Eating Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Decrease Your Pain
Old or young, far too many of us deal with painful chronic inflammatory conditions. For me, the problem is arthritis. Pills and shots help, but they do not get rid of out-of-control inflammation. Can eating the right food help?
A healthy diet plays an important part in your general well-being. So it only makes sense that diet impacts inflammation. For chronic inflammation, science backs that up. Pain becomes chronic when inflammation takes root, refusing to go away in spite of all the best medicine. Acute inflammation, such as a twisted knee, is sudden and stops once the site is healed. Chronic pain is the guest that refuses to leave. This is where plants can help.
A largely plant based diet offers much of what you need to soothe inflammation. Eating the right foods not only helps get you healthy, but it can also take the edge off chronic pain. Perhaps you feel badly from fibromyalgia and, quite understandably, stopped cooking as it is so much easier to rely on convenience items. Or, maybe you never did eat particularly well and when arthritis made cooking difficult, you began using the drive through more often. Yes, you hurt. I do too, and understand why good intentions transformed into a low quality diet.
It took your body some time to arrive at this overly inflamed state of being. Give anti-inflammatory ways of eating a little time to work before deciding that improving your diet does not take care of the pain. Interestingly, a side effect of enjoying anti-inflammatory foods is that you simply won’t have as much room in your stomach for calorie dense foods and you may lose a pound or so… also beneficial for your pain.
Ok, so does all this mean that we cannot use food as a pain pill for immediate relief? It would be nice to just take two oranges and feel better. While there is not a whole lot in the way of clinical studies, there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that says you may indeed feel relief from eating certain foods.
We are individuals and will react to an anti-inflammatory food in our own unique way. What follows is a list of fast-acting anti-inflammatory foods that stand the best chance of providing reliable relief.
Fast Acting Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Chronic conditions lead to eating poorly, which leads to even less energy. When you do not feel good the choice is more often the couch instead of the sidewalk. The lack of activity weakens your body further and involves more doctor visits and prescriptions. The resultant stress convinces the body to remain in a state of inflammation.
Whew. No wonder we hurt. If you are in pain, what have you got to lose? Make sure your medicines and condition do not preclude any of the foods on this list. Then, sample them one at a time in your own controlled experiment to find which one works for you. If none do, check this link for more things to try.
Begin with items that are easy to eat out of hand. Ginger is in tea. Grapes, cherries, and walnuts already come in bite sized servings. Edamame is fine frozen or fresh – just microwave a few seconds and sprinkle with salt if you like. Turmeric, with the ground black pepper that makes it work better, even comes in pill form. Eat from this list to get yourself feeling better so you can cook a little.
Eat mindfully and observe your body’s response. Many books and websites describe anti-inflammatory diets, but you do not need to follow any specific diet. Just eat from nature as often as possible and pay mindful attention to how you feel.
What food brings you pain relief? Encourage others with your story. Tweak or totally renovate? What topic would you like to see in the Healthy Eating blog? Share your suggestion here or send them to me in a pm.
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