Chiropractors understand the need to treat the whole body to reduce and alleviate pain. Many types of pain are caused by inflammation. Inflammation is a natural and healthy response to injury; however, chronic inflammation is not. Low-grade chronic inflammation can lead to health problems like obesity, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. If not treated, chronic inflammation can spread throughout the body, causing pain and aggravation. When it comes to nutritional health, the foods can worsen chronic pain. Chiropractors and doctors recommend an anti-inflammation diet for chronic pain.
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When the body gets injured, the nervous system sends signals to the immune system to send chemicals and new red and white blood cells needed for healing. The immune system works correctly when it fights infection by activating when the body recognizes anything foreign entering the system. This could be plant pollen, chemicals, or invading microbes. Studies show that individuals get 50 percent of their calories from sugar, white flour, vegetable oil, and industrial seed oils. These foods are known to increase inflammation in the body. Eating foods that trigger the immune system, like refined white flours or sugar, creates inflammation that does not turn off because the information sent constantly signals an injury exacerbating inflammation and pain.
Foods That Cause Inflammation
The following foods should be avoided or limited as much as possible:
- Sugary beverages and soda drinks.
- Margarine and lard.
- Gluten and white pasta.
- Refined carbohydrates in white bread and pastries.
- Processed meat like sausages and hot dogs.
- Red meat like steaks and burgers.
- Fried foods that are high in trans fats, like chips and fries.
- Excessive alcohol.
Some of these foods have been associated with chronic diseases that include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Crohn’s Disease
- All are related to chronic inflammation.
They can contribute to excess weight gain, another risk factor for inflammation.
Foods Recommended For An Anti-inflammatory Diet
Foods that should be included in the diet for the reduction of inflammation include:
- Dark chocolate.
- Red wine in moderation.
- Nuts like walnuts and almonds.
- Fruits like blueberries, oranges, strawberries, and cherries.
- Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach.
- Fish rich in omega 3s like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel.
- Olive Oil.
- Green tea.
- Coffee has been found to contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can provide some protection in moderation as it is high in caffeine.
Foods high in natural antioxidants include apples and blueberries. Antioxidants are reactive molecules that can reduce the number of free radicals in the diet. A free radical is a molecule that has the potential to alter and damage the cells in the body. Damaged cells increase the risk of disease development.
Chiropractic Inflammation Relief
Chiropractic physiotherapy strengthens the body by strengthening the immune system removing any blockage. This maintains the natural flow of blood and nutrients throughout the body, increasing the immune system’s defense. Changing to an anti-inflammation diet can help boost the immune system but can be a challenging adjustment. Discuss available options to manage pain relief and inflammation.
Muscle Is Not Just For Athletes
Many individuals think that muscle gain is only necessary for athletes. Not everyone wants to be muscular, but everyone needs to be able to fight off sickness from infection/s. Muscle is made up primarily of water and protein. Protein is an essential macronutrient that the body needs to function correctly. When the body enters a stressed state like becoming sick, the body’s protein demands suddenly increase up to four times the amount usually required. If the body does not get the necessary protein from the food, it will begin to take what it needs from the muscles and start breaking them down. If muscles aren’t sufficiently developed or underdeveloped, the body becomes reduced in its ability and strength to fight off infections and increases the chances for future ones.
Haß, Ulrike et al. “Anti-Inflammatory Diets and Fatigue.” Nutrients vol. 11,10 2315. 30 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11102315
Owczarek, Danuta et al. “Diet and nutritional factors in inflammatory bowel diseases.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 22,3 (2016): 895-905. doi:10.3748/wjg.v22.i3.895
Sears, Barry. “Anti-inflammatory Diets.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition vol. 34 Suppl 1 (2015): 14-21. doi:10.1080/07315724.2015.1080105
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