Fight Pain and Inflammation with Food

With the holiday season right around the corner, food becomes a major part of celebrating with family and friends. While it's ok to indulge a little, many individuals who suffer from back pain can see an increase in pain from their diet. What foods increase inflammation? Likewise, what foods can you eat to fight pain and inflammation in the body?

Foods to avoid

In general, highly processed foods can increase levels of inflammation in the body. Processed meats and highly refined carbohydrates such as white bread can increase inflammatory responses in the body. They also increases the risk of diabetes and cancer.

Foods high in artificial trans fats and oils can also increase inflammation levels. Margarine and oils used in cooking have very high omega 6 fatty acids so they should be used sparingly. Artificial trans fats are found in many processed foods. The Arthritis Foundation recommends limiting these types of fats in your diet to reduce joint pain.

Eating excessive amounts of food with high sugar content and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also affect your health. Foods and drinks with high sugar and alcohol increase inflammatory levels and should be consumed sparingly.

Foods that fight inflammation

By adding the right spices to your cooking you can help fight inflammation. Turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon all have properties to decrease inflammation. It's easy to add them into many foods.

Fruits and vegetables are great for decreasing inflammation. Colorful fruits and veggies tend to be the most nutrient rich, and eating 4-6 cups a day can decrease pain in the body. Leafy greens, broccoli, watercress, berries, tomatoes, and avocados are all good options.

While omega 6 fatty acids aren't healthy, foods with omega 3 fatty acids can offset the unhealthy fats. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in foods such as cold water fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, cod), seeds such as flax and chia seeds, and nuts such as walnuts and pecans.

Sweet potato casserole with pecan nuts

Holiday foods to choose

To fight pain and inflammation with your holiday foods, choose options that don't include a lot of sugar and trans fats. Pare down the sweet potato casserole to a less sugary version. This way you'll reap the benefits from nutrient packed sweet potatoes without the extra sugar. Add some cinnamon for an more anti-inflammatory properties.

Try roasting brussels sprouts or broccoli in vegetable oil for a healthy side. Salads made with a colorful leafy greens are also a healthy option.Choosing a turmeric roast turkey recipe can be a healthier version than traditional fatty stuffing and gravy.

Pumpkin have anti-inflammatory nutrients, so choose recipes with less sugar and fat for your pumpkin pie. Add some walnuts for an extra boost. Baked cinnamon apples are another good option for a holiday dessert.

It can be difficult to make healthy choices, especially during the holiday season. To make sure you stay feeling your best, Dr. Shane Silver can help you maintain balance for a healthier you.