Chronic or recurring pain in any part of the body can take a lot out of a person. It can affect your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Pain can cause you to lose good-quality sleep, your appetite, and the ability to perform even the smallest tasks like typing or opening a bottle. Whether the pain is caused by trauma, repetitive stress injury, or an underlying condition, managing it is essential for your quality of life.
Fortunately, there are many ways to treat pain. You can go the conventional route and take pain medication to alleviate the pain, or you can visit a pain clinic or a chiropractor to address the root cause. Whatever route you take, it’s important to complement your treatment with proper nutrition.
And if you’re looking for a diet that can work to ease your pain, the anti-inflammatory diet is your best bet. Continue reading to know what this diet is, which foods to eat, and
Anti-inflammatory Diet: The Basics
The anti-inflammatory diet is roughly based on the long list of foods that have been proven to relieve and prevent pain. It’s not a strict program but a list of recommendations for people prone to experiencing inflammatory pain. It’s also a good diet for those suffering from conditions like arthritis and joint diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergies.
The anti-inflammatory diet is premised on the biological fact that some people have more inflammatory markers in their bodies than others. This is especially true for people with type 2 diabetes and heart conditions.
Inflammation, whether acute or chronic, happens when a physical factor (an injury, exposure to a substance, or a viral or bacterial infection) triggers an immune reaction. In some cases, this will lead to pain and swelling. Depending on your condition, your doctor will recommend medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and corticosteroids.
In addition to medication, lifestyle changes can also help you manage pain. And the best place to start is by reducing your consumption of refined sugars and fats and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet.
Below are some of the best foods that can help you fight inflammatory pain.
Anti-inflammatory Foods to Beat Pain
Fatty fish like tuna and salmon are the best sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that can keep inflammation at bay. You can also eat other fatty fish like sardines, herring, and black cod. These foods not only help alleviate pain but are also generally good for your health.
Sweet potatoes are a staple in many regions and are considered by nutritionists as a superfood. This is because they are loaded with nutrients like beta-carotene, which is converted by your body into vitamin A. Vitamin A has been proven to improve your immune function. So be sure to include sweet potatoes in your diet to naturally prevent vitamin A deficiency.
Consuming a healthy amount of dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt can help increase your body’s ability to fight off inflammation, all thanks to calcium. You can also opt for other natural sources of calcium, such as leafy green vegetables. Initially, dairy was considered inflammatory, but recent studies have proved otherwise. Just opt for those with lower amounts of saturated fats.
There’s a reason why drinking a glass of red wine can be miraculous for your health. This is because red grapes are rich in anthocyanins that reduce inflammation and reduce one’s risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and eye conditions. They are also rich in antioxidants which help reduce cellular damage. So be sure to have that glass of red wine or eat a cup of red grapes daily.
By simply switching your bag of chips with nuts like cashew, almond, walnut, and pistachio, you can beat inflammation. Nuts are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), vitamin E, and magnesium, all of which can keep your inflammation under control.
Coffee is your best anti-inflammatory drink as it’s loaded with antioxidants, caffeine, and polyphenol, which can all help alleviate your pain. It can also lower your risk for conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Foods to Avoid
People suffering from inflammatory conditions should avoid certain foods as these can exacerbate their symptoms. These foods include:
- Nightshade vegetables — these include tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers.
- Processed foods — foods that contain huge amounts of saturated fats and carbohydrates can fuel your inflammation. These include bread, chips, pasta, rice, sugary drinks and foods, pastries, and frozen meat.
Regain control of your health and say goodbye to pain by including these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet.