When most people think of nutrition they think of eating to keep healthy or to manage their weight, but the notion of eating to ease pain is one many aren’t aware of.
The following three nutritional fixes could help you live a more pain-free life.
1. Sensitivity to food
Ever feel particularly bloated after pasta, or in pain after indulging in cheese? While true food allergies are rare, it is common to have a sensitivity to certain food. This sensitivity could cause pain which can be easily fixed with small diet tweaks.
To figure out what could be causing you pain, try an elimination diet for three weeks. This means avoiding all foods that commonly cause issues such as dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs, nuts and sugar. After the three weeks are up, introduce foods back into your diet slowly and one at a time to see which (if any) are the cause of your discomfort. Once you have found your culprit ensure you avoid eating it for a pain-free digestive system.
2. Chronic inflammation
When inflammation is working to heal your body, it is a great thing. It can start to cause problems if it becomes chronic however, affecting your body long after the original injury has healed.
If you believe your pain is down to inflammation, try to eat a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as: colourful vegetables and fruits, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, green or white tea and even the odd square of dark chocolate.
3. Bad bugs
Our digestive system is made up of both good and bad ‘bugs’ or bacteria. When bad bugs take over we experience a range of unpleasant symptoms, including pain. Keeping our gut healthy involves taking care of the good, friendly bacteria and keeping the bad, infectious bacteria at bay.
Our diets can have a huge effect on this, as it is the food we eat that essentially ‘feeds’ the bacteria. Probiotic supplements and fermented foods can keep the good bacteria growing, while avoiding unnecessary antibodies and chemicals in your food will deter bad bacteria.
It is important to seek the help of a medical professional if you are suffering with chronic pain. Hiring a nutritionist is a great way to complement your treatment as they will advise you on which healing foods to include in your diet. To find out more about the areas of your health nutritionists can help you with, please see our Nutrition Topics page.
View and comment on the original Greatist article.