It is five days into the New Year! I hope you are all feeling confident that you can overcome your battle with chronic pain. If you do not yet have a list of resolutions, or you know you want to do something but don’t know where to start, here are a few tips. These center on specific foods that we enjoy eating, but often worsen pain. Now is the time to adhere to a new anti-pain diet.
There are certain foods that can intensify pain, and others can improve it by fighting inflammation. Here are some foods that you should try to avoid because they can lead to inflammation and pain:
Ice cream and cheese are delicious. It’s hard to say no to either one. But, lactose is a sugar that is hard to digest. This can cause gastrointestinal pain and discomfort. Dairy products also contain a protein called casein which can lead to a painful inflammatory response if you have difficulty digesting it. If you often feel ill after eating dairy products, consider limiting them significantly this year to see how you feel without them.
Fried and Processed Foods
I don’t think anyone would be surprised that these foods should be eaten in moderation. Junk food doesn’t really make anyone feel good, and there’s a reason for that. We all need healthy fats in our diet, but fried foods contain omega-6 fats which are pro-inflammatory and can exacerbate pain. The same is true for processed foods. Basically anything you consume out of a bag or package should be reduced as much as possible.
Eggs and Meat
These foods also produce pro-inflammatory molecules like arachidonic acid and purines. The fat in the meat, especially red meat, is not healthy for the digestive system; so, try to reduce intake.
If you have celiac disease, you know what you need to do. All of those leftover holiday goodies should go in the trash, not your stomach.
Some healthy alternatives to these foods include leafy greens, walnuts, fresh fruit and berries (especially dark berries and cherries), and flaxseed. Try to cut your intake of the pro-inflammatory foods this year, and then note whether your pain eases and whether your energy improves.
Lastly, exercise compliments healthy food consumption. There is quite a bit of research on the pain-fighting properties of aerobic and weight bearing exercise, especially for low back pain. It’s tempting to avoid exercise for fear that it will worsen pain, but the less you exercise the more deconditioned you become; and then when you do move, it hurts even more.
Try some of the less intense activities like swimming, riding a stationary bike, or just walking regularly. Don’t give up and don’t let the pain interfere with your ability to enjoy life. Try avoiding foods that can worsen pain while focusing on a new exercise program this year.
Remember, no one is immune to pain, but together we can overcome it.
Source Information: KimberlySnyder.com