The foods you eat can be more than just fuel for your body. Many foods, especially those found close to their natural state, contain a variety of disease-fighting properties that can benefit a person who experiences frequent pain. Finding the right nutritional information, cleaning up your diet, and eating the right types of food can help heal your body from within and stave off painful flare-ups.
Proper Nutrition for an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle
In addition to your medical provider’s instructions, incorporating foods with anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation and irritation to your immune system and gut, enhancing your life if you suffer from a chronic disease. Here are a few facts about foods that can help alleviate pain.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid, potassium, amino acids, and antioxidants. It can also help regulate insulin function and blood sugar levels. Taking 2 tablespoons a day can have great health effects. Look for apple cider vinegar with the “mother,” meaning it contains strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a cobweb-like appearance.
Turmeric is a fragrant, bright yellow spice related to the ginger family. Asian medicine has used it for centuries to help treat everything from colitis to Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases. Turmeric has been well documented in clinical studies to reduce joint inflammation.
Collagen is the major component of connective tissue in the body. A diet rich in collagen can improve bone and joint health over time. Studies have shown taking collagen supplements is beneficial in patients with osteoarthritis. To incorporate collagen into your diet, you can take a supplement or eat foods such as bone broth containing high amounts of collagen.
Ginger is a root containing medicinal properties. Largely used for stomach issues of all kinds, ginger supports digestive health and decreases inflammation in the body. It’s also a versatile root, with people enjoying it in teas, foods, and essential oil form.
Yes, even chocolate is considered a health food when taken in small quantities. Dark chocolate can help improve blood vessel function when dark chocolate is broken down in the gut. One study even found that antioxidants, called polyphenols, improved insulin sensitivity, even in people who did not have diabetes.
Other foods said to have healing properties for painful conditions and diseases include:
- Chia seeds
- Coconut oil
Avoid Foods Lacking in Nutritional Value
In our culture that celebrates convenience and fast foods, many of us don’t think twice about what we consume. However, our diet is often the cause of countless health problems. What is called the Standard American Diet characterizes a way of eating high amounts of processed and fried foods with too much saturated fat and sugar and low in nutritional value.
According to Women’s Health, the typical American now swallows the equivalent of 22 sugar cubes every 24 hours, and the average woman eats 70 pounds of straight sugar every year. The recommendation for women is around 6 teaspoons a day. Before you think this statistic couldn’t possibly be right, a visit to a grocery store to skim labels can reveal how easy it is to consume sugar—you’re surrounded by it.
The food industry uses over 50 names for sugar on packaged food labels. People might not see the actual word “sugar” on their food labels, but they’re easily mistaken if they assume sugar is not in their foods just because the word “sugar” is absent. Under names like high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, and corn syrup solids, sugar can easily sneak its way into your food if you aren’t diligent in reading labels.
In high dosages, sugar can be toxic to humans and have devastating long-term effects. Instead of sugar, try a natural sweetener, such as stevia or honey. Learn to read food labels. Diseases and conditions affected by excess consumption of sugar include:
- Heart Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Joint health
- Chronic pain and fatigue
- Blood vessel damage
- Fatty liver disease
Plan a nutritional care manual for your body.
By focusing on fueling the body with nutrition that encourages the body to heal rather than making problems worse, people can begin to feel much better just based on diet. Making a care plan to help heal through nutrition can make a huge improvement in your health.
Eating right can have great benefits on both the outside and the inside of the body, including weight management. By sticking to food items found along the perimeter of grocery store aisles, meaning produce, fresh meats, and other foods containing minimal processing, people can start to feel better in no time as anti-inflammatory and other health benefits materialize.