My stomach is super sensitive. Like, extremely sensitive, which means I really have to watch what I eat, or I’ll pay the price. And over the past few years I’ve noticed a bunch of foods that cause inflammation, especially in my stomach. The thing is, it’s foods that I love to indulge in, but I’ve realized there’s a time to indulge and the rest of the time I need to be really careful of what I put into my body.
I’ve also noticed that it’s way harder to stay at a weight you’re happy with and increase your energy levels when you’re eating inflammatory foods. Working out and eating well go hand in hand, and while I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted and work it off with exercise, sadly times have changed. Now more than ever I’m finding it crucial to eat the right foods AND workout to keep at my ideal weight and keep my energy up!
In case you’re noticing inflammation too, I’ve rounded up 5 of the main foods that cause inflammation so you can cut back on them and fuel your body with the food it needs!
1. Processed Sugar
You may have heard that “sugar is the new smoking”. I honestly think there’s a lot of truth to that, and it scares me. There’s so much sugar hiding in processed foods that we don’t even know about (think: salad dressings, yogurt, tomato sauce, granola bars, etc.), and then we make it worse by eating things like pastries, candies, soda/fruit juices (and even vitamin water!), and coffee drinks like lattes.
Sugar suppresses the effectiveness of our white blood cells’ germ-killing ability, which weakens our immune system, and also causes our blood sugar to spike and crash. It’s pretty much awful for our systems and causes quite a bit of inflammation. Try to get your sugars from natural sources like fruits instead.
2. Fried Foods
I have a confession. My favourite meal is chicken fingers and fries. HA! Can anyone relate? I only eat it every once in a while but I wish I could eat it ALL.THE.TIME. Good thing I know that fried foods are one of the worst foods for you and cause crazy inflammation, otherwise I might just eat it all the time. Once you cut out fried foods, your inflammation will go down. It’s a fact, and it’s not surprising at all.
I’ve pretty much cut out all dairy (except for some cheese from time to time). It really effects my stomach and full fat dairy can decrease the good bacteria in our gut, which are key for reducing inflammation. If you’re worried about getting calcium, try a supplement instead. I really think dairy is one of the worst things we can put in our bodies!!
Related Post: How to Heal Your Gut and 25 Gut Health Recipes
4. Gluten and Refined Flour
Foods like white bread, crackers, pasta, bagels, pizza, breakfast cereals (you know, the good stuff!) are huge culprits for inflammation. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but before I started getting serious about eating healthie, SO many of my meals were packed with gluten and refined flour! I would have avocado toast on a baguette for breakfast, perogies for lunch and pasta for dinner. GAH! Now I’m trying to have AT LEAST two meals without gluten or refined flour. If anyone has meal suggestions, please let me know!!
5. Grain Fed Meats and Processed Meats
I’m not a huge meat eater to begin with. I love tofu and seafood (I eat shrimp ALL the time), but I don’t cook with a lot of red meat or chicken. Grain-fed animals are often loaded up on antibiotics, which means were ingesting those antibiotics and hormones. If you do eat grass-fed beef for protein, make sure it’s only 1-2 times per week, and stick to lean cuts.
Processed meats are even worse. They’re typically high in saturated fats and are filled with inflammatory compounds. Plus, they’re injected with preservatives and artificial flavourings, which are harmful for our system. Even reading that makes me cringe!!!
If you’ve been feeling low energy and have noticed inflammation in your body, it could be due to the foods you’re putting into it. I’ve been feeling so much lighter and energetic after eliminating these foods and replacing them with good-for-you anti-inflammatory foods like leafy green veggies, fish, nuts (especially walnuts – great in a salad), and lots of fruits and vegetables.
Have you noticed inflammation? What foods effect you most and which ones are you going to cut out to feel better?
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