“A patient’s diet can have a large effect on their healing ability and their pain. A high inflammatory diet often contributes to a patient’s chronic pain” Dr. Damon NotoHow anti-inflammatory diet can help the healing of your chronic pain…
Our bodies are such incredible machines that are capable of things we cannot even fathom. Internally, it is constantly hard at work trying to repair us from all the toxins and stress we kindly deliver ever so frequently. Inflammation occurs when the body is trying to heal itself, which is a good thing. This becomes a cause for concern when the body is under a continuous amount of stress and requires an inflammatory response to often, otherwise known as chronic inflammation. As of lately, there has been much talk linking inflammation as a contributor to different diseases like heart disease, inflammatory bowl disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, atherosclerosis, diverticulitis and diabetes, chronic pain to name a few.
Like most machines, we need to fuel our bodies appropriately. We need an adequate amount of sleep, plenty of water and healthy food. Inflammation usually develops from oxidative stress, and one of the greatest causes of oxidative stress is the food we eat. So yet again, it becomes apparent that adapting to a diet that consists mainly of fruits and vegetables would be ideal because they are high in inflammation–reducing antioxidants. It is recommended to reduce the amount of high glycemic foods (ie. Sugar and refined flour), and add more non- tropical fruits like berries, grapes, peaches and plums, along with dark leafy greens and root vegetables. The reason behind this is because our bodies function best when our blood sugar is kept constant. When our sugar drops that’s when we begin to become sleepy and hungry. When our blood sugar spikes, the pancreas secretes more insulin to try to bring it back down to normal, but while that is happening, all the extra sugar is being stored in the body as fat. This is precisely why eating high glycemic foods should be avoided. Consuming a diet consisting of high GI foods poses as an even bigger issue to people who suffer from diabetes because they are incapable of producing insulin therefore their sugar rises much higher.
Aside from avoiding simple carbohydrates, the anti-inflammatory diet also focuses on choosing the right fats and proteins. In a study done at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, researchers examined how the consumption of different fats affected oxidative stress and inflammation in overweight adults. They found that different types of fat do indeed effect inflammation and cause oxidative stress.
Furthermore, with unhealthy foods being so accessible, choosing the right proteins and fats has become something rather difficult to accomplish. Grain fed beef, and processed or cultured meats are sadly of great abundance. This means we are eating a much greater percentage of Omega- 6 fats and not enough omega-3 fats, which provide our body with energy and essential fat. Omega-3 fats have been proven to support functions in the brain, blood vessels, immune system and bone health.
Chronic inflammation can cause calcium to be removed from bones, which then makes them become weaker and shrink. This leads to diseases such as osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. According to a study done in Pennsylvania University, saturated fatty acids are severely detrimental to bone health because lipid oxidation, calcium absorption, inflammatory processes and osteoblast differentiation cause a reduction in bone mineral density. Through their studies, the researchers found that diets that included more Omega- 3 fatty acids experienced less inflammation and proved to have a positive affect on bone health.
The anti-inflammatory diet also recommends including many different spices and herbs such as; turmeric, oregano, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and green tea because these items are filled with bioflavonoids and polyphenols which help limit inflammation and the formation of free radicals. Through research, ginger and turmeric have shown to be the most popular suggestion because chemically they are similar to anti-inflammatory medications.
By avoiding inflammatory foods such as sugar, red and processed meats, vegetable oils, refined grains and of course alcohol, our bodies will be able to function more effectively. There are simple solutions to decrease the amount of inflammation we cause our bodies to create. Venturing out doors and soaking in the most natural form of vitamin D from sunshine, a little more physical activity, and avoiding foods that have an expiration date that may be six months away are manageable approaches to creating a healthier you.