Can Your Diet Heal Chronic Pain?
Have you ever considered that what you’re eating might be contributing to your chronic pain? Your immune system becomes activated anytime it recognizes anything that is foreign – such as pollen, microbes or chemicals. This often triggers a process commonly known as inflammation.
It’s your bodies natural response to fight off illness, injury and infection. But when inflammation becomes chronic, it opens up a litany of health issues including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression and chronic pain.
Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation is by changing the way you eat. Choosing the right anti-inflammatory foods and eating them consistently helps to reduce overall inflammation in the body and reduce overall chronic pain.
Eat Your Veggies
A mostly plant-based diet that includes deeply colored fruits and green leafy vegetables are a key part of an anti-inflammatory diet. If you’re looking to reduce overall pain, focus on ingredients like spinach, kale, collards, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, berries, grapes and watermelon.
We’re sure you’ve heard about all the health benefits to adding spices to your diet. Herbs like basil, cinnamon, rosemary, garlic, oregano and turmeric tend to be especially rich in anti-inflammatory agents. Drinking green tea each day can help to reduce inflammation in your spinal column which helps control back pain and overall stiffness.
Protein Sources from Fish
Find viable protein options in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines.
Foods to Avoid
Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:
- Refined carbohydrates – such as white bread, pastries and processed foods
- Fried foods – including French fries, chips and anything deep fried in oils
- Soda – Any sugar sweetened beverage increases inflammation
- Red meat – Ground beef, burgers, steaks and processed meat like hot dogs
- Margarine – shortening and lard
It’s no surprise that the foods we know to be unhealthy for our body are the very foods that cause inflammation. Making changes to your diet can be difficult. That is why we recommend making consistent, healthy choices over time in order to help reduce inflammation.
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