Last week we looked at inflammation and its relationship to pain. This week, it’s time to break out the big guns and see how we can beat inflammation at its own game.
Full disclosure. I suffer from knee pain which is caused by arthritis. I use several elements to overcome my pain. If you’ve been here before you’ll know that I am a strong advocate of CBD Oil because it’s great for pain relief.
I also use a prescription anti-inflammatory provided by my physician.
On top of that, I eat an anti-inflammatory diet and if you think that sounds “whacky”, it’s based in science. In fact, it’s recommended by Harvard Health Publishing at Harvard University. Sometimes, there’s some truth in natural therapies.
Step 1 Of An Anti-Inflammatory Diet – Cut Out Foods That Cause Inflammation
I won’t lie to you. I was a little dismayed by the list of foods that cause inflammation. Many of them are tasty and used to play a large role in my diet.
I will also tell you this. Once I had cut them out, I didn’t miss them. I lost some weight, which makes the pain in my knee easier to manage and I felt generally healthier.
So, even if this didn’t help with the inflammation, it helped with my pain.
So here’s the list:
- Refined carbohydrates. Where you find bread or pastry, you’ll find these critters. Yes, they’re in pizza bases, beef wellington, and dozens of other dishes.
- French fries and deep-fried foods. You won’t be surprised to find the highest calorie foods of them all – fried foods – aren’t a winner with your immune system and they cause inflammation.
- Sodas (like Coca-Cola and 7-Up). If it’s a drink and it’s full of sugar, it’s kicking your immune system while it’s down. These things must go.
- Red meat. I am not 100% convinced by this and I still have the occasional steak. Moderation rather than elimination seems to be the right thing to do with red meat. Once a week or once a month should be OK.
- Processed meat. This shouldn’t be causing much shock either. Processed meat is junk. It’s tasty junk but it’s been linked not just to inflammation, but it also causes cancer. Hotdogs, burgers, bacon, etc. they’re all bad for your pain.
- Margarine, lard, shortening, etc. need to be kept to a minimum.
My Tip for Minimizing Inflammation Causing Foods In Your Diet: If you want to succeed in getting these items gone from your diet. Do it gradually.
I recommend you get started with the sodas. You really don’t need them. They ruin your teeth. They make you fatter. They have no nutritional value. Swap them out for water, coffee, tea, herbal tea, anything without sugar and milk.
Once you’ve gone a month without them. Take the next group – I’d go for processed meat and cut that out. And so on… one a month until they’re all gone. Once you’ve been a month without all this garbage in your diet – you will feel better even if you still suffer from pain. I know I did.
Step 2 Of Of An Anti-Inflammatory Diet – Start Eating Natural Anti-Inflammatory Foods
We’ve already taken a look at some of our favorite natural anti-inflammatory agents here but if you want to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, there are a bunch of food groups to include:
- The humble tomato has a bunch of positive dietary properties and that includes anti-inflammatory ones. Tomato sauces, soup, steamed, stewed, baked and raw tomatoes are all good. Ketchup doesn’t count. Sorry, George Bush but it doesn’t.
- Olive oil. Olive oil is a good replacement for margarine, lard, shortening, etc. you can use other oils that are low in saturated fats, but olive oil probably has the best taste.
- Green leafy vegetables. A lot of people flinch at this but that’s because most people stop eating this during childhood because of the slightly bitter taste of the leaves. In adulthood, our taste buds are less sensitive and this can be much more pleasant. Spinach and kale for the win. But if you really can’t eat them – consider liquidizing them into a smoothie instead for the same benefits.
- Walnuts and almonds are a favorite of many people for their anti-inflammatory properties. Sadly, cashew nuts don’t count because cashews aren’t actually nuts, they’re a seed.
- Fatty fish. Swapping out the steak for salmon isn’t a chore at all. Tuna and Mackerel area also great substitutes. Sardines are, admittedly, an acquired taste but once they’ve been acquired – they’re great.
- Blueberries, cherries, strawberries, etc. This is the best news of all. You can replace the sugary drinks with some natural sugars. They taste better. They’re healthier and they’re going to help you beat your pain.
That Looks Suspiciously Like A Balanced, Healthy Diet!
You caught me! It’s true. A diet that is rich in anti-inflammatory properties is, in fact, a diet which is designed for healthy living!
This is good news because one of the reasons that many people with inflammation-related pain are living in pain is because they are also carrying extra weight. I know I was before I started this diet.
When you lose weight, you take pressure off the inflamed area and that makes it easier to heal. It also puts less stress on the inflammation and that means a reduction in pain too. It’s a win-win scenario.
It takes a while to adjust to this kind of eating if you’ve been living on unhealthy stuff, as I had, for a while but… it’s worth it. I swear. You’ll have more energy, you’ll be less depressed, you’ll be more attractive, and you’ll hurt less. That’s a pretty good set of reasons to do it, right?
If You Don’t Know How To Get Started Cooking A Healthier Diet, Check Out This Awesome Recipe Book Now
And One More Thing… There Is One Miracle Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agent
I have left the best for last. Well, actually I’ve left until next week at the same time. There’s a miracle natural anti-inflammatory agent and that’s turmeric. There’s much to look at that it needs a whole article.
Turmeric is going to help you with your pain. So make sure you check in again soon. It’ll be worth it. I promise.