How to Eat your way out of Pain and Reduce Inflammation in your Body
Often times when patients arrive at our clinic they are in pain and inflammation usually plays some sort of role in this. Whenever pain occurs in our body there is usually a physical component (poor posture, falls, lifting something the wrong way), a psychological component (stress, anxiety, depression), and a nutritional/chemical component (what we eat/drink/smoke etc.). The information below focuses on the nutritional/chemical side of pain and includes some simple things you can do outside the clinic to get out of pain and feeling great as quickly as possible!
The inflammatory response in our bodies goes deeper than just a cut, bruise, sprain or strain. This response is also activated in chronic conditions such as obesity, depression, and poor self-rated health, all of which are risk factors for chronic pain. Furthermore, inadequate sleep, stress, poor dietary choices, low hydration levels, chemical consumption all create inflammation within our bodies.
Research has connected spinal pain to increased Body Mass Index (BMI) and increased inflammation – commonly known as Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X. This is the systemic inflammatory state that is thought to promote a host of chronic or inflammatory diseases such as cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and you guessed it…. musculoskeletal pain (including degeneration to our joints)!
We can appreciate that what we eat has an effect on our health. There are so many different diets which preach different things. This post isn’t about the best diet, it is here to educate you on particular food groups which may be more responsible for activating this inflammatory response.
I don’t know about you, but I would rather fight then feed the source of the cause.
When fighting inflammation, you may hear one of our team members recommend you to:
Reduce primary refined oils:
- Corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed and soybean oils. They have high amounts of linoleic acid which is associated with increasing pro-inflammatory and pain producing hormones like prostaglandin E2.
Reduce over-fat animal products
- Although delicious, dairy combines high saturated fats, which can trigger adipose tissue (fat tissue)
Reduce refined sugar and flour products
- Corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, white flour, white bread/ pasta .
- They raise blood sugar levels and promote inflammation within the body
But how do we avoid this?
If possible, try and shop around the outside aisles when you are in the grocery store. Here you will find your more natural sources of food like fruits, vegetables, and meats. The inside aisles are usually filled with pre-packeted products that are filled with the hidden nasties mentioned above!
What can we replace and how much?
Increase lean meats: ¼ of the plate
- Wild white fish, turkey, chicken breast, kangaroo, trimmed red meats
Have a side of root vegetables instead of grain: ¼ of the plate
- Please stop hating on potato’s, I’m so sad they get such a bad reputation.
- Please love them, they actually have a great variety of vitamins and minerals.
- Just avoid cooking them in refined oils.
Increase Cruciferous vegetables: ½ your plate
- Greens, greens, greens!!!!
- But also colour, make your plate as colourful and creative as possible.
And yes…. you can still have a nice glass of preservative free organic wine or some quality dark chocolate in moderation 😉
Instead of cooking with pre-made sauces try cooking with different herbs and botanicals. Try adding turmeric and black pepper for more anti-inflammatory effects.
You may want to include supplements such as:
- Proteolytic enzymes
- White willow bark
- Ginger, turmeric, boswellia
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin D
- Coenzyme Q10
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid
This is general advice only and should always be followed up with your trusted health professional before making any sudden changes to your current diet.