Although there is no dietary cure to relieve arthritis pain completely, the old adage “You are what you eat” definitely applies when coping with the condition of chronic pain in inflamed and stiff joints. Many foods in the typical modern diet include those that actually encourage a state of inflammation in the body and can contribute to pain, including dairy, highly processed and refined carbohydrates and sugars, and saturated and trans fats. How can your dietary choices contribute to inflammation, and what can you add to your meal plan to help ease arthritis pain?
How Can Food Fan the Flames?
In a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, chiropractor David Seaman concluded that nearly all degenerative diseases, including arthritis, have the same underlying biochemical etiology, which is a diet-induced proinflammatory state. It turns out that the processed foods we eat can trigger a response in the body that mimics injury or infection, causing a constant state of low-grade, chronic inflammation. This always keeps our immune system in “go mode,” eventually breaking down just about every system in the body and causing pain and disease. What can you add to your diet to put out the fire and ease arthritis pain?
Be Less Refined
Switching from highly-processed, refined sugars and carbohydrates like breads and pastas to whole, clean foods like yams or brown rice, or grains like quinoa or barley, will help to reduce the after-meal spike in blood sugar and insulin levels. These could contribute to cytokine production, which is an important messenger protein in the inflammation response.
Pump Up the Produce
The more fruits and vegetables you can eat, the lower your levels of inflammation and pain, because they contain hundreds of substances that eliminate inflammation-causing free radicals. Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage also contain sulforophane, which has been shown to slow cartilage damage in joints due to osteoarthritis.
Change Your Oil
It’s important to eliminate the saturated and trans fats found in many processed foods. Fats found in olive oil have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Polyunsaturated fats like omega-3’s, which are found in salmon, tuna, or trout, will fight inflammation by providing the healthy fats your body needs but can’t make on its own.
Spice Things Up
One of the best inflammation fighters isn’t even a food, it’s a spice. Turmeric, a yellow spice popular in the Indian cuisine, contains a compound called curcumin. The International Journal of Molecular Sciences reported that “curcumin would be beneficial in the management of chronic inflammatory-related joint disease,” which Indians have known and used for centuries.
Now You “C” Me
The University of South Florida concluded that the antioxidants in vitamin C might slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Apparently, individuals who reported taking the vitamin supplements were 11% less likely to develop knee osteoarthritis than those who didn’t. Foods like cherries, kiwi, pineapple, cantaloupe, and citrus are excellent sources.
Is Your Main Focus to Ease Arthritis Pain?
According to Dr. Seaman, treatment programs for chronic conditions like arthritis must also include nutritional protocols to reduce the proinflammatory state. If you’ve made some healthier food choices and are still experiencing pain, we at Advanced Wellness and Rehab welcome you to explore your treatment options so you can experience a pain free life again. Call us today for a complimentary consultation.