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    Here are 5 foods that you must avoid in winter to prevent inflammation

    By Emily Hagan | Published on Oct 18, 2023

    Winter brings with it a myriad of challenges, especially for the elderly and those with weaker immune systems. The extreme cold makes us vulnerable to various health issues, such as cold, cough, and chronic inflammation. However, maintaining a healthy diet can bolster our immune system and help prevent inflammation. In this article, we will explore five food items that should be avoided during winter to keep inflammation at bay.

    Understanding Inflammation

    Inflammation is our body’s natural response to injury, infection, or disease. Dr. Eileen Canday, Head of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, explains that it is a complex process involving the release of chemicals and immune cells to the affected area. Signs of inflammation include redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. While inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process, chronic or prolonged inflammation can be harmful and may contribute to the development of various diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

    The Impact of Winter on Inflammation

    During winter, the cold weather increases the risk of respiratory infections such as the flu and the common cold. These infections can trigger inflammation in the body. Additionally, people tend to consume more processed and fried foods, like pakoras, during this time, which can further contribute to inflammation. Dr. Canday notes that the sedentary lifestyle common in winter can lead to weight gain and increased inflammation.

    5 Foods to Avoid in Winter

    To prevent inflammation during winter, Dr. Canday suggests avoiding the following foods:

    1. Processed Foods

    Processed foods are often loaded with preservatives to prolong their shelf life. Examples include chips, cookies, and instant noodles. These products often contain added sugars, artificial colors, and ingredients. Consuming these foods can lead to weight gain, which in turn increases inflammation.

    2. Fried Foods

    Fried foods such as potato chips, bhajiyas, samosas, and kachoris are high in trans fats and calories, making them major contributors to inflammation in the body. Apart from inflammation, fried foods are also detrimental to cholesterol levels, heart health, and overall well-being.

    3. Dairy Products

    For individuals who are lactose intolerant, consuming dairy products can trigger inflammation in the body. Lactose intolerance is a common problem where the body is unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products. It is crucial for lactose intolerant individuals to avoid all dairy products to prevent inflammation.

    4. Refined Carbohydrates

    Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and pastries, should be avoided to prevent inflammation and promote a healthy lifestyle. These foods are considered extremely harmful and can have adverse effects on overall well-being.

    5. Alcohol

    Excessive alcohol consumption not only increases inflammation in the body but also weakens the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illnesses during the winter months.

    By keeping these food items in mind and steering clear of them, you can reduce the risk of inflammation. Remember, a healthy diet plays a significant role in maintaining a strong immune system and overall well-being during the winter season.

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