Tag Archives: Inflammation

Inflammation~ Foods

The Most Inflammatory Foods You Can Put in Your Body

Food can be a source of inflammation through allergens, bacteria or other toxins. The body can also see foods that “don’t agree” with its biochemistry which causes your whole body to start attacking these “foreign invaders,” thus causing more inflammation in the bloodstream, Sadie Wells, RD, LDN, CPT, says.

Similarly, she adds, eating unhealthy food is like having a chronic infection that triggers an immune response which then causes inflammation.

Generally speaking, a diet high in trans-fatty acids, saturated fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates contributes to chronic inflammation, Nicole Simonin, a health and fitness expert at Shape it Up, says.

Any food that your body is intolerant or allergic to can also be a significant source of inflammation, and low-grade inflammation is a factor in most health issues


Ask any nutritionists and the answer will be the same: Sugar is the worst offender. “Excess sugar intake raises our pro-inflammatory cytokine levels while suppressing our germ-killing white blood cells, weakening the immune system,” Wells says.

Even natural sugar (in excess)

Although less of a concern, too much sugar, even the natural sugar from fruit, could be too much (usually if combined with other sugar-laden foods) and can cause inflammation, Wells says. “Some research suggests avoiding nightshade vegetables—tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant—due to the compound called solanine, to help reduce arthritis symptoms,” she adds

Trans fats

Trans fat which are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils or shortening are still top of the list for inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and arthritis, Simonin says. “In our American diets, the main source of trans fats is in shortening.” Manufacturers typically use this in fast foods as well as fried foods, sweets, and baked goods, she adds.

Omega-6 oil

Omega-6 oils such as corn, safflower, and sunflower are not bad if used in moderation, but a typical American diet ingests too many omega-6 oils which can cause inflammatory responses in the body, Simonin says

Grilled meats

Most meats/animals are fed an unnatural, grain-based diet which makes them gain weight faster and contain higher amounts of saturated fats and Omega-6’s, Wells says. “Various processing technologies, cooking techniques, such as grilling, can further promote inflammation by increased hormone levels, antibiotic resistance, and other carcinogens (AGE’s=advanced glycation end products),” she adds.

Highly processed oils

The worst types of oils are the highly processed oils such as hydrogenated and partial hydrogenated oils such as soybean, corn and canola oils, Simonin says. Because these oils have become processed by hydrogenation this oil can convert to trans fat.

Vegetable oil

Albeit from vegetables, vegetable oils are unnatural in large amounts and are processed/made by pressing, heating, and uses various industrial chemicals and highly toxic solvents, Wells says. “Additionally, vegetable oils are high in Omega-6 fatty acids and can cause inflammation when we consume too many of them.”


Additives such as artificial colors, BHT and nitrates are among many that are a cause for concern, Simonin says. “Many of these additives have been banned in other countries, but the FDA continues to consider them ‘acceptable’ for U.S. consumption.”

Certain breads

Processed bread are stripped of their nutrients so aiming for whole grain breads with fiber will help decrease the inflammatory response, Simonin says.


Depending on the person, Simonin says, dairy could be a large contributor of inflammation. “But it depends on to what degree they react to dairy.” Furthermore, Wells adds, dairy can also be inflammatory due to high amounts of saturated fats and most commercially produced dairy products lack significant amounts of beneficial bacteria.

Artificial sweeteners

While some artificial sweeteners are derived from natural substances, they are still synthetically made sugars, Simonin says. “Our body does not know what to do with the chemicals.” The long-term health of using these substances is still undetermined as to whether they cause inflammation, illness or diseases, she adds. According to Wells, artificial sweeteners are known to disrupt the gut microbiome, causing a reduction in good gut bacteria, which in turn allows the bad gut bacteria to proliferate


They are chemically enhanced. Soda is slowly killing you. The body is actually worse off after consuming soda because it is depleted of important macronutrients. A Harvard study found that people who drink even one can of soda a day significantly increase their risk of chronic heart disease (CHD). “Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with increased risk of CHD and some adverse changes in lipids, inflammatory factors, and leptin,” researchers found.

