Did you know that getting relief from inflammation is as easy as changing your diet? There really are foods that fight inflammation. Adding them to your diet can help you live with less pain.
Inflammation is part of injury
Physical therapists try and help people with injury, and are often asked about other ways that patients can help after their therapy. Changing diet is one way. Injuries or illnesses often cause or result from inflammation. Inflammation is our body’s response to injury and is a necessary part of the healing process. The problem comes in when either the process stops and the inflammation becomes chronic, or the inflammation gets in the way of what you need to do to help the healing process.
Inflammation and diet
Some causes of inflammation, or factors that aggravate inflammation caused by injury are saturated fats, sugar, environmental toxins, and stress. There are specific foods that you can add, and other general guidelines to follow to reduce the amounts of foods in your current diet that aggravate inflammation.
Some of the general guidelines are things like: adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet; reducing the amount of foods that contain saturated fats, trans-fats, refined carbohydrates (white rice, pasta), refined sugars and processed foods; adding more foods with omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts); and add in more whole grains (barley, oats). Diets that have higher amounts of lean protein, plant based foods, and olive oil.
Some specific foods that you could add into your diet are:
- tart cherries, either a cup of tart cherry juice or 1.5 cups of tart cherries per day
whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and barley which decrease the inflammation related C-reactive protein
- fatty fish like salmon, tuna, cod, and halibut, or fish oil supplements, all of which have omega-3 fatty acids
- soy, including soy milk, tofu, and edamame, which are rich in isoflavones that decrease C-reactive proteins
- nuts like almonds and walnuts which are high in antioxidants
- berries like red raspberries and blueberries which are high in antioxidants and anthocyanins
- ginger and olive oil
- turmeric which stops the NF-Kappa B, a protein that is involved in regulating the immune system and triggering inflammation
- green tea which is high in antioxidants
Changing your diet can help reduce your inflammation and also help with other health issues. Why not try it?