In pain, we are what we eat!
Food is fuel for our bodies, but it doesn’t just give us energy, what we consume can also impact our physical health as well due to inflammation caused in the body. You cannot completely heal physically without putting the correct fuel into our bodies. Our diet can be used as a form of medicine for our bodies. Knowing this, how can we make better food choices?
Research shows that processed foods can affect the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP)—a marker for inflammation—in your blood. That could be because some foods like processed sugars help release inflammatory messengers that can raise the risk of chronic inflammation. A poor diet can also alter your immune system, so it acts abnormally, and can contribute to persistent low-grade inflammation. In fact, some studies have found that the immune system reacts to an unhealthy diet in much the same way it would respond to a bacterial infection.
Foods that cause inflammation include:
Eggs, refined carbs (white rice, white bread, pasta), dairy products, meats, wheat/gluten, alcohol, coffee, tea, milk, bad fats (eg: safflower oil, sunflower oil)
On the other hand, foods that fight inflammation include:
Berries, Fish, Broccoli, Avocados, Turmeric, and Olive oil.
So, this means if you are suffering from some type of arthritis, what you are eating is having a direct impact on your joints!
A sample diet that can ensure that you consume these anti-inflammatory foods includes the Mediterranean diet which is a whole food based diet where foods such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, are the foundation of the diet.
Take care of your body as it is working hard to heal! Proper nutrition goes a long way when it comes to the recovery process, so stay focused and work with a registered dietitian for help along the way. Our goal is to get injuries healed and our bodies running as optimally as possible!
Discomfort and soreness are a part of life. What is not normal is living with pain. If you are still experiencing that pain, it's time to talk to your physical therapist or primary care physician.
Try to stay away from narcotics, injections and knife happy surgeons as a primary option for your treatment. There are no magic bullets, but majority of pain symptoms can be resolved with conservative measures like exercises, manual therapy and pain management.
*My lawyer told me to inform you that this is an informative article and not medical advice.
Zuhair Haque, Exercise Specialist at Rehabon Physical Therapy. Zuhair enjoys basketball and he cannot wait to start the DPT program at North Central College in 2023. Zuhair has an extensive experience for working for multiple physical therapy/rehab organizations.
Irfan Ibrahim is the Owner/Physical Therapist at Rehabon Physical Therapy, Downers Grove IL 60515. He enjoys sunshine and rainbows with his three children. Loves hiking, biking and golfing but he has accepted to live with his mediocre skills. Questions??!! Email him: Irfan@rehabon.com follow him on Facebook