4 Inflammatory Foods to Avoid
Let’s face it, a traditional Thanksgiving feast is packed with some of the worst offenders when it comes to inflammation-causing foods. “The good news is that it’s fairly easy to prepare and enjoy your delicious holiday favorites by swapping out the inflammatory ingredients for healthier ones,” says Yoko Kawashima, functional medicine certified health coach at the AAPRI Center for Functional Medicine. Here are some tips and recipe ideas to help you enjoy healthy holidays—without sacrificing flavor.
The not-so-fab 4
Most holiday fare includes ingredients with the following 4 key types of inflammatory foods—dairy, sugar, gluten, and alcohol—which should be avoided whenever possible. Foods that increase inflammation disrupt your gut microbiome and weaken the immune system, which affects many aspects of your health.
We’ve put together some suggestions for ways to make simple changes to your holiday meals to help reduce or avoid an inflammatory response, especially for people who have known sensitivities to these foods.
* If you don’t have gluten sensitivity you can also simply substitute organic whole-grain bread for standard white bread in your stuffing to reduce inflammation.
** If you choose to drink wine with your holiday meal, be sure it’s an organic wine that’s low in sulfites and limit it to 1-2 glasses of wine pairing each glass with a full glass of water.
Why organic is best
Choosing to cook with organically grown ingredients is the first step in reducing the amount of pesticide in your food. Pesticides can not only disrupt your hormones, they can destroy the beneficial bacteria and flora of your gut microbiome, which increases inflammation and the potential for various health issues.
Food really is medicine—so what you put in your body can have either a beneficial effect or it can be harmful, causing inflammation and leading to a variety of health problems.—Dr. Z
Guess who’s coming to dinner?
Being a guest at someone else’s holiday gathering means you have less control over the food and how it’s prepared. If you can, talk to your host in advance about your need to avoid inflammatory foods like dairy, sugar, gluten, and alcohol. You can also ask your host if it would be alright to bring your own healthy dish(es) to share.
Functional medicine and eating healthy
Contact us today to learn more about the AAPRI Center for Functional Medicine program that’s tailored to address your individual health needs and help you reach your health goals.