Living with chronic pain can be extremely difficult. People aware of the numerous side effects of medications tend to avoid them. However, simply enduring pain isn’t the ultimate solution. Experts have found a connection between healthy eating and chronic pain. Healthy foods can reduce inflammation inside the body and promote an overall healthy lifestyle. Everybody knows the benefits of eating a nutritious diet, but only a few have an insight into the pain-relieving aspect of it. Along with regular exercise and controlled stress, a healthy diet is considered a major part of pain management. Although you will have to give up on certain foods, healthy eating isn’t boring at all. It just requires you to avoid excessive processed food that can harm your body.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural bodily reaction. When your body is injured, the immune system activates inflammatory cells to protect the body from outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. It is necessary to heal wounds or sickness completely. After the healing process, the inflammation leaves with the injury. If it doesn’t, then it may lead to chronic inflammation. Pain and inflammation are directly linked, so there are high chances that your chronic pain is inflamed. Chronic inflammation can cause heart diseases, arthritis, cancers, and even diabetes.
How Does Diet Impact Chronic Pain?
Just like some foods can help in weight loss, certain foods can reduce pain, as well. Food isn’t only related to your weight and managing diseases; it can also increase or decrease pain. When healing from an injury, your body requires vitamins and minerals to regenerate muscles and broken bones. The right foods can make the healing quicker and permanent. On the other hand, a good diet can improve your mood, which in turn lowers stress levels. Junk food and sugary snacks can make your body exhausted, whereas healthy meals can keep you energetic throughout the day. As a whole, a healthy diet has many advantages for your brain and body – the combination that is responsible for pain management.
An Anti-inflammatory Diet
An anti-inflammatory diet is the fastest way to reduce inflammation in the body. It offers criteria of foods that should be included in a diet to relieve pain. A powerful diet that fits in the category is the famous Mediterranean diet. An anti-inflammatory diet is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
The Requirements of Anti-inflammatory Diet
Fruits and Vegetables
Eating about eight servings of vegetables rich, preferably raw. Some vitamins have anti-inflammatory effects that work against infections and diseases, statement retrieved from Health Canal. Vegetables like kale, cabbage, and brussel sprouts are rich in vitamins. While vegetables should be your main focus in an anti-inflammatory diet, including some deeply colored fruits, like berries, can be beneficial for your body.
Reduced Dairy and Grains
You need to restrict simple carbs with refined sugars from your diet for quick relief and promised results. It also includes dairy products, such as cheese and milk. Replacing them with whole grains, including barley, brown rice, and oats, can bring anti-inflammatory benefits to your body. Avoiding your favorite desserts can be difficult, but it is worth relieving pain.
Limit Red Meat
It is important to reduce the consumption of red meat, as it can be harmful to your healing. Red meat requires more energy to break down, which slows down the healing process. An anti-inflammatory diet should be plant-based, but including chicken and fish is an option too. However, chicken doesn’t have any anti-inflammatory benefits, nor does it have any disadvantages.
Foods to Avoid
Inflammatory foods can increase chronic pain in your body, so they should be avoided and consumed in a limited amount. They include processed and greasy food, such as sweets and sugary drinks. Diet experts recommend removing all added sugars, even honey, as they’re harmful to your body. Dairy products and all sorts of junk food are included in this category, too.
Weight and Inflammation
Excess weight is linked with several health conditions, such as heart diseases and cholesterol. It may contribute to chronic pain, as well. When you have joint pain or back pain, you are advised to avoid lifting heavy objects. However, being overweight itself adds extra fats and weight to your body, and you cannot stop carrying it every day. Science believes that people with excess fat in their bodies are more likely to have inflammation and worsen any existing pain. It can lead to headaches, lower back pain, arthritis, and abdominal pain. A healthy diet helps in losing weight, as diet is the main part of weight loss. As you lose weight, you will notice changes in your chronic pain, too.
How to Add Anti-inflammatory Foods to Diet?
If you have been experiencing chronic pain for a prolonged period, it is critical to consult a doctor. They can create an anti-inflammatory diet plan for you to relieve chronic pain. However, some people prefer taking supplements with reliable reviews from physicians. While supplements can be beneficial, it is still necessary to make healthy changes to your diet.