How to Avoid Inflammatory, Common Toxic Foods and Excitotoxins

Three Methods:Avoiding the Toxic FoodsReady Your Pantry for Healthier EatingCook and Supplement Healthily

Your immune system responds with acute inflammation in trying to destroy toxins and bacteria – sometimes attacking/killing healthy cells to get rid of the toxins. Toxins are produced inside the body as well as taken in from outside your body, derived from what we eat and drink, inhale or absorb through our skin.

Inflammation that can cause heart disease, diabetes, cancer, allergic reactions and other conditions is a top medical issue facing many people in the industrialized world today. Toxins cause inflammation by affecting otherwise healthy tissue in your body.

At least there is one common source of toxicity that you can control easily and that is your modern diet, by restoring much-needed nutrients and removing the empty and unhealthy calories.[1]

Part 1
Avoiding the Toxic Foods

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    Know what is likely to induce inflammatory responses in your body. You may often avoid inflammation and toxins. Only you know how your body reacts and feels to each type of food you feed it. Start by considering the worst offenders in "your" own modern diet. If you can isolate the foods that are likely causing you irritation and discomfort, you will be able to make better choices and control the quality of your diet, increasing your chances for healthy longevity. It is also important to discuss your concerns directly with your health professional. Some of the more common inflammatory culprits in the modern diet are explored in the remaining steps of this section.
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    Avoid trans fats (also known as trans fatty acids). These fats are unstable, broken foods that endanger the heart, clog blood vessels over time, and raise your bad cholesterol levels.[2] Trans fats are created when edible oils are made into the "trans" state (across); this is done by bubbling hydrogen through hot oils (for certain degrees of hydrogenation) with a metal as catalyst. This processing trick slows their natural reaction with oxygen, preventing the natural rancid smells/and tastes that you'd normally experience with foods going off. As well as increasing the lifespan of any food made with the fats, this process keeps the fats more solid at room temperature, adding a deceptively "fresh and creamy" appeal to the food. Unfortunately, the trans fats are very unhealthy and contribute to inflammation.[3]
    • Trans fats are sometimes labeled as "partially hydrogenated oil/fat".
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    Add health, by subtracting refined sugar. Sugar may seem relatively harmless when compared with the artificial sweeteners. However, refined sugar reduces the function of your immune system and causes inflammatory reactions in your body (by increasing cytokines).[4] Additional problems caused by sugar intake include:
    • Sugar causes advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that clog your brain and blur vision, causing such problems as diabetes, kidney disease and atherosclerosis.[5]
    • Sugar is responsible for much of the obesity in the industrialized world, especially through increased consumption of (totally nutrient-empty) sweet soda drinks and processed (over-refined) foods.[6]
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    Use more whole and unrefined grain products in your diet. Gluten intolerance may occur as a result of over-consuming refined grains. Adding more wholegrain products to your diet may help you to avoid gluten intolerance problems. (However, as with any such condition, do not self-diagnose gluten-intolerance; always get medical advice first.)
    • Some people believe that GMO grains are also increasing gluten intolerance.[7] Do your own research before making up your mind on this possibility.
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    Stop consuming processed meats created from feedlot-fattened livestock. These types of meat products often contain high amounts of sodium and often nitrites and/or nitrates, all of which are very inflammatory and are considered unhealthy. These meats may also contain additives, such as sugar and monosodium glutamate (MSG). The level of saturated fat is much higher in processed meats than in free-range or grass-fed unprocessed meats.
    • Feedlot-raised meats can have more inflammatory acids than grass-fed meat. For example, grass-fed beef is a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, whereas feedlot-raised beef tends to be higher in pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid.[8]