Refined carbs

Research suggests that they promote an inflammatory microbiota, and may be the primary dietary cause of leptin resistance and obesity

Baked goods

They are still made with flour and have processed carbs that will increase your blood sugar levels. White or wheat flours are basically the same as far as diabetics are concerned. Most bakeries cook with hydrogenated oil, a kind of trans fat, instead of butter.

Favored yogurt

You would think yogurt would be healthy for you, but depending on the brand, you might be ingesting artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, dairy and fake fruit in that one little cup, Simonin says. Flavored yogurts are the ones with too much sugar and artificial ingredients.

Deli meats

Processed meats such as deli meats are your worst offenders, Simonin says. Look for non-processed meats with minimal ingredients and grass-fed beef. “If we eat healthier animals, we, in turn, may be able to decrease inflammation response.” Eating grass-fed beef also increases your omega-3 fats (as opposed to grain-fed cows), she adds. “Cattle were never meant to eat corn and soy which is what most grain-fed cattle are given.”

Processed foods

“Processed foods generally contain elevated levels of refined sugars and grains/flours, are high in trans fats from hydrogenated vegetable oils, contain artificial ingredients and emulsifiers, and lack fiber and other important nutrients that actually help to fight inflammation,” Wells says.

Refined flour

Refined flours lack fiber which contributes to slowing the digestion and absorption of glucose, Wells says. “A slower release of glucose into the bloodstream also reduces the release of insulin, a hormone associated with a pro-inflammatory response in the body.”


The culprits are the sugar and artificial sweeteners. This is not the best breakfast option. Cereals with marshmallows and chocolate puffs are obviously high in sugar, but just how much sugar may surprise you. The Environmental Working Group examined the sugar content of 84 bowls of cereal and found 54 of them contained more than 24 to 26 percent sugar by weight. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, at 55.6 percent sugar, was the worst.


Candy falls in what Wells calls the “chemical storms” category. Candy is not a staple food and should never be perceived as anything more than a treat. Even when consumed occasionally and in small portions, they can cause a lot of harm. The sugar, artificial additives, trans fats…nothing in these treats us healthy.

Coffee drinks

They are also on Wells’ “chemical storm” list. Fancy coffee beverages have loads of sugar coming from the added milk or creamer, and too many calories. For example, one grande Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks contains 66g of sugar.

Too much alcohol

Chronic inflammation is often associated with alcohol-related medical conditions. Heavy alcohol consumption contributes to systemic inflammation by interfering with the body’s natural defenses against the influx of gut microbiota and its products, research shows. The Most Inflammatory Foods You Can Put in Your Body Food can be a source of inflammation through allergens, bacteria or other toxins. The body can also see foods that “don’t agree” with its biochemistry which causes your whole body to start attacking these “foreign invaders,” thus causing more inflammation in the bloodstream, Sadie Wells, RD, LDN, CPT, says.
Similarly, she adds, eating unhealthy food is like having a chronic infection that triggers an immune response which then causes inflammation.
Generally speaking, a diet high in trans-fatty acids, saturated fats, sugar, and refined carbohydrates contributes to chronic inflammation, Nicole Simonin, a health and fitness expert at Shape it Up, says.

Slide 1 of 23: Food can be a source of inflammation through allergens, bacteria or other toxins. The body can also see foods that "don't agree" with its biochemistry which causes your whole body to start attacking these "foreign invaders," thus causing more inflammation in the bloodstream, Sadie Wells, RD, LDN, CPT, says.Similarly, she adds, eating unhealthy food is like having a chronic infection that triggers an immune response which then causes inflammation.Generally speaking, a diet high in trans-fatty acids, saturated fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates contributes to chronic inflammation, Nicole Simonin, a health and fitness expert at Shape it Up, says.Any food that your body is intolerant or allergic to can also be a significant source of inflammation; and low grade inflammation is a factor in most health issues.

Thank you for reading 🙂


Meditation~ Inflammation Relief

“Inflammation is a common contributor and possible cause underlying all diseases, whether you are talking about heart, liver, kidney problems, obesity, or psychiatric disease,” says Dr. Daniel Lee, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center and School of Medicine.

In general, when your mental energy takes too much from your physical energy, it puts your body in a state of deficit, and inflammation in the body occurs.

It takes mental energy when we use our brains to think and analyze. In fact, we are constantly using our brains to think, analyze, and figure stuff out. This continual thinking from the brain takes energy from our body. At some point our body needs to rejuvenate.

