Have you ever been told to eat "anti-inflammatory" foods, and had no idea what that term meant?
Basically, "inflammatory" foods are those that cause inflammation (an immune response) in the body, increasing the presence of inflammation-causing prostaglandins, lipid compounds found in almost all human tissue. Too much inflammation can cause tissue damage, and even pain. In The Hot Detox Plan, a new book by nutritionist Julie Daniluk — host of Z Living’s popular show Healthy Gourmet — Daniluk lays out an original detox-cleanse and a new healthy-living philosophy with anti-inflammatory foods at its heart. Check out more about Healthy Gourmet here and find out where to watch the show.
Z Living spoke with Daniluk about the book and what inflammatory foods to avoid — and some of the major culprits may surprise you. Here's Daniluk's list of the most common ingredients that can inflame and ravage your digestive track, and should be eaten sparingly.
Healthy Gourmet Host Julie Daniluk's List Of Inflammatory Ingredients To Limit:
1. White Flour
Used to create refined grains like white bread and pasta, white flour is a major perpetrator of spreading inflammation throughout the tummies of countless Americans. As Daniluk says, “Once minerals are removed from flour, that food becomes a firestorm in your body that creates an inflammatory cascade that’s super dangerous.” The mineral-and-nutrient removal she notes is a product of oxidation during the bleaching process.
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Learning that coffee being inflammatory might affect your mornings, but fear not, there are plenty of caffeine alternatives that are easier on your insides. In The Hot Detox Plan, Daniluk writes, “Many inflammatory foods also affect our digestion because they are so acidic that they lower our pH levels.” She then lists some common acid-forming foods that includes coffee and alcohol.
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Yes, this news is kind of a buzzkill. But, if you’re drinking enough to damage your digestive system, than this might just be one of multiple reasons to pump the brakes. According to alcohol treatment site Alcohol Rehab, alcohol abuse can damage the stomach lining, leading to stomach inflammation. Needless to say, one of the conditions of Daniluk’s book is to lay off the sauce, at least a bit.
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4. Refined Sugar
When explaining how she came up with the ant-inflammatory diet featured in The Hot Detox Plan—which combines avoiding inflammatory ingredients with eating a lot of warm-or-hot meals for better digestion—Daniluk told Z Living, “What we do is look at the nutrients in the food, or lack thereof.” Side note: In general, refining or "whitening" food diminishes its inherent nutrients. “Removing all of the nutrition from cane sugar and eating white refined sugar makes it into a substance that is extremely inflammatory," Daniluk says.
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5. Polished Rice
Continuing the point that acidic foods cause inflammation, Daniluk writes, “in the acid camp we have foods like sugar, flour, polished rice.” Essentially, "polished" rice is white rice, and while commonly associated with a healthy diet, it lacks the essential nutrients for proper digestion. Don’t let overlooking the inflammatory nature of polished rice be the one thing holding your healthy stir-fry back from actually being healthy.