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Food to The Rescue!

Food to The Rescue!

November 4, 2021
By Next Level Physical Therapy

Nutrition Hacks to Decrease Inflammation and Pain

There is an old saying, “You are what you eat.” This is absolutely true. Food is fuel for your body. So what you eat can profoundly impact nearly all of your body’s systems. The food you eat can greatly impact your immune system, inflammatory system, musculoskeletal system and your body’s ability to heal itself. Making the “wrong” food choices can negatively impact your body’s systems. Making the “right” food choices can positively impact your body’s systems.

Eating a healthy diet low in saturated fat, caffeine and sugars can improve function and reduce pain. Don’t get me wrong, I love my coffee, and the occasional cheeseburger… but these are foods I may want to actively avoid when suffering from pain caused by inflammation. 

               Limit This               ---------------------------------------->                  OPT For This

  1. Caffeine, sodas, alcohol   1.  Water - still or sparkling
  2. Sugar 2.  Stevia and Lo Han Guo
  3. Nightshade Veggies 3.  Dark, Leafy Greens
  4. Red Meat 4.  Fish 
  5. White Bread 5.  Whole Grain Bread

Why swap out items on the Limit list for items on the OPT list:

  1. Caffeinated beverages. Caffeine can alter your body’s pH balance, resulting in an increase in acidity. This increases inflammation by changing your body’s natural chemical processes.  Tea has antioxidants called catechins, which reduce inflammation. Green tea contains EGCG, the most powerful type of catechin. 
  1. Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame): These foods cause spikes in your body’s insulin levels making you more sensitive to pain. Plant and herb based sweeteners like Stevia and Lo Han Guo are sweeter than sugar, and help your body maintain steady blood sugar levels. They taste different from refined sugar, and because they are much sweeter you will need to experiment with them to make your favorite recipes taste exactly as you want them to.
  1. Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes are known to increase the inflammatory response in a person’s body.  Dark, leafy greens such as broccoli, chard, kale, collard greens, and spinach can help provide joints with important nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin D and Vitamin A.  All of these foods have wonderful inflammation reducing properties.
  1. Reduce the amount of red meat in your diet which is loaded with saturated fat.  Foods high in saturated fat: these foods can raise levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and over time create a problem for your arteries, triggering immune cells to produce a chemical that causes bone loss, upping your risk for fractures and, yes, pain. Instead, focus more on including oily fish choices such as tuna, mackerel, salmon and sardines.  If you just cannot bring yourself to try fish, then at least supplement your diet with krill or fish oil pills or flaxseed oil.

Supplements like Glucosamine and Chondroitin can also combat inflammation and support healthy cartilage and joints.  Become a Level Upper and enjoy 15% on the best quality Thorne Supplements!  These supplements are developed and backed by medical research. Call our office at 661-383-9828 for details!

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