Food can affect more than just energy levels and body weight. Over the past few years, research into gut microbiota and related nutraceuticals has exploded. This research boom has led to some interesting information.
One of the most important pieces of information that have come out of recent research is how diet and the gut can affect inflammation. The inflammation affected is not just gut-related–it can affect other parts of the body (i.e., systemic inflammation) and even affect the autoimmune system.
A quick note on inflammation: inflammation is a natural bodily response to potentially harmful issues (infections, broken bones, etc.). This article is referring to excessive inflammation that can lead to chronic inflammation and related conditions.
Inflammation & Diets
Unhealthy diets (high-fat, high-sugar, processed foods, etc.) can lead to dramatic increases in body weight, which can lead to inflammation on its own. Weight gain and subsequently increased stress on the body, however, is not the only dietary factor responsible for inflammatory issues.
Highly processed foods found in many unhealthy diets contain high levels of sugar, sodium, fat, and other potentially damaging nutritional agents. The ingredients in processed foods are hard for the body to properly digest, which can eventually lead to increased levels of inflammation or even chronic inflammatory conditions.
Ongoing research is figuring out exactly how specific types of foods and levels of nutrients in food affect inflammation in the body. Research into gut-related inflammation is looking not only at digestive inflammatory conditions (Crohn’s, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis), but other inflammatory conditions found outside of the digestive system.
Diets that Help with Inflammation
Research has shown that specific diets can help reduce inflammation in the body and help with inflammatory gut or bowel conditions. What dietary changes have been shown to help with inflammation? Primarily plant-based diets. Plants have many properties that can positively affect inflammatory health issues (among others).
Many fruits and vegetables contain an abundance of antioxidants. Antioxidants can help support healthy cellular growth and the management of damaged tissue. Along with plant-based foods, recent studies have shown that many nuts have been associated with reduced inflammation as well.
Popular foods to avoid when on a diet to mitigate diet-related inflammation include:
- Highly-processed foods
- Processed red meat (hot dogs)
- Foods high in sugar (soda, candy, etc)
- Fried foods (fried chicken, donuts, French fries)
- High in saturated fat oils
Some highly processed foods contain several things on this list (foods high in sugar and deep-fried, etc.) and should be avoided for inflammatory health.
Research at Biofortis
Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing. We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.Tags: chronic inflammatory diseases, Clinical Research, diet, health, nutraceuticals, nutrition