The foods you eat can cause an inflammatory responses that causes or worsens bodily pain and other inflammatory symptoms. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet could improve sensations of pain, mobility, and comfort.
Inflammation is a normal body response that helps fight off infection and heal damaged tissues. Unfortunately, too much inflammation can change from helpful to harmful. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of health problems in the long term, but it can also cause short-term issues like reduced mobility and pain.
Chiropractic may help alleviate some of your inflammation and improve your symptoms that occur alongside inflammation. However, this is often not enough, as chronic inflammation can be worsened by many lifestyle factors, including stress, sleep, and poor diet.
Changing your diet from being filled with pro-inflammatory foods to being filled with anti-inflammatory foods may help reduce chronic inflammation throughout your body over time. Paired with the more immediate relief potentially provided by chiropractic, nutritional changes may help relieve your pain and reduce your need for anti-inflammatory medications.
Some foods are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing these types of foods in your diet, while simultaneously cutting out foods that increase inflammatory responses like sugar, may help reduce your inflammation and pain.
- Fatty fish: Fatty fish are some of the best anti-inflammatory foods because they contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help combat other acids in the body that promote inflammation. Salmon, sardines, and herring are a few examples of anti-inflammatory-rich fish.
- Green tea: Green tea contains an antioxidant compound (also called a catechin) called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG is known to bolster the immune system as well as help reduce inflammation.
- Dark, leafy greens: Dark, leafy vegetables like collards, kale, and spinach contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids and antioxidants, both of which help combat inflammatory responses.
- Turmeric: The popular spice, turmeric, has been shown to contain a variety of healing substances, including antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, is believed to be the main source of the spice’s health benefits.
- Nuts: Most nuts, as well as seeds, contain omega-3 fatty acids and other anti-inflammatory compounds. Eating a handful of nuts and seeds as a snack each day may reduce inflammation and also have other health benefits.*
In addition to adding anti-inflammatory foods to the diet, you should also reduce consumption of pro-inflammatory foods such as grain fed red meat, margarine, and refined carbohydrates.
Food intolerance can also play a role in chronic gastro-intestinal inflammation. Around 20% of the world’s population suffers from food intolerance. Triggers for these reactions can come from everyday staple food items found in many households. Dairy products, eggs, nuts, wheat and gluten products, seafood, corn products, soy, caffeine, and sugar are the foods that are the most common, but there are literally hundreds of other food items which can irritate the lining of the GI tract of sensitive individuals.
Knowing which foods to decrease or eliminate can be very tricky. But advanced testing can be done to determine not only food allergies, but sensitivities as well, giving much more accurate information on what foods to eliminate.
Your health is mutli-faceted. If you ignore one aspect of your health, this can effect all other areas of your health. You are only as strong as your weakest link. Taking the time to make the necessary changes to your health can have long lasting benefit now and into your silver years.
*Information courtesy of www.idealspine.com