In your daily struggle against pain and inflammation, are you reaching for a pill bottle, or are you looking for a healthy lifestyle change? That latter choice will do more for you in terms of long-term function, mobility, and safety.
Did you know that you can improve your pain and inflammation by choosing to eat healthier foods? It’s true! Pain and inflammation can be significantly reduced through a combination of better lifestyle choices, healthier eating habits, and physical activity.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural process the body uses to protect itself and to promote healing. During the inflammation process, your body increases its production of white blood cells. Chronic inflammation, however, can damage the body.
Living with continual inflammation can cause pain, swelling, and redness in the affected areas. It can also increase your risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke. There are several ways you can improve your nutrition and decrease pain and inflammation.
How good nutrition can improve pain and inflammation
There are many different kinds of foods that can cause inflammation. You should avoid them or limit them as much as possible. A few include:
- Refined Carbohydrates – These are grains that have had much of the fiber and nutrients stripped out contain processed carbs. All processed carbs that should be avoided or seldom consumed are pasta, pastries, white bread, and white flour.
- Soda – Soda can increase levels of uric acid. This often causes an increase in inflammation and even insulin resistance. Drinking water or tea in place of soda will not only help reduce pain and inflammation but may also help you shed a few pounds.
- Fried Foods – Everything from fried chicken to deep-fried veggies can contribute to inflammation. Eat your veggies raw, steamed, or baked for the most health benefits.
- Red Meat – When developing a diet to minimize pain and inflammation, healthy, lean protein is a key component. Protein strengthens cartilage and muscle. Red meat, particularly meats that are processed, can lead to increased inflammation. Chicken is sometimes considered neutral, while the body battles pain and inflammation in many forms of fish.
Foods that Can Help Reduce Inflammation
Just like there are foods to avoid when it comes to pain and inflammation, there is plenty you can incorporate into your diet to help fight back against pain and inflammation as well. A few of them are as follows:
- Fatty Fish – Wild-caught salmon, sardines, and mackerel are great sources of Omega-3s, which can fight inflammation. They may even limit stiffness in the joints that is sometimes associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Leafy Vegetables – Almost all fruits and vegetables contain what is called phytonutrients that can help fight inflammation.
- Green Tea – Green tea, which can minimize inflammation, is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants. Water that is not higher than 160 degrees is recommended for use when making green tea because many of the antioxidants in it can be killed by water that is too hot.
- Berries – Berries have an abundance of antioxidants that can eliminate inflammation. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all good choices.
- Olive Oil – This is a monounsaturated fat that tastes fantastic and can help reduce inflammation. To receive the most health benefits, make sure to choose olive oil that is extra virgin. After it is refrigerated, olive oil that is genuine extra virgin can solidify.
Regulating your immune system
Some people experience pain and inflammation as a result of autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune disorders are responsible for such painful chronic conditions as rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, selenium, probiotics, and vitamins A and D can help you avoid or control autoimmune diseases, thus helping you enjoy greater comfort and a higher standard of overall wellness.
How can physical therapy play a role in this?
When combined with good eating habits, physical therapy can greatly reduce or even eliminate your pain and inflammation. A physical therapist may recommend activities such as swimming or simple stretching to increase joint flexibility and range of motion. Good nutrition along with a physical therapy treatment plan can help you manage or even eliminate chronic pain by increasing the strength in certain muscles and improving joint stability.
The American Physical Therapy Association states that the connection between pain and nutrition is strong enough that nutritional screening is often recommended. A physical therapist can provide nutritional guidance along with creating an exercise program that targets and reduces the pain and inflammation you’ve been experiencing.
You don’t have to continue living with constant aches and pains when something like physical therapy exists to help you, so what are you waiting for?
Contact our clinic today for more information on healthy living
Instead of relying on surgery or pain medication, an improved diet and a physical therapy program customized to meet your specific needs can help you live pain-free. To learn more about the benefits of physical therapy and a healthy diet, call Health Point Physical Therapy at (586) 630-0474 today. We’ll gladly set you up for an appointment with one of our skilled movement specialists!
- Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Foods That Reduce Inflammation …www.webmd.com › … › Reference