Being in pain is like torture since it takes over our lives. After all, it affects everything from how we feel physically as well as mentally through our emotions and dealings with others. Our natural defenses normally kick in to handle pain when our bodies are under attack or injured, but they also can turn against us due to diet, obesity, smoking to health conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Though you may not be able to completely get rid of inflammation, here is some useful advice for tackling inflammation when it flares up that could help ease pain faster.
Being overweight can contribute to inflammation related problems. According to a research study done at the University of Oslo in 2014, the reason is molecular since overeating over stimulates the immune system to generate chronic auto-immune diseases. The reason is because overeating changes part of the cells structure by changing fatty acids to energy that eventually leads to an inflammatory reaction.
Losing weight helps to give the body’s immune system more freedom to take down inflammation. Yet, the best way to help your body’s natural defenses as you drop those pounds is by eating fewer calories in a more balanced diet. At the same time, you also want to change some dietary habits to limit or avoid inflammation causing foods. You can also suffer inflammation from a food allergy or food insensitivity.
Particular foods that cause inflammation that are best to limit or avoid are ones such as refined or simple carbohydrates like sugar and refined grains. These type of bad foods that are nutritionally stripped of fiber, bran and valuable vitamins, minerals and nutrients can include white breads, cakes, pastries, cookies, pizza, many breakfast cereals, white flours, and white rice. You can categorize sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas, sports drinks, sweetened teas, flavored juice drinks, coffee drinks, and electrolyte replacement drinks.
Other offenders that can lead to inflammation are deep-fried foods like French fries, onion rings, funnel cakes, donuts, etc. that are often prepared using hydrogenated oils. The reason is how the fats change to produce hormones and chemicals through the cooking process that can adversely affect the body through harmful trans fats.
Speaking of fats, not all fats are created equally. You want to avoid trans fats that can raise bad cholesterol. These bad fats can come from red meat, processed meats like hot dogs, kielbasa, sausages, lard, and dairy products. However, the majority of trans fats that you need to worry about are the ones that are manufactured and put in our foods or used to cook with such as hydrogenated oils in or under the label of partially hydrogenated oils like shortening, in some oils, margarines, and coffee creamers. Companies add hydrogen to the oils in many food items because it extends the shelf life of those products.
Foods to Help Relieve Inflammation
Eating more fruits and vegetables are what we all should be doing from greens to the yellow and red varieties for their antioxidants and lutein. However, more scientific evidence is coming to light that eating more dark red and purple fruits and vegetables are especially beneficial for inflammation relief. This is due to the specific pigment called anthocyanins found in those fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, blackberries, red cabbage, pomegranates, beets, etc. You don’t have to overdose on anthocryanins, but adding as little as a ½ cup to a cup may improve how you feel along with others that are green and yellow in a balanced diet.
Healthier options are polyunsaturated fats from plants-based oils. These type of oils stay liquid at room temperature and harden only when refrigerated. Good examples are olive oil, corn oil and safflower oils for their vitamin E. Fatty fish also contain polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids that aid inflammation.
While omega-3 fatty acids are important, omega-6 like flaxseed, grapeseed oil, pumpkin seeds, nuts, particularly pistachios are something worth exploring. In the past, we were advised that omega-6 fatty acids were not great due to their linoleic acid that the body changes into arachidonic acid that increases inflammation. However, new evidence is suggesting that eating more omega-6 fatty acid foods as well as ones with omega-3 will help inflammation problems because only a small amount of that destructive arachidonic acid is actually formed.
Reducing the amount of red meat that you consume in a week is also a good idea for helping inflammation subside. You can get complete protein from legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, soybeans, navy beans along with brown rice. Nuts and seeds are also wonderful to experiment within your cooking. Fish and poultry are also suitable choices to vary your daily menu if you’re a big red meat eater.
Getting More Physical Activity Can Also Help the Pain
The idea of any form of exercise can make you cringe, especially if you are experiencing pain. Even so, you may find doing some moderate exercise can bring relief. Putting your body through what you normally do while cleaning your house or gardening a day can be enough because the activity helps the body heal by sending signals to immune cells to repair itself.
If the thought of a few hours of house-related chores or yard work is more than you can handle, then any simple physical things that you can do also count. Try just sorting laundry, straightening up your living room, making the bed or taking a short walk around the block can jumpstart immune cells to ease inflammation pain.
This post is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical issues you have life–only your physician can do that. The information provided is only intended to suggest what could improve the quality of your life and suffering. Pain is something no one should have to bare.