Nutrition for Quicker Healing
Our diets can be proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory so when you have pain and inflammation, what you eat should be considered. Four areas we can look at are food allergies/sensitivities, antioxidants, omega 3’s and nutrients.
Eliminate Food Allergies/Food Sensitivities
Food allergies and sensitivities can cause inflammation in the body. The body reacts as if the food were a bacteria or virus and releases a bunch of cells and chemicals to attack that food. This causes inflammation levels to rise in your body making it easier to feel pain and harder to return to a pain free state. Common allergies/sensitivities include wheat and dairy, eggs and shellfish. Spicy foods and alcohol are also both irritants to your intestinal system. Getting allergy testing and/or doing an elimination diet are ways to figure out which foods are keeping your inflammation levels high. You can also keep a food journal and track symptoms such as bloating, tiredness, irritability, increased pain, etc. They are all indicators the food you just ate isn’t agreeing with you.
Along with an elimination diet, probiotics can restore the balance of your microbiome which will reduce overall levels of inflammation as well.
Cells can be damaged through oxidative stress from free radicals (has to do with electrons in oxygen). This cell damage creates inflammation. Antioxidants stop this damage which stops inflammation. One of the best naturally occurring antioxidants is in Black or Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate. It has naturally occurring chemicals that block inflammatory chemicals just like NSAIDs (Tylenol/Aleve). Take 1 ounce 45 min before bed as it also has melatonin in it which can make you sleepy.
The American diet is high in omega-6 and low in omega 3. Omega-6 creates inflammation, omega-3 reduces inflammation. You should learn which foods give you more inflammation and eat less of them or eliminate them. You should also eat more foods with omega-3s as this will reduce the levels of inflammation in your body. Cold water fish (salmon, cod, etc.) or fish oil tablets, walnuts or flax seed oil are all good examples of foods with high levels of omega-3s. If you buy a supplement try to buy one from the refrigerator as the good chemicals in the supplement degrade with heat and time (sitting on the shelf in the store).
Magnesium, Vitamin D and Calcium
Deficiencies in these nutrients can cause muscle pain / joint pain / headaches / numbness / fatigue / nerve pain / cramps / weakness and more. The important part is that these 3 are reliant on each other so they should not be taken independently or they can cause the others to be deficient. Some types of these supplements are also absorbed much less by your body (they go right through you). An example is magnesium oxide. Chelated supplements are better absorbed. Any time you can get these nutrients naturally it is preferred. Here are some examples of foods that have these nutrients in them.
Magnesium – Epson Salt Baths, Halibut, Almonds, Cashews, Spinach, Oatmeal, Yogurt
Vitamin D (D3) – Sun (hit the pool or beach), Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Shrimp
Calcium – Dairy, Oatmeal, Spinach
Try to eat the above foods or get a supplement that has magnesium, vitamin D and calcium in it.
These are 4 different areas of nutrition that will help lower your overall inflammation in your body and get you pain free faster.
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