Inflammatory diseases like arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel disease, and many autoimmune diseases are on the rise. Chronic inflammation has been connected to Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and more.

At The Wellness Way, we seek to figure what is triggering inflammation in the first place. Our doctors are highly trained to work with our patients and help them discover how to restore their health through relieving the body of toxic burdens and inflammation.

In many cases, signs of inflammation begin showing up long before a person becomes chronically ill. Some of these signs include:

  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Anxiety
  • Acne
  • Sinus issues
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Gastrointestinal issues

For most people, it is not one thing that is the cause of their inflammation. It can be a combination of toxins, pathogens, allergies, food allergies, yeast overgrowth, mold exposure, and other factors that are adding to the body’s stress load.

Diet is one of the most common contributing factors when it comes to inflammation. That’s why in our clinics we always recommend patients remove these six foods to support their best health.

6 Foods That Cause Inflammation

1. Sugar

Processed sugar is a highly inflammatory food that needs to be removed from your diet right away. We aren’t talking about natural sugars that you find in fruits and vegetables. Those are good for you. Continue to eat whole foods that contain natural sugar and remove foods that contain processed sugars. Don’t worry if you’re a baker who loves sweets! There are easy swaps like xylitol, honey, and maple syrup to help ease the transition to a naturally sweetened life. Try some of our favorite dessert recipes.

2. Dairy

At least three quarters of the world’s population has difficulty digesting dairy. Did you know dairy has been linked to acne and even cancer? Many people worry that if they don’t eat dairy they won’t get enough calcium. Not to worry. There are plenty of other much less inflammatory sources of calcium, like leafy greens, sardines, and nuts and seeds. Learn more about the inflammatory effects of dairy in our article, Is Milk Good for You? Try some of our dairy-free recipes like spinach dip and queso, and you won’t even miss the dairy!

3. Gluten

The protein in gluten is highly inflammatory, causing a disruption to natural gut flora and leading to leaky gut. Gluten is in many of the foods in the standard American diet, so many people are reluctant to give it up until they see the dramatic changes to their health. Removing gluten is one of the fastest ways to reduce inflammation. Our recipes section is 100 percent gluten-free!

4. Soy

This one surprises many of our patients because they have always been told that soy is a health food. Soy is actually a very inflammatory food. Most of the soy consumed in America is genetically modified and heavily sprayed with pesticides.

5. Inflammatory Oils

Bad fats such as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, and rancid vegetable oils are linked to cellular congestion and inflammation. They are connected to cancer, chronic fatigue, and neurotoxin syndrome. Avoid cottonseed oil, soybean oil, vegetable oils, corn oil, canola oil, and margarines. Upgrade to coconut oil, avocado oil, and grapeseed oil.

6. Processed Foods

Avoid processed foods that are full of additives, food colorings, artificial sugars, vegetable oils, and other ingredients that are inflammatory and harmful to your health. The consumption of highly processed foods has been shown to increase the risk of an early death. Choose whole foods and, when possible, organic options. Read our article on The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to find out which foods have the highest and lowest pesticide residues.

Cut Foods that Cause Inflammation

You will be surprised at the health challenges that will improve when you cut foods that cause inflammation from your diet. Check out some of our food upgrades for easy swaps. The Noninflammatory Diet Book is also an excellent resource to learn more about a non-inflammatory lifestyle.

Learn more about inflammation in this video with Dr. Patrick Flynn: