Wellness

Diet Guidelines for People with Chronic Pain

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Diet plays an important role in overall health. For people with chronic pain, adding certain foods to the diet and eliminating others can help relieve inflammation which is directly related to chronic pain symptoms.

Individuals with chronic pain may want to consider the following three diet guidelines:

1. Eat plenty of vegetables
For optimal health, people should make a conscious effort to “eat the rainbow.” Eating different colors of fruits and vegetables provides the body with various nutrients. Between eight and nine servings of vegetables is recommended on a daily basis (a few of those servings can be fruits). Cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, are especially known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

2. Watch grains and dairy
Choosing whole grains instead of refined white carbohydrates reduces inflammation which is a principal cause of chronic pain. Beneficial whole grain choices include oats, brown rice, quinoa, barley, rye, buckwheat, spelt and wheat. Also, replacing whole milk and sugar-filled yogurt with low-fat milk and plain Greek yogurt aids in reducing inflammation.

3. Limit red meat
Instead of eating red meat on a regular basis, replace it with fish or vegetarian main dishes. Chicken is also a suitable choice, but it is neither inflammatory nor anti-inflammatory.

In addition to these three diet guidelines, individuals with chronic pain should incorporate gentle exercises into their daily routine to achieve a proper weight. Independent of nutrition intake, weight loss provides anti-inflammatory benefits on its own.