Alcohol is extremely taxing on your liver and while you may think I am being no fun, just remember that your liver is responsible for over 500 different functions in the body, including filtering out toxins. With a heavy toxic load in the body comes higher levels of inflammation and pain and well that doesn't sound like much fun to me.
Swap it for: Kombucha, Sparkling water with frozen fruit or Iced herbal tea (try these!).
Processed foods are absolutely everywhere these days and while the temptation of "quick and easy" foods is high, the risk may not be worth the reward.
Studies show that highly processed foods such as sugar, meats and grains increase your inflammatory markers. Remember...
↑ processing = less living, less nutrients + more chemicals and preservatives.
Swap it for: grass-fed meats, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes.
Vegetable, Soy, Canola Oils
These oils are high in pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids. While sticking to a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3's, the average north american is consuming 20:1.
Studies have shown that those consuming these oils have increased levels of pain and pain sensitivity throughout their body.
Swap it for: Coconut oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil
Ready to end the inflammation and pain and start fixing your gut? Grab your FREE IBS-Be-Gone Cheat Sheet.