Some 50 million people, or about 20% of adults, in the United States live with chronic pain. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can provide a powerful means of minimizing this pain, whether you pair it with medical treatment or use it on its own.
Before making any significant changes to your diet, be sure to seek approval from your doctor, keeping in mind that nutritional shifts shouldn’t replace prescribed treatment.
For guidance and support, contact Monarque Health & Wellness. Our team of experts would love to help you change your eating habits for the better.
How an anti-inflammatory diet helps
Inflammation in the body can both derive from and fuel a broad range of conditions and diseases, such as heart disease and arthritis, many of which are associated with chronic pain. By eating more foods that reduce the body’s inflammatory responses and fewer foods that stimulate inflammation, you’re less likely to experience related pain.
Anti-inflammatory diet basics
An anti-inflammatory diet emphasizes whole, nutritious foods, such as:
- Colorful fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains, such as oats and brown rice
- Lean protein sources, such as legumes and tofu
- Healthy fat sources, such as cold-water fish, nuts, and avocado
These foods provide antioxidants, which are potentially damaging molecules in the body that increase your risk for certain diseases and tend to spur inflammation. The omega-3 fats in oily fish, walnuts, and flax seeds are known to lower inflammatory responses.
While you work to emphasize these items in your diet, limit inflammatory foods, such as added sugars, white flour, deep-fried foods, and fatty meats and cheeses. You should also avoid any foods you don’t tolerate well. If you’re gluten-intolerant, for example, avoid wheat, barley, and rye products.
A sample anti-inflammatory diet day
Focusing on the delicious foods you can enjoy tends to be more effective than focusing on restriction, or what you shouldn’t eat. At each meal, incorporate nutritious foods you do enjoy — or find ways to make them more tantalizing.
A day of anti-inflammatory eating might look something like this:
Oatmeal topped with berries and a drizzle of pure maple syrup
A large kale salad topped with grilled salmon, plus a moderate amount of oil and vinegar
A whole-grain roll
A small handful of mixed nuts or seeds
A grilled bean and lentil patty served over brown rice
Warmed apple slices dusted with cinnamon for dessert
When you have a treat food, such as ice cream, stick to modest portion sizes. To add anti-inflammatory benefits, top your treat with fresh fruit. For even more pain-reducing perks, engage in approved physical activity, manage stress, and prioritize sufficient nightly sleep.
If you have questions about anti-inflammatory diet benefits or ways to best invite them, contact our office either by phone or by booking online.