The Human Body Series: Gut Inflammation


Inflammation is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “a local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.”

Inflammation is detrimental to the human body. Brief episodes can cause tiredness and malaise, while chronic exposure has been linked to diseases such as cancer. Clearly, inflammation is something that we should try to stay clear of if at all possible. Unfortunately, what few people know if that the common diet consumed by most western societies is riddled with foods that promote inflammation in the gut.

Thankfully for us, we’re Paleo! A benefit of the Paleo lifestyle is that it does a great job of restricting foods that contribute to inflammation in the body overall but primarily in the gut. Paleo specifically excludes foods that can cause damage to the gut lining, which contributes to inflammation. The following is a list of foods which damage the gut lining and cause chronic inflammation within the body.

Foods Causing Gut Inflammation Include:

  • Gluten
  • Grains (i.e. rice & corn)
  • Legumes (i.e. soy & peanuts)

The reason these foods cause gut inflammation is because of their high lectin content. Lectin damages the gut by tricking your gut into letting it cross its border into your body. When this happens the body develops an autoimmune response(it creates antibodies) and attacks the “intruder”. Unfortunately, Lectin tends to look similar to our natural cells, so the body becomes confused and beings to attack itself. Thus the lining of the gut becomes inflamed.

The issue is that this type of inflammation becomes chronic as people continue to eat these foods and do not allow their bodies time to repair themselves. Not to mention most people are unaware of the effect of these types of food on the body. Furthermore, additional issues can arise from this chronic inflammation included anemia.

Thankfully though, we follow the Paleo lifestyle. A lifestyle that does not promote consuming these foods which cause gut inflammation!


@mvandover |

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Vegetarian Fed Does Not = Grass Fed




I’ve noticed a trend recently with labels on beef packaging, I’ve been seeing a lot of “vegetarian fed” beef. To set the record straight, vegetarian fed beef is not grass fed beef. In fact they are basically as far from each other as you can get. The addition of the “vegetarian fed” label on beef is simply a marketing tactic used to make shoppers think it’s healthier for them. Vegetarian fed beef is not the equivalent of grass feed beef and it is worse for you.

The bottom line…

Vegetarian Fed Beef- Beef that is raised on a diet of grains (i.e. corn).

Grass Fed Beef- Beef that is raised on a diet of grass and grazing.

Since grains are strictly not Paleo, you can see how this may pose an issue. Commercially raised cows are fed a grain based diet to help them gain more fat and mass, this way they provide more revenue when they are slaughtered.

So when it comes down to it, vegetarian fed does not equal grass fed.

Stick with grass fed beef!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover |