In this post I want to give you a great idea of foods that will keep you feeling happy and healthy!
Food is SUCH a huge part of chronic pain and the path to feeling great. We’re told all our lives that our diets need to be better – no matter how good they already are! I want to break it down for you plain and simple: what to avoid and what to eat more of.
Foods That Cause Pain
This one is so huge, I can’t emphasize it enough. This is one that is backed by science and ESPECIALLY by my personal experience! I can absolutely tell a difference in my pain and mood levels when I’ve had sugar vs. when I’m careful.
Sugar spikes your blood sugar and that increases inflammation. Inflammation = pain. Those with healthy immune systems are able to control inflammation, but those of us with chronic pain need to avoid it because we can’t regulate it as well.
2. FOODS YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO
This includes food allergies. When you eat foods you are sensitive to, your insulin is destabilized and your blood sugar drops. Decreased blood sugar leads to inflammation. Inflammation = pain.
Basically your blood sugar goes hand in hand with inflammation, and therefore pain. So keep your blood sugar steady, people!
If you have tummy troubles, but you’re not sure what it is that you are sensitive or allergic to, use the process of elimination! For example, go one week without any dairy. After the week is up, drink a glass of milk and see how you feel. You’ll know for sure whether that is the problem or not!
I’m choosing this as one of the foods I cover because it is most commonly found in SODA. My kryptonite. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener. When I was reading about it, there were so many chemical names that I was just confused ha!
Substantial studies on aspartame are still in the works. However, it is supposed that people who react poorly with the chemical treat it as a foreign object and attack it. Immune system attacks lead to inflammation. And as you know by now, INFLAMMATION = PAIN.
Those are the three I want to focus on right now, but here’s a list of a few other foods to avoid:
- Saturated fats
- Trans fats
- Omega 6 fatty acids
- Refined carbohydrates
- MSG (sorry Chinese food)
- Gluten and casein (a dairy protein)
Foods That Promote Wellness
I’ve told you what NOT to eat, so now let me give you suggestions of what TO eat!
Deep purples, dark leafy greens, and bright orange foods are excellent sources of antioxidants and Vitamin C. These help decrease inflammation which decreases your pain!
Berries are also a great source of inflammation reduction. I seriously had no idea that inflammation was so directly connected to chronic pain. Education is power!
2. LEAN PROTEIN
Turkey, chicken, and beans are an excellent source of lean protein. We want these lean proteins because red meats have an acid that increases inflammation. Lean protein also lessens the amount of fat you get in your diet.
This one is especially important for me. I’ve noticed that when I have red meat, my stomach pain and discomfort increases dramatically.
Protein is important for muscle building and maintaining and having enough energy throughout the day. So choose a good source for your protein!
3. HEALTHY OILS AND FATS
Olive oil is a really good choice when it comes to anti-inflammatory foods. Try and switch this out with any oils you cook with when you get a chance. Soy, corn, and cottonseed oils are great alternatives as well.
I’ve noticed that watching my diet keeps the depression and anxiety in check as well. Remember: Our bodies and minds are one cohesive system – they are one! To help one is to help the other.
Changing your diet can definitely be daunting; that’s how I feel! But it’s all about baby steps, folks. Change one thing at a time. One thing that I am working on most right now is cutting out sugar/processed foods. It’s definitely a challenge, especially thanks to my sweet tooth ha!
What are you going to change in your diet? Pick just one thing! It doesn’t even have to be from this list. Let us know in the comments below!