Inflammation is becoming one of the most prolifically studied conditions. In fact, doctors want to learn more for a good reason. Scientists and medical experts are linking chronic inflammation with a variety of other ailments. Think of everything from obesity and heart disease to depression and diabetes.
Acute (short-term) inflammation is a vital physiological response; helping protect us from illnesses, infections, and injury. When this reaction is compromised, however, a number of health problems can manifest. Therefore, it is important to understand what triggers chronic (long-term) inflammation – and how to counteract it.
We’re well aware by now that regular consumption of sugar; along with alcohol, dairy, and fried or processed foods, are among the main culprits of chronic inflammation. But there are other, lesser-known agents of chronic inflammation. We discuss five sources that fit this description.
Here are five things that cause chronic inflammation:
Chronic inflammation – this means long-term inflammation, which can last for several months and even years. It (results) from (failure) to eliminate whatever was causing an acute inflammation. (The) immune system attacks healthy tissues, mistaking them for harmful pathogens. –Medical News Today
1. Agave nectar
Agave nectar is (highly) marketed as a “natural” alternative to sugar; one that is “diabetic-friendly” and “helps” to maintain blood sugar levels. Astonishingly, it’s not uncommon to see agave on the shelves of natural “health food” stores.
But there’s a problem with these claims: they’re all false. Here’s why:
Agave is a natural plant which grows throughout Mexico and in some parts of the Southwestern United States. Mexicans have used the sap for a number of purposes, most recently as a sweetener. In the plant’s natural state, it does indeed have some health benefits.
But agave nectar is not a natural product – it usually undergoes rigorous processing. The processing of agave sap (the “sugary” fluid) exposes it to enzymes and heat; this kills most, if not all, of the plant’s health properties. The end product resembles notoriously-unhealthy sweeteners, including High Fructose Corn Syrup.
2. Frozen yogurt
Frozen yogurt contains two inflammatory ingredients: dairy and sugar. First is milk; which may boost hormone levels and is a common allergen. Sugar requires no further explanation relating to inflammation – it’s a potent trigger. Casein protein is another less-known trigger of inflammation and is an ingredient in certain yogurt types.
There are, however, some frozen yogurt varieties that contain good stuff, such as probiotics and coconut milk. Typically, these will work fine for you. Just make sure to check the label.
Seitan is a staple for vegetarians who crave a meat substitute. Unfortunately, we come bearing bad news – it’s made up almost entirely of wheat gluten. Melissa Wood, a nutrition expert in New York City, explains “(Gluten) can trigger the immune system, causing inflammation in the intestinal tract.”
Inflammation produced in the GI tract can produce bloating, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Consumption of peanuts is more of a “consume at your own risk” type of food. For most folks, a handful of peanuts here and there is a welcome treat (and they can provide a good amount of protein and nutrients.)
Peanuts, however, are among the most common allergens. Young children are especially susceptible to the allergic properties of nuts, as their immune systems are still developing. The autoimmune response in the young and allergic escalates quickly, and this may cause a medical emergency.
Further, peanuts not produced, stored or transported properly are susceptible to fungus, which can also result in inflammatory responses.
Proliferating medical research is leading to companies reducing or eliminating aspartame from their products.
Well first, aspartame is a neurotoxin – it literally poisons and destroys nerve tissue within the brain. Second, some people are highly sensitive to aspartame’s chemical properties. As a result, their immune system perceives the substance as a foreign threat and attempts to eliminate it. This response, as noted, triggers inflammation.