Home Remedies: How Healthy Eating Can Help Manage Pain | Health, medicine and fitness
Good nutrition is an important part of your overall health. A healthy diet should include a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean protein, and healthy fats. This gives your body the nutrients and energy it needs to function properly.
And a well-balanced diet is also vital for boosting your body’s immune system and healing power. That’s why nutrition can be your ally in the fight against pain and inflammation.
“Lifestyle changes are very important in helping a person manage their overall pain,” says Dr. Tina Ardon, family physician at the Mayo Clinic. “Two important things to think about from the start are healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight. Both of these things can have a big impact on how a person deals with their pain.
“Is your diet helping… or is it hurting?” “Research indicates there is a link between diet and inflammation,” she said. “Although this is a normal process in response to injury or infection, inflammation can sometimes turn into a chronic process and spread throughout the body. “Long-term inflammation is linked to several diseases and conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. We know that certain foods can contribute to or exacerbate inflammation, while other foods may actually be helpful in reducing or preventing inflammation. “
Ardon said: “Some clues that can make us think of a nutritional deficiency can be joint pain, fatigue, disturbed sleep. Even some skin signs can indicate a nutritional deficiency. So, if a patient is concerned that this may be something they are facing, they should speak to their health care provider and talk about the appropriate tests and exams. “
Pro-inflammatory foods are foods that can contribute to inflammation. Most processed foods are pro-inflammatory because they tend to be high in unhealthy fats (including saturated and trans fats), added sugars, preservatives, and refined carbohydrates.
“In terms of foods that can be pro-inflammatory, these are foods that include processed foods, carbohydrates, high sugars, unhealthy fats,” Ardon said. Fried foods, pastries, processed grains, white rice, white potatoes, sugar, breads, and red meat are also pro-inflammatory foods.
“Foods that can help reduce inflammation are things like our fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, that sort of thing,” Ardon said.
The nutrients in some foods have anti-inflammatory or analgesic properties that can help relieve pain. Anti-inflammatory foods can include:
- Fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in modifying the inflammatory process and regulating pain. Salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel and herring are rich in these fats. Soy foods, walnuts, pecans, and ground flax seeds are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Colorful fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens, avocados, beets, and berries, are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants can prevent, delay, or repair certain types of cell and tissue damage. Antioxidants include certain vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, carotene, lycopene, and flavonoids. A wide variety of other foods are also rich in antioxidants, such as lentils and beans; nuts and seeds; whole grains; green tea; and some spices, such as ginger and turmeric.
- Certain food supplements
Dietary supplements that have been shown to help provide a healthy balance of inflammatory chemicals in your body include Cat’s Claw, Devil’s Claw, Ginger Root, Turmeric, and Boswellia (Frankincense). Other non-plant food supplements, including omega-3 fish oil and antioxidants, are helpful when you are not getting enough of these nutrients in your diet.
“Recently, there has been a lot of talk about vitamin D, omega-3s, turmeric, and probiotics,” Ardon said. “These may be helpful for some patients, but always recommend reviewing these recommendations with your doctor.” Always consult your health care provider before starting a supplement regimen, as some dietary supplements can interact with prescription medications.
“I always encourage patients to contact their primary care provider or other health care professionals in their care to make sure any dietary changes or supplements they want to add to their regimen are safe and sound. based on their medical history and medications. said Ardon.