Inflammation- How can diet help reduce the pain?
By changing what you eat you can effectively reduce chronic inflammation- and therefore reducing the pain.
This may not be as instant as popping a pill, however you should feel the difference after a few weeks into the changed eating habit.
Here is a breakdown of what is good for you if you are suffering from an inflammatory condition according to the current research. It is pretty much the sensible healthy diet we all should have.
Eat more oily fish and walnuts: The Omega 3 in herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon, flaxseed, hempseed as well as walnuts reduces inflammation. This is very useful for arthritic complaints and reduces the morning stiffness and swollen, tender joints. Also extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, hempseed oil and walnut oil are anti-inflammatory fats.
Eat more dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, beans and seeds. The magnesium in the green leafy veg encourages proper calcium absorption (which otherwise gets dumped as painful crystals in and around joints) and helps muscles relax.. Dark leafy greens, onions, garlic and peppers are high in antioxidants. They also contain inflammation-fighting carotenoids, vitamin K and vitamin E.
Eat more spices: Turmeric and ginger have both been proven to be very powerful anti-inflammatory spices. The herbs rosemary and oregano are also high in bioflavenoids and polyphenols that reduce inflammation and limit free radicals.
Eat more fresh fruit when you are craving something sweet: By picking pineapple, papaya, mango or guava you are munching on digestive enzymes that help reduce the acidity in the body. Antioxidant high fruit like blueberries is also anti-inflammatory.
Drink more water and green tea: Dehydration triggers joint pain and green tea is anti-inflammatory.
Drink less alcohol and caffeine: They use up magnesium , vitamin B and vitamin C and also trigger inflammation.
Eat less sugar: Sugar increases inflammation and if you have loads of it, the increased weight puts added pressure on the joints and so generates further pain (especially in arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia). Raised insulin and glucose levels raise levels of pro-inflammatory messengers.
Eat less processed food and white goods: foods with a high glycemic index give you no nutrients and just provide you with empty calories which again is bad for the joints when you put on weight. Instead try different grains. Again the raised insulin and glucose levels raise levels of pro-inflammatory messengers.
Eat less saturated fats: The omega 6 in red meat and dairy products is linked to increased levels of inflammatory chemicals (cytokines) as well as their inflammatory content of arachidonic acid. Also corn, sunflower, peanut and soybean oils promote inflammation via the hormone-like compound they are metabolised in.
Reducing inflammation is not just about what you eat. But about an overall pattern. Regular low impact exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, low stress levels, good sleep and making sure that your body functions properly is vital to reduce inflammation and arthritis.