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Inflammatory Foods & Foods That Feed Gut Bacteria

Eating to reduce inflammation is more important than eating to feed your gut bugs

A great way to reduce inflammation is to minimise exposure to food allergens and foods we may be intolerant to. As a response to eating foods we are intolerant to, our immune system responds with inflammation. In this inflammatory environment we start to lose good bacteria as they are pushed by the growing number of bad bacteria, this imbalance is known as dysbiosis.

So what can we do?

The most important thing is to change our diet and avoid foods that we are allergic to or intolerant to. Allergic reactions can be quite severe and sudden, where as food intolerances are often subtler. A food intolerance might include, bloating, fatigue, brain fog, and can manifest in a wide array of symptoms.

This is why we need to avoid foods that cause inflammation. Below I have outlined some of the foods that are most tolerated, in the middle and most problematic.

Most Tolerated:

1. Gluten Free Grains

2. Potatoes

3. Sweet Potatoes

4. Night Shades

5. Beans & Legumes

In the Middle:

1. Eggs

2. Nuts

3. Higher Carb Intake

Most problematic:

1. Gluten Containing Grains

2. Dairy

3. Soy

How do I know if I have an intolerance?

Well in my opinion the best way is to do an elimination diet, by eliminating foods that are known to be problematic, then re-introducing them again later is in my opinion the best approach and can save you a LOT of money.

If you are suffering with issues give the below a try:

Focus on eating:

1. Fresh Veg and Fruit

2. Fresh meat, fish and eggs

3. Healthy fats and oils

4. Nuts and seeds

Avoid eating:

1. Grains

2. Beans and Legumes

3. Processed Foods

4. Dairy

Following the above is a simple way of avoiding the most common allergens, try it for 2 to 3 weeks then re-evaluate how you feel.

If you suffer badly from IBS try also avoiding the below:

1. Fructans - Foods that are high in fructans may include wheat products—such as bread and pasta—onions, shallots, garlic, barley, cabbage, broccoli, pistachio, artichoke, chicory root, and asparagus.

2. Galactans - Foods that are high in Galactans include legumes such as beans, lentils, soybeans, etc) Polyols (sweeteners containing isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, etc

3. Lactose - Lactose is found in milk, yogurt, cream, butter, ice cream and cheese. But it's also in some breads and baked goods, pancake mixes, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, instant soups, candy, cookies, salad dressings, deli meats, drink mixes and margarine.

4. Fructose - Foods, such as juices, apples, grapes, watermelon, asparagus, peas and zucchini.

5. Sugar Alcohols - The sugar alcohols commonly found in foods are sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol,isomalt, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.

Don't drive yourself crazy

Trying to adhere to an increasing number of dietary rules and restrictions can make some people feel like there is nothing to eat, and this can create diet neurosis. This is not necessary and we should try to avoid it at all costs. We must be aware that there is no magic diet , the point of the above information is to help you uncover some of the foods that could be causing you issues.

Once you found the foods that are the problem, remove them for a while and try to then re-introduce at a later date.

On the next blog we will look at carbs and our gut.

The above information is taken from the Healthy Gut Healthy You Book, by Dr. Michael Ruscio

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