There are several decisions that go into deciding what you want to eat. Should it be something sweet or savory? Healthy or indulgent? Refreshing or comforting? But the real question you should be asking yourself is whether it’s pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. New research shows that pro-inflammatory foods increase systemic inflammation and could raise the risk of developing colon cancer.
Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia developed a dietary inflammation score based on the association of independent dietary components with C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein found in blood plasma that elevates in response to inflammation. They used several food components to develop their score, including four types of meat, nuts, pepper, coffee, tea, dairy products, refined and whole grains, and twelve botanical categories. Then, they examined the association of inflammation scores with the occurrence of colorectal adenomas. The results of the study indicated that diet may contribute to systemic inflammation, thus increasing the risk of cancer (Source:Food Consumer).
So what exactly is a pro-inflammatory food? Foods that are starchy or sugary and contain flour or other sweeteners are considered to be pro-inflammatory. This includes:
- Breads and bagels
- Ice cream, sherbet and frozen yogurt
- Cakes, pies and pastries
- Jams and jellies
- Honey and molasses
Foods that are processed or contain unhealthy oils are also pro-inflammatory and should be avoided. They include:
- Fast food
- Fried foods
- Chips and pretzels
- Hot dogs
To adopt an anti-inflammatory diet and lower your chances of developing colon cancer, build your meals around fresh, whole foods. Most fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and lean proteins are excellent choices that will provide essential nutrients and prevent inflammation. Cook with healthy oils and fats such as organic butter, coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil, and replace sugary beverages with water or herbal tea (Source: Auger Family Chiropractic). As you fill your diet with wholesome, anti-inflammatory ingredients, you will begin to reap the rewards of a healthier body, a more energetic lifestyle, and a reduced risk of colon cancer.