Try An Anti-Inflammatory Diet: It Could Be The Answer To Eliminating Your Pain When I say "Inflammation", thoughts of painful joints, muscles, swelling and loss of mobility probably comes to mind.
But did you know that recent research shows that chronic inflammation in your body can lead to serious disease such as diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and Alzheimer's disease, to name just a few?
The amount of inflammation in our body varies and is dependent on may circumstances like activity level, amount of sleep or stress in our lives and even the foods we eat. Now what you have to realize is that these factors are all accumulative and as the levels increase the risk for disease increases.
Now early in life these levels can be so low that you would not even know that you have any inflammation in your body and that is because our bodies do a fair job at controlling the inflammation at least for a while, and than one day you wake up and you are in your 40's and something is just not write and than the fear sets in and you think to your self what did I do, what did I do wrong or what can I do right now to help my self.
Well, the first step is to get your C-Reactive Protein levels tested, you will need to ask you Doctor and may even demand to have the test done, all it takes is a blood sample and than have your levels evaluated by your Doctor and even by a registered dietician to help you formulate a plan of care because our diets can play a large part in achieving optimal health. If you have pain from inflammation you may choose to take the traditional "medical" path for inflammation such as, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), steroids and even joint replacement surgery in severe cases.
The good news is that there are more natural ways to fight inflammation, and they do not have the undesirable side effects caused by most typical medical treatments. What You Eat Makes All The Difference The food we eat is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to controlling inflammation.
The average American diet consists of high fat, high sugar, loads of red meat and a frightening amount of processed foods. These are all likely to increase inflammation, not to mention contributing to obesity, yet another high-inflammatory culprit. By switching to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet plan made up of healthy, whole foods, you can actually decrease inflammation and in turn ease the pain and discomfort associated with it.
The first step is to avoid processed foods, foods high in sugar and junk food whenever possible. Instead choose fresh, whole foods including anti-inflammatory varieties like lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. But choose carefully, in fact even some vegetables and pre-packaged "health" foods can work against you. Use this quick list of the best and worst foods in controlling inflammation: Anti-inflammatory foods Atlantic Salmon- (wild) Fresh whole fruits, vegetables Bright multi-colored vegetables Green tea Water Olive oil Lean poultry Nuts, legumes and seeds Dark green leafy vegetables Old fashioned oatmeal Spices, especially Turmeric and Ginger Pro-inflammatory foods Sugar, from any source Processed foods French Fries Fast Foods White bread Pasta Ice Cream Cheddar Cheeses Snack Foods Oils such as vegetable and corn Soda, caffeine and alcohol In addition to these dietary changes it is also recommended that you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- There is no question that "Heating Healthy" is not easy now days, either at home or at a restaurant. But you must at least start to do these three things. Decrease your sugars, Decrease your hydrogenated oils and increase your daily intake of fiber to 35 grams, that is a ton of fiber but just try, you may hit it, you may not, the point is try to.
- Get better sleep
- 7 to 9 hour is mandatory for optimal health and the one thing that most people do not know it that quality sleep is the key to controlling systemic inflammation.
- Relax more often to lower stress levels
- Find time for yourself, morning, noon and night and focus on your breathing and clear the clutter in your mind, learn to stay focused on the most important tasks in your life.
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Everyone always asks me what it is the best exercise to do and all I can say is "Do something you like to do, granted you can tolerate it, shoot for 15 to 20 minutes 3 times a week.
- Demand to have you CRP levels tested
- This simple blood test is the best indicator of the level of systemic inflammation in your body, It is recommended that you have the levels evaluated by an certified health care provider to take the most appropriate action for you and your condition.
So if you are in pain and you are going to make a conscious choose to help your self get better than... Making these changes to your diet and lifestyle will most certainly improve your overall health and help reduce the pain from inflammation.
By Jesse Cannone CFT, CPRS
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