Inflammatory and anti-inflammatory nutrition
Inflammation is your body’s natural way of protecting itself when you are injured or sick. It stimulates the healing process and helps your body defend itself against any foreign invaders. These intermittent bouts of inflammation are your body’s own immune response designed to protect your health. This type of inflammation is classified as acute and short term and would arise alongside a sprained ankle, appendicitis, tonsillitis or an infected ingrown nail.
However, there are some medical conditions that cause a long term and persistent inflammatory response referred to as chronic low-grade inflammation. It occurs in conditions such as osteoarthritis, autoimmune diseases, allergies, asthma inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease.
Other factors, which can also lead to chronic inflammation, are smoking, poor diet, excess body fat, lack of exercise, stress, pollutants and excessive alcohol consumption.
Chronic inflammation occurs when the body perceives an internal threat that is not real and sends an inflammatory response to fight it. This causes danger to the body as the influx of fighting white blood cells have no job to do and can start to attack internal organs, tissues and other cells.
There are other times where the threat is real but we do not feel it so are not aware of it and the inflammatory response is not obvious either. This inflammation can go unnoticed and persist very long term.
Persistent inflammation has been linked to many different ailments. Some of these are heart disease, diabetes, cancer, lung problems, decreased bone health, depression, obesity and more.
Below are foods that can cause inflammation. Avoid them most of the time and consume some of them in small amounts on the odd occasion and learn to see these foods as treats or rewards.
- Sugar and high fructose corn syrup
- Trans saturated fatty acids
- Vegetable and seed oils
- Processed meat (bacon, sausage, salami)
- Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice and pastries
- French fries and any other fried foods
- Softdrink and other sugar-sweetened beverages
Try to consume these Anti-inflammatory foods most or all of the time.
- Cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring. (these fish contain high amounts of omega 3)
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels, cauliflower)
- Walnuts and other unsalted nuts
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Whole Grains (brown rice, quinoa)
Chronic Inflammation and Diet
Research shows that the foods you eat significantly impacts the development of chronic inflammation. While medication and other treatments are important, many experts have discovered that an anti-inflammatory diet may be very helpful too. The foods you eat can have a major effect on inflammation in your body so by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet you will be helping to reduce your risk of disease, and it is also widely regarded as healthy while including the foods any nutrition expert would encourage you to eat.
- Opt for whole grains, including barley, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice, rye, spelt and wheat.
- Cut red meat down to once per week or less as it is a trigger for the inflammatory response. Instead include fish, legumes or chicken as your protein source.
- Following a Mediterranean or vegan diet will cover all the necessary foods which have been shown to reduce and control inflammation.
Due to an anti-inflammatory diet being a natural medicine, there are none of the unpleasant side effects that some medications cause such as, fogginess, memory loss and sleepiness. Therefore, this should be part of your lifestyle in order to reduce or even eliminate pain and inflammation. It is important to know that it is the diet as a whole, not just the individual foods, that control inflammation.
The additional requirements to integrate into your healing program and to use as part of your lifestyle which are of no less importance are
- Weight loss to your healthy weight zone
- Build muscle tone with resistance exercises
- Exercise daily such as 30 minutes of walking
- Manage stress
- Use natural therapies as an alternative
Chiro & Sports Med
Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back pain, neck pain, knee pain, headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident or experiencing injury. You may suffer from a specific condition like chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury. We are here to improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live and active healthy lifestyle.