If you struggle with chronic pain, paying attention to what you eat is an important part of your pain management plan. Chronic pain is often linked with chronic inflammation – and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your daily menu can reduce your symptoms.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation occurs when your body activates its immune system to protect itself from outside influences, such as an infection or an injury. The inflammation usually subsides once your body has healed itself. But sometimes your immune system fails to turn off this response and inflammation persists, causing ongoing discomfort or pain in your muscles, joints, and tissues.
What foods fight inflammation?
Certain foods may exacerbate inflammation and chronic pain in the body, while others have been shown to combat or reduce the risk of inflammation. Scientific evidence suggests that foods rich in antioxidants called polyphenols can have anti-inflammatory effects. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
“Eating a more nutritious diet is good advice for anyone, but it’s even more important for people suffering from chronic pain,” says Dr. Len Cerullo, MD. “Foods that fight inflammation can minimize painful symptoms and help you maintain a healthy weight – another crucial factor in pain management.”
Try to limit your consumption of foods containing highly processed ingredients, especially sugars and carbohydrates. Instead, add more of these six inflammation-fighting foods to your diet to help ease chronic pain:
Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard
Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries), as well as apples, cherries, and oranges
- Whole Grains
Minimally processed grains, like barley, bulgur, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, and whole oats
- Fatty Fish
Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines
Spices with anti-inflammatory properties, including turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon
Nuts rich in Vitamin E, like almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, and pecans
Interested in a holistic approach to pain management? Get more info on The Len Cerullo Method.