Chronic sinusitis is caused by inflammation of the sinuses or nasal passages.
Amidst growing concern, researchers have been studying how foods that cause inflammation in the body can affect the sinus membranes.
According to a recent article from the Medical University of Warsaw, "The Western diet is also associated with a chronic inflammatory process that is involved in all stages of atherosclerosis development and is increasingly recognised as a universal mechanism of various chronic degenerative diseases."
Overindulging in inflammatory foods can contribute to global killers like obesity, cancer and diabetes and cause long-term chronic inflammation, which may also result in sinusitis.
Health24 previously reported how a change in diet can affect your sinuses. While red wine, dairy products and sugary foods may be at the top of your comfort food list, these foods can unfortunately trigger congestion.
Here are six foods that may increase inflammation (and sinusitis) in the body:
1. Processed sugar
Processed sugars are hidden in your favourite desserts, kids’ juices, pastries and chocolates. An article published in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition indicates that a diet high in added sugar may, however, lead to low-grade inflammation and conditions like obesity and insulin resistance.
2. Trans fatty acids
Trans fats are known to trigger systemic inflammation, according to a study by the University of Washington – and are found in fast foods, fried products and frozen foods.
3. Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
This flavour-enhancing food additive is most commonly found in Asian foods and soy sauce, but also in fast foods, prepared soups, salad dressings and deli meats.
A study conducted by the University of Toyama reports that MSG may affect liver health and trigger chronic inflammation.
Researchers question why this chemical has not yet been withdrawn from the food chain and many demand that the safety profile of MSG be re-evaluated.
4. Omega-6 fatty acids
Still cooking with vegetable oil and stocking up on your mayonnaise? You may want to reconsider.
Cooking with oil is not the healthiest option for your health. A study by the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland, shows that because of their high omega-6 fatty acid content, these processed oils can promote inflammation.
5. Gluten and dairy products
Commonly used grains like wheat, barley and rye contain gluten, which cause an inflammatory reaction in many people.
While yoghurt may be associated with fighting inflammatory agents, clinical evidence reveals that dairy products in general can be a source of inflammation-inducing saturated fats.
6. Refined carbohydrates
Your favourite treats – french fries, rolls, white potatoes, cereals etc. – are full of refined carbohydrates. The overconsumption of refined carbs encourages the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria that may put you at risk for obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.
How to combat inflammation
Tools to fight inflammation tend to come not so much from the pharmacy, but more from the grocery store. Choose a healthier diet and reduce your risk of illness by stocking up on items like garlic, ginger, turmeric, foods rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, green tea and olive oil.
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