There is no doubt that certain foods can trigger inflammatory responses that not only change the permeability of our digestive tract but also increase the production of substances that cause pain. There are foods however, that can have a positive effect and decrease these substances that may be contributing to your problem.
Small additions or changes to your diet can have multiple health benefits.
Here are just a few suggestions:
1. Begin by adding color to your diet:
Dark purple and red fruits ( ie. blueberries, blackberries and cherries), are high in anthocyanin, a compound with strong antioxidant characteristics which are helpful to reduce inflammation.
**Add them to your morning oatmeal or smoothie and or pack a handful for a great afternoon snack!
Dark green vegetables like broccoli, kale and cabbage are high in Vitamin K and contain a substance called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane suppresses cytokines, a substance that increases the inflammatory process.
**Make sure there is something “green” on your dinner plate every night.
2. Eat fish 2-3 times per week:
Fishes that are high in omega 3 fatty acids like wild salmon, tuna , herring and mackerel help to reduce general body inflammation that lead to joint and muscle pain. They have also been found to be beneficial in decreasing arterial inflammation, which has been shown to contribute to atherosclerotic heart disease.
3. Start using Olive oil for cooking, salads and in place of butter.
Olive oil contains oleocanthal which blocks certain enzymes that contribute to the production of inflammatory products.
4. Incorporate Tumeric into your diet:
Tumeric contains curcumin, which has been shown to protect joints from inflammation
***Start by adding it to soups, stews, sauces and egg dishes
5. Switch to Quinoa and other gluten free grains like amaranth and millet
6. Eat only whole grains like whole wheat, oatmeal and brown rice.
All of which have also been shown to decrease the markers of inflammation.
7. Have some Green Tea instead of coffee or an afternoon snack.
Loaded with antioxidants called catechins, this substance has been shown to protect your joints from cartilage damage.
By incorporating small changes in your diet, you may begin to see big changes in how you feel!