We'll admit that eating for a healthy gut is a complicated goal; as the health community learns more about inflammation and how it affects the body, it seems that more and more foods are linked to this immune response. Case in point: MindBodyGreen published a list of "healthy" foods that cause inflammation from Becky Campbell, DNM, DC, and board-certified doctor of natural medicine.
Campbell, who is a former functional medicine patient herself, argues that the following three healthy foods could also be causing a harmful inflammatory response in your body. However, she does note that "as with all advice, take this with a grain of salt—it's all about how something interacts with your body." Read up on the healthy foods that can trigger inflammation below:
Peanuts. There's a reason so many people are allergic to peanuts. Despite their name, they're a part of the legume family, and they contain naturally occurring molds "that can trigger an immune response, which would then result in inflammation," explains Campbell. "The common fungi found on peanuts are called aflatoxins … I've found a diet high in aflatoxins contributes to higher levels of inflammation."
Yogurt. Similar to peanuts, the dairy in yogurt is a common inflammation trigger for many. "Many people are intolerant to dairy, so adding yogurt to the diet can cause inflammation if there is a dairy allergy or sensitivity present," she explains. The hormones and antibiotics in nonorganic yogurt are also a concern, in addition to the added sugar in most flavored brands. "The worst part is that the ones that are marketed as being the 'healthiest' option because they are fat-free or 'weight loss–friendly' are often loaded with more sugar … to make up for the lost flavor when the fat is stripped from the product."
Barley. High-gluten grains are another food that Campbell recommends her patients remove from their diets. "Grains and gluten have been linked to intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and even autoimmune conditions by triggering an inflammatory immune response," she writes. Of course, the level of this sensitivity is different for everyone.