We need to take time to relax, and get out of our heads, so our body can rejuvenate. There is such a thing as “too much thinking,” just like too much of anything is not good. Thinking needs to be balanced with non-thinking. Balance is good. Take time for thinking, then take time to relax. This allows for optimal functioning of the brain and the body.

What happens when we think too much?

When the thinking of the brain takes too much energy from the body, this depletes the energy of the body. Lower body energy affects our immune system — it functions more slowly. The immune system is our natural response to inflammation in the body. An impaired immune system results in incomplete repair of cells and tissue, and inflammation in the body expands.

We’ve all heard the saying, “keep your mind active,” especially as we age. Well, this is a little bit of a misnomer; more precisely it’s saying, “keep your brain active.” While brain activity is all well and good, there needs to be balance. There needs to be brain activity, and rest. Just like anything, balance is best.

We are thinking when we work and when we play. Our brain is “on” all day during work or at school. Our brain is “on” when playing sports, or other games such as cards, board games, checkers or chess. If you are, for example, constantly working, playing games, or thinking, you are not giving yourself downtime — a chance to rest, relax, and renew.

This can lead to inflammation in the body.

Common examples of inflammation are arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and other autoimmune problems. Be active, get going during the day, but give yourself time to rest, too. Balance. Then the body gets a chance to recuperate, and your immune system ramps up to repair damaged cells and tissue. Isn’t an awesomely functioning immune system invaluable?

This is similar to exercise. Exercise is good for the body, but you need to rest after exercise.

A good way to relax the brain is to get into the mind. The mind only knows balance and does nothing in excess. The flowing energy of the mind brings our bodies back to balance.

Meditation teacher and author, Ron W. Rathbun, says, “We need to get out of our brain activity, and into our minds, so the mind can balance the brain and the body. In mind, we balance the body and reduce inflammation. The mind allows for mental and physical rejuvenation.” 


Nature is simple. There is the brain and the mind. By learning to access your mind, you move away from the brain and into a more relaxed state of renewal.

Kelee® meditation is a way to access the mind.

In a study at UCSD, patients who did Kelee meditation for 12 weeks saw a significant reduction in stress, anxiety and depression. Lead author of the study, Dr. Daniel Lee, says, “These days, researchers are looking for answers on how to control inflammation to fight disease.  However, Kelee meditation provides a unique way to access the mind to calm and quiet brain activity, which helps to relax the physical body allowing for recovery and rejuvenation.  It is through understanding the concept of moderation and the balance between mind function and brain function that ultimately leads to the improvement of quality of life and begins the process of the reversing the disease process naturally, without having to rely on medications.”


Wondering how to access your mind and balance your brain and body? You can download this simple-to-follow ebook, Kelee Meditation: Free your Mind, and practice Kelee meditation today.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Foods That Cause Inflammation

If there’s one thing that you want to avoid, inflammation is it.

Chronic inflammation can set you up for many problems including heart disease, diabetes, as well as arthritis.

Leading a stressful and unhealthy lifestyle are 2 key components for inflammation but what you eat on a day to day basis will impact it too.

Let’s take a look at four foods that are linked to inflammation so that you’ll know what to avoid.

1. Gluten 

Topping the list is gluten. Gluten is a certain type of protein found in wheat based foods that many people’s bodies struggle to digest properly.


When you eat gluten, you’re going to be at risk for unwanted symptoms such as

  • gas
  • bloating
  • indigestion
  • foggy brain (fuzzy thinking)
  • headaches
  • a general sense of fatigue.

And these are just the immediate symptoms that can come about!

When you eat gluten on a regular basis, inflammation can persist in the body, setting you up for long-term disease.

Removing gluten and all gluten containing foods from your menu is one of the best steps you can take to ensure optimal health.

2. Dairy 

Dairy is another food group that’s often linked to states of inflammation. Humans were not naturally designed to consume cow’s milk, but yet, many of us are drinking it daily.

If you lack the digestive enzymes (lactase) to break down the sugars in milk, this too can lead to gas, bloating and stomach discomfort.


Not to mention too much high fat dairy consumption can put your body at risk for inflammation and weight gain.

While many people think you need dairy to get your calcium needs met, there are plenty of other ways that you can get calcium into your daily diet plan.

3. Trans Fats 

Trans fats are one of the worst offenders in today’s diets and a type of fat that you want to be sure that you steer clear of.

Trans fat consumption is strongly linked to inflammation as well as diseases like cancer and heart disease.

You’ll find trans in processed, fast, and frozen foods such as donuts, pizza, burgers, French fries, as well as frozen dinner meals.

Stay away from these at all costs – your body has absolutely no need for trans fats in the diet.

4. Sugar

Last but not least, sugar is the final offender that can set you up for full body inflammation. Our sugar consumption as a nation over the last few years has skyrocketed as more and more foods contain the white stuff.

Sugar contains no nutrients and will set you up for a series of problems including a blood sugar spike, insulin release, fat storage, and a blood glucose crash.

Over time, this wears on your body and can set you up to experience high levels of inflammation.

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Sugar/ Information Share

bakery baking blur close up

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Does Sugar Cause Inflammation in the Body?

Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process.

During injury or infection, the body releases chemicals to help protect it and fight off any harmful organisms. This can cause redness, warmth and swelling.

Let’s Look at the role of sugar and inflammation in the body.

Consuming too much added sugar and refined carbohydrates is linked with elevated inflammation in the body as well as insulin resistance and weight gain.

Excess consumption of added sugar and refined carbohydrates is linked to increased AGE production, gut permeability, LDL cholesterol, inflammatory markers and weight gain. All of these factors can trigger low-grade chronic inflammation.

Observational studies have linked excess added sugar consumption to the development of several chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer .

Replacing foods and drinks high in added sugar and refined carbohydrates may help lower inflammatory markers. Including whole foods in your diet can also help fight inflammation.

There are several things you can do to help fight inflammation, including exercising regularly and effectively managing your stress levels.

Furthermore, cut down on processed foods and drinks, choose whole foods, and limit your intake of added sugar and refined carbohydrates.

All evidence & citations are from US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

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Here’s How Long It Actually Takes To Heal Inflammation/ Information Share


1. Focus on your diet.

Taming chronic inflammation starts with what you put on the end of your fork. In other words, your best defense to fight inflammation starts with your very next meal or snack. Researchers find that a pro-inflammatory diet significantly increases weight gain and your risk for being overweight or obesity.

The best way to shift that balance is to eat fewer inflammatory foods and much more anti-inflammatory food. The latter include wild-caught fish, loads of nonstarchy vegetables, low-sugar fruit like berries and avocado, raw nuts and seeds, and cultured and fermented foods. Stop and consider, for instance, that our ancestors ate nearly an equal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids—whereas today we are eating 20 times (sometimes higher) of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. We’re eating fewer anti-inflammatory foods, but the inflammatory ones we consume (sometimes from not-so-obvious sources like almond milk or factory-raised eggs) can crowd out the healthy ones.

Take soybean oil, prevalent in pretty much any restaurant you eat, which can decrease the amounts of the anti-inflammatory fatty acids EPA and DHA. Even if you’re avoiding the usual suspects like sugar, gluten, and other high-sensitivity foods I often talk about, inflammatory foods can be slipping into your diet. Grain-fed meats, vegetable oils, roasted nuts and seeds, and pretty much any processed food in your grocery store fuels inflammation.

2. Heal your gut.

You cannot fix inflammation without fixing the gut. When your gut lining is disturbed, it cannot absorb nutrients optimally and inflammation develops. Eventually problems like leaky gut lead to food sensitivities and even autoimmune disease.

A downward spiral occurs as gut inflammation becomes systemic (or full-body) inflammation, creating pain, headaches, and other symptoms that you might never suspect originated in your gut.

Healing gut inflammation requires time and patience. The right protocol eliminates food sensitivities, incorporates plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, and includes gut-supporting nutrients like L-glutamine, probiotics, and prebiotics. Here’s a three-day plan to get you started.

3. Get the right nutrients.

If you’re not eating an anti-inflammatory diet and incorporating other lifestyle strategies delineated here, taking supplements that can lower inflammation won’t help much.

