Do you feel like the pain is unbearable? Pain and inflammation are two health issues that affect large swaths of the population. Considering a single source of pain alone, such as arthritis, reveals prevalence rates of approximately 40 million, says the Arthritis Foundation.
According to the National Institutes of Health, one in four Americans suffer from pain that lasts more than 24 hours, and that statistic derives from research conducted in the early 2000s. However, physical therapy can help. Instead of suffering, see a physical therapist, and switch to a nutritious diet, says EatingWell, following these steps.
1. Eat more leafy, green vegetables.
Leafy, green vegetables are sources of vitamin A, and adequate vitamin consumption is key to maintaining homeostasis. Also, the National Institutes of Health explains, leafy vegetables provide a protective effect against diabetes and cardiovascular health problems.
2. Get your fruit intake.
Bananas, strawberries, oranges, and other fruits are a great part of a nutritious diet. Fruits provide an excellent source of inflammation-fighting nutrients, reports the Harvard Health Publishing. Without getting the discussion of whether a tomato is a fruit or vegetable, just think of it as an anti-inflammatory food as well. Natural sugars also help curb cravings for sweet treats, made with granulated sugar, that have an association with inflammation.
3. Try your best to cut out unhealthy carbs.
Unhealthy carbohydrates include all excessively processed starches. However, items with a higher starch content, such as wheat flour and whole-grain foods, are associated with improved health.
4. Make sure you get a healthy amount of omega-3s.
Omega-3s are most commonly found in seafood and nuts. The body uses these essential acids to form the building blocks of proteins and stimulate the immune system.
5. Enjoy some coffee or tea.
The caffeine within a cup of coffee or tea also possesses antioxidant properties, reducing pain and inflammation. Yet, too much caffeine may have an adverse effect on the body. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages in excess as well.
6. Pick up a pack of yogurt from the grocery store.
Yogurt possesses a two-fold benefit for those in need of pain relief. Probiotics within yogurt restore the natural flora of the digestive tract, reducing pain from eating certain foods. Furthermore, frozen yogurt can be a healthy alternative to ice cream and other sweet treats.
7. Enjoy tart foods? Give sour cherries a try!
Sour cherries, while tart, make an excellent addition to a diet that seeks to reduce pain and inflammation as well. Furthermore, they can be used in dishes for any meal, including dessert.
8. Add spices known for their antioxidant properties into your meals.
Sage, cinnamon, cardamom, and garlic possess antioxidant properties as well. Antioxidants function by eliminating unbound hydrogen atoms, also known as free radicals, within tissues. When free radicals come into contact with healthy tissue, they produce an inflammatory response.
9. Treat yourself to some dark chocolate!
Dark chocolate also appears to reduce risk for heart disease, mental decline, diabetes and blood pressure, notes MoveForwardPT. These health conditions affect risk for chronic inflammation and pain, so increasing dark chocolate in the diet may lead to better management of pain as well.
Get additional assistance with physical therapy!
No one wants to live the discomfort and life-changing impact of pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, pain and inflammation continue to affect millions, but the right approach to managing these conditions can make all the difference.
Discover how the right combination of diet and physical therapy can reduce inflammation by contacting our office online now!