    • Avoid fat-soluble toxins that can build up in farmed, pond-raised fish. Look for wild- and sustainably-caught fish.
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    Stop consuming excitotoxins. Excitotocins refers to the artificial flavors, colors and other food additives often added to processed foods.[9] These include mono-sodium glutamate (MSG), which can cause people sensitive to it to feel unwell, including having headaches and nausea. Excitotocins are used to improve the taste, texture, and visual appeal of packaged foods. If you want to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, don’t eat or drink anything that contains artificial sweeteners, flavorings or colors.
    • When eating out, ask for reassurance from any restaurant (Asian or otherwise) that no MSG has been used in food preparation.
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    Learn which foods you might have an allergy to. Foods to which you are personally allergic may be common ones that you haven't given much thought to before. Typical foods that can be the source of an allergy include: milk, egg whites, soy, chocolate or coffee. While some reactions involve headaches, nausea, stomachaches or itching, some reactions to food may be deadly, such as in the case of fish and shellfish, peanuts and tree nut allergies. Usually you will already be aware of such life-threatening allergies; however, all foods to which you are even slightly allergic have an inflammatory impact. It is best to have your doctor test you for precise food allergies, as many of the suggested self-tests are scientifically unreliable.[10]
    • Mango-fruit-skins "equal" poison ivy (Ouch!) - a poison in the skin of mangoes, urushiol. Urushiol the oil found in poison ivy that causes the rash and causes it to spread. Some people eat mango skin. They may see blisters appear on their lips and inside their mouth (and fearing herpes-fever-blisters, or worse!?), if allergic to poison ivy's poison. The pain and itch of poison ivy in your mouth![11]
      • Wash mangoes thoroughly before peeling, being careful when peeling them. If you wish, wash the peeled mango fruit, using running water, to remove any urushiol that may have gotten on the fruit while peeling.
    • Expect to become allergic at any time, if you seem immune to mango skin, poison ivy and urushiol??? -- you can break out next! There may come a day when mango skin makes your mouth and esophagus fill with blisters. Play it safe and avoid that horrifying rash.
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    Check your tolerance of milk and milk-based products. Lactose sugar is among the most allergenic of all foods. Many people are sensitive to the sugars (lactose) in milk, known as lactose intolerance. Many more people are sensitive to casein, the main protein in milk. Many cannot tolerate products containing either casein or lactose, although this tendency is more prevalent in people from Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean area.[12]
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    Avoid natural food poisons. Some foods, while safe in small doses or when cooked, can be harmful if not properly prepared or kept to small amounts. For example, the following foods can cause inflammatory reactions in susceptible people: raw green tomatoes; cooked or raw green/sprouting potatoes (never eat the leaves of rhubarb or the leaves and stems of tomatoes and potatoes as they are deadly toxic); raw almonds; raw beans; undercooked beans (or low-heat cooked), especially kidney beans; peach, apricot and cherry pits, and apple seeds all contain low level poisons that over time can build-up if you consume too many.[13]
    • Special warning: Nutmeg is a deliriant, such that too much causes poisoning and brain injury, hallucinogenic drug effects, consuming nutmeg at 2 grams has similar effect to low dose of amphetamines, but it takes several hours to digest and cause drug effects, unexpectedly.[14]
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    Cut down on your alcohol consumption. Acknowledging that drinking a little wine may offer some anti-inflammatory benefits,drinking too much alcohol is a primary trigger for inflammation and liver damage. All alcohol contains sugar, some more than others, and some alcohols are also artificially colored and flavored. If you don’t drink, don’t start. If you drink already, limit your consumption to 1 drink daily with food for no more than 4 drinks per week. Treat alcohol as a special occasion item but never binge drink; one or two drinks for a celebratory occasion is okay for most people.
    • Some people lack the ability to process alcohol. If this is your situation, don't harm your body by trying to overcome its natural intolerance.

