Secondary Drivers: Anti-inflammatory Food/Ingredients
•Water: our bodies need a lot of water daily as our body’s are 70% water. Foods with a high water content per gram of total food are anti-inflammatory as they provide the needed water and creates fullness with fewer calories.
•No artificial additives:There is some evidence that artificial additives (sweeteners, colors, preservatives) can increase inflammatory but the scientific certainty has not been validated. But artificial ingredients are general tied to processed foods which are inflammatory so it is best to avoid artificial additives.
•Low Fat protein source: American generally eat plenty of protein but much of the protein, meat and dairy, comes with high saturated fat, cholesterol and a bad omega 6/omega 3 ratio. Thus, sources of protein with low fat content is anti-inflammatory.
•Low Cholesterol: high cholesterol foods are inflammatory and generally we should consume no more than 100 milligrams of cholesterol in each meal.
•Anti-oxidants: oxidative stress occurs from foods we eat and our environments where free radials create havoc on our bodies. Many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, E, Beta Carotene, zinc and selenium, are anti-oxidants which fight the free radicals to lessen the damage our oxidative stress.
•Spices: many spices are anti-inflammatory such as Turmeric, Ginger, Cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, sage, rosemary, and pepper. Foods full of spices are generally anti-inflammatory.
•No Preservatives: Preservatives are linked to ultra processed foods which are inflammatory. While science has not directly proven it is the preservatives which creates the inflammation, it is wise to avoid foods with preservatives because you are most likely avoiding ultra processed foods and inflammatory foods.
•GMO free: GMO’s have not been proven to be inflammatory but the jury is still out of GMOs, thus, avoid when possible.
is created when cooking certain foods at high temperatures. Most snack foods and cereals are baked at high temperatures and contain significant acrylamide. Acrylamide has not been shown in humans to be inflammatory but it is a carcinogen so avoid it always. If you use the broad definition of inflammatory food, foods which harm your health long term, foods with acrylamide would be at the top.
•Limit lectins, phytates, Oxalates, mold Toxins, arachidonic acid:
It is not scientific proof these 4 ingredients are inflammatory but there is many who believe they might be. Thus, avoiding foods high in any of ingredients is wise. Interesting, many plants, fruits and vegetables contain lectins, phytates and oxalates (also known as anti-nutrient) as a survival method to prevent animals for eating them. Archindonic acid (AA), a polyunsaturated omega 6 acid can be inflammatory although stronger
science needs to be completed on AA. Beef, chicken, eggs and dairy contain arachidonic acid, but the levels have not changed in the past 50 years. It is most like the increase of AA in today’s diet is the increase of omega-6 rich oils used in processed foods.