How an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Can Help Reduce Aches and Pains
Aches and pains in the body are caused by many different factors, but one of the most common causes is inflammation. Inflammation-related pain can be mild, severe, acute, shooting, or throbbing, and everyone experiences it in different ways.
Fortunately, there are ways to control inflammation in the body, thereby reducing overall feelings of pain. An individual’s diet has a lot to do with internal inflammation, and smart dietary choices can effectively reduce pain over time. Many nutrient-rich foods have the power to block pain signals and even soothe underlying health conditions as well.
This article discusses ways to offset everyday contributors to inflammation with an anti-inflammatory diet and which foods can help to reduce aches and pains.
Everyday Contributors to Inflammation
Bodily inflammation is a natural immune response to toxins, and it occurs as the body attempts to rid itself of these toxins. Toxins can come from chemical cleaning products used the home, air pollution in the outdoors, and the foods consumed at meals. For example, red meat, milk, and simple carbohydrates with refined sugar all contribute to inflammation in the body. Being overweight, smoking cigarettes, and not exercising also play a role in how inflamed the body is on a daily basis.
How Inflammation Causes Aches and Pains
Inflammation in the body causes excess pressure on the joints, muscles, organs, and other body parts and creates an uncomfortable lack of space between them. Some forms of inflammation have obvious symptoms, like external redness and swelling. However, systemic inflammation is a type of low-level inflammation that often has no symptoms but is linked to serious diseases like osteoporosis and heart disease.
Understanding the Anti-Inflammatory Diet
The goal of the anti-inflammatory diet is to cut out the types of food that encourage internal swelling and replace them with lean, nutrient-dense foods that reduce this effect. Individuals who suffer from chronic inflammation can benefit by focusing their diets on vegetables and fruits instead of processed food, meat, and dairy.
Traditional vegan and Mediterranean diets are often considered to be anti-inflammatory because of the foods they focus on. Anti-inflammatory diets are also often high in fiber to promote good digestion and absorption of nutrients. Fast food, refined carbs, and processed foods associated with the common Western-style diet should be avoided as part of an anti-inflammatory strategy.
Foods that Help Reduce Inflammation
Many anti-inflammatory foods are common ones that families already shop for at the supermarket and have in their kitchens. These are some of the best foods to add to a shopping list to fight inflammation with food.
- Brussel Sprouts
- Fish (Salmon, herring, sardines)
- Cranberry Juice
- Mint tea
It is important to add variety to meals that focus on non-inflammatory foods to get a healthy mix of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Anti-inflammatory diets should be accompanied by regular exercise, stress management, weight management, restful sleep, and perhaps even meditation and acupuncture.
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