But combined with the right diet, supplements can help tame inflammation. Among the favorites I use in my practice daily are:

  • Curcumin: Turmeric is that beautiful yellow-orange spice, but its main claim to fame is curcumin, which provides anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and gut-healing benefits. Sprinkle organic turmeric powder onto all your food, but to get the full anti-inflammatory benefits, consider a concentrated curcumin supplement.
  • Fish oil: The two main, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are important anti-inflammatory promoters in the body that are often deficient in the American diet. Studies have shown that these omega-3s help reduce inflammation in the gut and elsewhere. Make sure you source the right type. I only recommend practitioner-grade supplements.
  • Probiotics: These healthy microorganisms support optimal gut-flora balance, but evidence shows they can also reduce inflammation. It’s always best to source a high-potency probiotic from a reputable company that focuses on gut health. Read my guide to choosing probiotics here.

4. Avoid environmental toxins.

Many of the over 80,000 chemicals we are exposed to daily have not been tested for human safety. They are everywhere: in our furniture as fire retardants, in cosmetics as heavy metals, in our household cleaners as emulsifiers, and in our food as preservatives. These toxins create all sorts of problems. They disrupt our hormonal balance, keep our immune system revved up, and increase our risk for diseases including cancer and autoimmune disease. Chronic inflammation plays a role in all of these problems.

Just like we are all inflamed, we are all toxic. To reduce that toxic load, you’ll want to minimize the toxins you’re exposed to daily that are under your control.

That might mean becoming more mindful about what cosmetics you use, what household cleaners you keep around, and what skin products you spread on your body, as well as drinking clean, filtered water, eating mostly organic plant foods, and if you are a meat eater, mainly consuming clean protein sources like pasture-raised meats.

You’ll also want to eat plenty of detoxifying foods, including leafy and cruciferous greens, along with spices like turmeric. Once or twice a year, consider working with a professional to incorporate a plan that provides your cells the nutrients they require to optimize detoxification. And a gut cleanse is a great way to clean out the pipes and dump some of those accumulated toxins.

5. Move your body.

Research shows that regular exercise protects against chronic low-grade systemic inflammation present in diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. I like to use the word “movement” as opposed to “exercise” because movement encompasses a broader array of activities.

Yours might include yoga, brisk walking, or weight resistance exercises. Research shows high-intensity interval training, which is fast and effective, can reduce the inflammation that contributes to disease like cancer. But remember this—if you’re a CrossFitter or do any high-intensity exercise, then stock up on the anti-inflammatory nutrients I mentioned above. Moderate exercise reduces inflammation, but extreme exercise (like marathon training and Tough Mudders) will increase inflammation.

The important thing is that you do something that challenges your body without abusing its limits.

6. Manage your stress.

Stress is a major and underestimated factor that affects inflammation, even when all other lifestyle behaviors (like diet and exercise) are on point.

Stress increases inflammation, regardless of how good you’re being with your diet. It activates the fight-or-flight response that makes you feel like you’re under attack when you’re not. It can lead to elevated blood pressure, palpitations, and reduced blood flow to the intestines, resulting in poor digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Some of my patients live under and handle such elevated levels of stress on a daily basis they consider it normal. They have become desensitized to the thought of stress, but their bodies have not been desensitized to the ravages of stress. Essentially, they’ve ceased to notice what a huge impact stress has on their lives. I often point out to my patients how full their plates are and how even if the load they carry (between work and social life) feels “normal,” it shouldn’t be their “normal.”

Forty percent of Americans get less than the seven hours of recommended sleep per night. When compared to the amount of sleep Americans got in 1942, we are getting one hour less per night. That’s outstanding considering modern technology should be making our lives easier, not harder. The problem is the health ramifications of sleep deprivation.

Studies support what I see regularly in my practice: Sleep deprivation can trigger or exacerbate inflammation. Multiple mechanisms are at work here. Sleep loss adversely alters the body’s inflammatory markers, but then you are more prone to make unwise food choices, fuel up on caffeine to get through the morning, and feel more stressed throughout your day with less sleep. Keeping inflammation under control requires eight to nine hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep every night.

Sleep hygiene is important. At least one hour before bedtime, shut down your electronics, block out sleep-disrupting blue light by putting on your blue-spectrum-blocking glasses, dim the lights, and pull up a good book to read (on paper).

Thank you for reading 🙂


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