Part 2
Ready Your Pantry for Healthier Eating

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    Clean out your trans fats. Discard foods listing trans fats on the "Nutrition Facts" food label and foods with hydrogenated- or partially hydrogenated-oil on the Ingredients labeling. Trans fats should not be eaten (eat them once or twice a year maybe). Trans fats foods often include the following food items, condiments, snacks and desserts:
    • Margarine, "buttery" spreads, really just flavored "shortening"
    • Refried beans with grease, lard or shortening stirred in
    • Cookies and crackers
    • Cakes and icings
    • French fries and fried onion rings
    • Donuts and other such fried, white breads, all "deadly" but as delicious as cinnamon rolls and apple fritters, etc.
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    Remove the artificial colorings and flavorings. If you're a baker, use natural flavorings and colorings that come from fruits and vegetables, such as lemons or beetroot. Use herbs, spices, small pinches of herbal salt and salt-reduced/sugar-free sauces to add flavors to your cooking. Use healthy virgin olive oil as a flavoring in its own right.
    • Many cordials and other "just add water" drinks contain high levels of artificial flavoring and coloring. These are very unhealthy and should be drunk sparingly.

Part 3
Cook and Supplement Healthily

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    Cook with good oils. Barbecue may taste perfect, but half-burned fats are bad for anyone (such fats can trigger inflammation, tumors and cancers[15]). Bad oils (often cheaper but deadly in the long run) cause imbalance in the anti-inflammatory enzymes in your body by adding too much omega-6 oil to your dietary balance. You need more omega-3 (ALA) oils, such as those derived from eating walnuts/pecans, flaxseed oil, macadamia nut oil and cooking with olive oil and grapeseed oil and from eating wild-caught, cold-water, ocean fish (EHA and some DHA).
    • Taking "purified, concentrated" high omega3, fish oil supplements can help you to achieve a balance between the various forms of fats, so as to not have too much omega-6 or EHA alone. Discuss this with your health professional first.
    • Always prefer oil in containers that are dark (non-see through) and from stores with a fast turnover. Discard oil after its use-by date, as it's likely turned rancid. Store oils in a cool, dry and dark place.
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    Increase your chances of defeating the bad guys in your diet. Supplement your diet with probiotics (good bacteria), which can help to reduce inflammation but do be aware that probiotics are not a solve-all solution––they can help with some aspects of your gut health and inflammatory responses but not others, so do your research first.[16]


  • In conjunction with minimizing or foregoing toxic foods, seek to protect yourself against the four causes of inflammation: toxins, injury, stress and deficiencies (low or imbalanced vitamins, minerals, enzymes, hormones). Actively seek to consume the appropriate nutrients.
  • Prefer homegrown, or certified organic foods.
  • Eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Try reducing stress by taking Valerian a natural relaxant. It can help you sleep or go back to sleep.
  • While not foods, the following “eco-friendly” and non-toxic household chemicals can help you to keep healthier in your home:
    • Diatomaceous earth (DE) to kill bugs, roaches, ants, bedbugs (not harmful to mammals). However, there are some concerns related to breathing this in and it is not recommended for persons suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma. You may wish to consult your health professional first. Boric acid or borax is a good insect killer (often mixed with sugar) but since the European Union labeled it as a reproductive toxin,[17] it is becoming harder to find. Use with care and follow the package instructions closely.
    • Spray cleaners based on lactic acid or orange oil make great fly spray, kill fleas, ants, etc.
    • Use organic lawn care products, and practice composting and mulching rather than applying artificial chemicals.
    • Use air purifying and water filtration systems to remove bacteria and other toxins from your household air and water supplies.


  • Common toxins are intakes of excessive carbs and sugars and especially your internal high blood glucose (diabetes) and “bad” cholesterol lead to early death, while often having few if any symptoms, if you fail to be checked/tested -- and receive "adequate" treatment.
  • Determine whether you are experiencing the effects of toxicity, unknowingly. Do you experience several of these signs and symptoms that can indicate toxic overload. Some of these include:[18]
    • Bloated, stuffed feeling
    • Bags (edema) or dark circles under the eyes
    • Headaches, spreading to neck
    • Acne (not teenagers pimples)
    • Faintness (lightheadedness), dizziness
    • Itchy ears, ringing in ears (tinnitus)
    • Sinus problems
    • Pain or aches in joints
    • Fatigue, sluggishness
    • Restlessness/irritability
    • Poor concentration/difficulty making decisions
    • Certain food cravings
    • Water retention (edema)/Swelling
  • Also look for such signs as (Latin, medical keyword followed by English explanation):
    • Rubor – redness associated with increased (excess) blood flow (dilated vessels)
    • Tumor – as fluid retention, swelling associated with increased lymph flow
    • Calor – heat (local fever) produced near the injury
    • Dolor – pain that alerts us to damaged tissue with inflammation
    • Functio laesa – disuse and loss of function of the injured area, often involving stiffness, spasms, cramps, twitching due to imbalances.[19]

Sources and Citations

  1. from a "Wellness Report" "10 Toxic Foods
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Article Info

Categories: Alternative Health