Inflammation is one of the most common ways your body responds to injury or infection, for both acute and chronic conditions. When your body undergoes a trauma, it becomes inflamed as a way to communicate that an area needs help. When this happens, your immune system is triggered and activates to start healing whatever damage was done, while simultaneously acting as a defense against possible sources of harmful bacteria and viruses. When you experience inflammation with pain, it’s your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. In other circumstances, when inflammation doesn’t cause pain, it can still exacerbate pain symptoms, especially in chronic pain cases.
If inflammation never occurred, your body would take much longer to heal and in turn, lead to potentially fatal, festering wounds. If inflammation goes on for too long, it can increase the possibility of complications such as heart disease and certain autoimmune disorders. While inflammation is essential for your body to properly heal, it needs to be managed and controlled in order to avoid further problems.
Inflammation is part of our body’s natural healing process, but we still need to take certain measures to ensure that it doesn’t lead to chronic conditions. One of the best ways to do this is through adopting an anti-inflammatory diet.
An anti-inflammatory diet is a diet that’s based off the Mediterranean Diet and helps to mitigate pain caused by inflammation. This type of diet is also crucial in protecting yourself against the potentially harmful side effects of inflammation. One of the most important things to remember when adopting an anti-inflammatory diet is that it is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. It will take time to change your daily habits and you will need to actively avoid foods that are known to cause inflammation. While indulging a little every now and then won’t cause too much harm on your body, especially if you’re consistently eating healthy, it can be a slippery slope and therefore should only be done in moderation.
Luckily, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself. You can still eat a number of delicious, healthy foods. To adopt an anti-inflammatory diet, you will need to eat plenty of vegetables—about 4-5 servings a day, in addition to healthy fats, fish and seafood, whole grains, and lean protein. To get the most out of your anti-inflammatory diet, aim to eat the following foods daily and weekly:
- 4-5 servings of vegetables per day
- 3-4 servings of fruit per day
- 3-4 servings of whole grains per day
- 1-2 servings of beans or legumes per day
- 5-7 servings of healthy fats per day
- 2-4 cups of green tea per day
- 2-6 servings of fish or seafood per week
- 2-4 servings of lean protein per week
- 1-4 glasses of red wine per week
- 1-2 servings of dark chocolate per week
- Unlimited amounts of mushrooms, garlic, onions, turmeric, and ginger
Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, eggs, nuts, flaxseeds, olives, and extra virgin olive oil. Some options for lean protein include chicken, eggs, and grass fed beef. If you have questions about adopting an anti-inflammatory diet that will work with your lifestyle, talk to a doctor who specializes in inflammation.
In addition to eating an anti-inflammatory diet to help overall pain management, consider adding proper supplementation, preventative exercises, and regenerative injection therapy. Atlas Health Medical Group offers a comprehensive naturopathic pain management clinic to help address our patient’s specific causes of pain (knee, shoulder, hip etc.) and further address contributing factors such as diet, lifestyle, and medical conditions. We aim to deliver effective results without the use of opioids or surgery so our patients can get back to living their life without complications or side effects.
Atlas Health Medical Group is a network of naturopathic medical doctors that offer innovative treatments including regenerative injection therapy, alternative options to stem cells, bio-identical hormones, nutrient IVs, and more. We work with the highest standards of individualized care to get our patients the results they want and need. To get started, call us at (480) 648-1534 and learn about how you can get a free MRI review today!