Discover Pain and Inflammation Relief Through Nutritional Changes
If you already see a physical therapist for internal inflammation and your diet, you already know that this is a problem that can seriously affect your overall health. Whether you have a clear diagnosis of your inflammation (such as osteoarthritis), or you're not fully know the causes of your back and joint pain, physical therapy will help.
According to Harvard Health, chronic inflammation can also lead to a variety of health ailments such as heart disease and diabetes. Eating healthy is one way to reduce your inflammation. Your physical therapist can prescribe a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods for extra pain relief. Read on to learn more about what kind of food triggers inflammation, and what foods you can consume to minimize inflammation, too!
Make sure you’re eating your fruits and veggies!
Have you ever noticed how the colors of the suggested fruit and vegetables produce a rainbow? This "rainbow" of fruit and vegetables is good for heart health and improved immunity.
Eating colorful food also battles inflammation. Try to add more colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet.
Dark green vegetables (such as spinach and kale), orange vegetables (such as sweet potatoes and carrots), red and purple fruits and vegetables (such as tomatoes and beets), and yellow vegetables (such as corn and sweet peppers) are excellent options for salads and snacks.
Try adding in herbs, spices, and supplements
When you’re searching for healthy substitutions, look for more nutritional foods and options that will make a direct impact on your inflammation and swelling. Add these to what you’re eating every week, and see if your health improves overall in response.
Many herbs, spices, and supplements are anti-inflammatory and can provide exceptional pain relief. Fish oil and multivitamin pills are two supplements that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Choosing a good herbal supplement such as green tea, cat’s claw, devil’s claw, and boswellia are great ways to develop a healthier diet. Turmeric and fresh or powdered ginger are also good options to sprinkle on foods or steep as a soothing beverage. There are tons of great recipes out there for herbal drinks as well!
What should I consider when choosing nutritious foods?
Don't worry, there are plenty of safe and simple alternatives to over-processed, unhealthy food. You can exchange white bread with whole grain, white rice with brown rice, and semolina pasta with garbanzo bean pasta! Instead of eating a hamburger for lunch, consider switching to healthier alternatives such as fish, chicken, or vegetarian burgers.
Make sure that if you're taking fish oil pills to protect your omega-3 inflammation, you're also adding more real fish to your diet! The fish with the highest Omega-3 fats are herring, salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, and tuna. All of these can provide some relief when inflammation is the cause of your discomfort.
Knowing how to properly prepare your food for an anti-inflammatory diet is also relevant. You should not fry your food or order fried food at restaurants or for takeout. Instead, select food that has been grilled, roasted, or steamed!
For side dishes, choose salads, greens, or fresh salsa. Also consider dressings such as vinaigrettes, greek yogurt, lemon juice, and olive oil instead of side dishes containing creamy sauces or dressings.
What foods could be contributing to my inflammation?
Oftentimes, people choose convenience over health when it comes to what they eat. One of the fastest ways to reverse inflammation caused by an unhealthy diet is to stop consuming the foods associated with it! This means that if you want ultimate pain relief, you will need to adjust how you view preparing meals and what snacks you’re eating throughout the day.
You might be reading this and groaning, “I already know I eat so many things that aren’t good for me! I just ate an oatmeal cream pie an hour ago!” This is the truth - you probably do already know that sugary foods are bad for your waistline and your heart, so that’s no surprise there. Whether your favorite snack foods are overly sweet or salty, it’s time to start slowly easing them out of your meals and opting for healthier snacks in between.
Junk food and processed packaged meals are full of added sugar, preservatives, and unhealthy trans fat. You should also avoid eating too much red meat, fried foods, doughnuts, pastries, white rice, and white bread. These are some of the worst options for you to eat if you’re particularly sensitive to inflammation and painful flare-ups.
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True, nutrition and a balanced diet will help battle inflammation, but that's not all! It is necessary to talk with a physical therapist about other ways to minimize inflammation and pain and to remain flexible.
Physical therapists will show you how to adapt your workout routine to suit your dietary changes. Together these improvements will reduce the pain and inflammation that causes you discomfort.
Please contact our office today to learn more about how physical therapy and an anti-inflammatory diet can make a difference in your life!