Updated January 6th, 2024 at 14:24 IST

Steer clear of these inflammatory foods during winter for a healthier life

Winter brings along the temptation to indulge in comforting, often not-so-healthy foods. However, some of these choices can trigger inflammation.

Food | Image:istock

Winter brings along the temptation to indulge in comforting, often not-so-healthy foods. However, some of these choices can trigger inflammation in the body, exacerbating issues like joint pain, skin problems, and overall discomfort. Steering clear of these five foods can help you maintain a healthier balance and prevent inflammation during the colder months.

Processed and refined foods

During winter, the inclination to reach for processed and refined foods is high due to their convenience and often comforting appeal. However, these foods, laden with artificial additives, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats, can trigger inflammation in the body. Items like sugary snacks, refined grains, and fast food contribute to increased inflammation levels.

Processed and refined foods | Image: istock


Sugary treats

The holidays often bring an array of sugary treats and desserts. While they're delightful, excessive sugar intake can lead to increased inflammation. High sugar consumption prompts the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines, which may worsen inflammatory conditions like arthritis, skin issues, and digestive problems.


Dairy products

Dairy products, although delicious, can trigger inflammation in many individuals, particularly those who are sensitive or intolerant to lactose or casein. These products can aggravate conditions like bloating, digestive discomfort, and skin inflammation. Opting for dairy alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk can be a better choice for those prone to inflammation.

Dairy products | Image: istock


Fried foods

Comfort foods often include fried delights like samosas, fries, or crispy chicken. However, these foods contain trans fats that promote inflammation and can lead to heart issues, joint pain, and digestive problems. During winter, it's best to minimise the intake of fried foods to reduce inflammation and maintain overall health.

High omega-6 fatty acid foods

Certain cooking oils like soybean oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. While these fats are essential, an imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to inflammation. Consuming too much omega-6 without adequate omega-3 intake can promote inflammatory responses in the body.

High omega-6 fatty acid foods | Image: istock


Instead of these inflammatory foods, focus on incorporating anti-inflammatory options into your winter diet. Foods like fatty fish rich in omega-3s (salmon, mackerel), leafy greens, berries, nuts, seeds, and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, practicing mindful eating, staying hydrated, and maintaining a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits can help curb inflammation and keep you healthier during winter.


Published January 6th, 2024 at 14:24 IST