Eating foods that decrease inflammation can make a big difference in the way you feel, especially if you suffer from chronic pain.
While it’s well established that nutrition plays an integral role in our overall well-being, it’s becoming more and more apparent just how much of an impact our diet has on virtually every aspect of health.
For the millions of Americans who experience chronic pain (characterized as pain that lasts more than 6 months), treating the excruciating symptoms through nutrition might seem a little far-fetched. People suffering from chronic pain have traditionally been told that their treatment options are limited to medications, doctor visits, and low-impact workouts. Researchers are now finding, however, that healthy eating can also help alleviate the symptoms associated with chronic pain.
Luckily, it’s actually very easy (and tasty) to incorporate pain-fighting foods into your daily diet! For a delicious breakfast that can help combat chronic pain, try mixing your favorite yogurt with some blueberries, walnuts, and a dash of cinnamon! Not only does it taste good, but also all of the ingredients can help reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote overall health. For the rest of the day, try including more fish and dark leafy greens (my favorite is Swiss chard) into your meals to boost the benefits even more!
Check out the Pain Management & Injury relief website for a great guide with a list of foods that can help treat chronic pain:
More delicious ideas to help ward off chronic pain:
1) For a prep-ahead, grab & go snack, toss blueberries and walnuts into snack-sized baggies to have on hand for snacking throughout the week!
2) Short on time in the mornings? Try a quick breakfast smoothie! Blend yogurt with flax seeds or chia seeds for omega 3s and your choice of blueberries or grapes for a delicious start to the day. Be sure to sneak in a handful of leafy greens!
3) For an easy lunch you can pack and bring to work, try spinach salad! Top it with canned tuna mixed with avocado + dried cherries + walnuts to increase flavor and add health-boosting omega 3s! Make your own balsamic vinaigrette by mixing 3 tablespoons olive oil with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and adding a pinch of Italian seasoning!
4) Spices, especially turmeric and chili powders, are powerful pain fighters. Use a blend of ancho chili powder + turmeric + cinnamon on sweet potato wedges. This spice blend also works great on a grassed flank steak or roast.