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Eating Habits to Embrace for Reduced Chronic Pain

Eating Habits to Embrace for Reduced Chronic Pain

Chronic pain affects more than 20% of adults in the United States. Beyond the pain, sufferers can also experience secondary problems, such as insomnia, immobility, and co-occurring psychiatric disorders.

Due to opioid addiction and related issues, many people are seeking more natural forms of pain management. And one way that has been gaining traction is through changing dietary habits.

While changing your diet may sound like too simple of a solution, that fact is, what you eat can play a fundamental role in treating chronic pain. Our providers at Alpha Care Medical in Seaford, Millsboro, Harrington, and Dover, Delaware, are experts in helping patients manage chronic pain, and one way they help do that is through nutrition therapy.

In this blog, they explain why diet can affect pain and what you can eat to help reduce symptoms.

How to eat right and feel better

At the root of most chronic pain is chronic inflammation. And, many times, inflammation is caused by dietary factors. So, eating a healthier diet can help reduce inflammation, and reducing inflammation can, in turn, help reduce chronic pain. So, with this in mind, try to do the following things when it comes to your dietary habits:

Focus on whole foods

Whole foods are foods that have been through minimal processing or no processing at all. In general, try to buy foods that are in the form they’re naturally in or that are as close to it as possible. For example, choose fruits over sugary fruit juices, and cook your own meals using natural ingredients instead of purchasing frozen, precooked dinners. 

There are many forms of processing, and they can all reduce the nutritional value of food. Try to limit your consumption of foods that are:

You can have a few minimally processed foods, such as cheese and yogurt, but try to look at their ingredient lists to be sure they’re not packed with sugar or extra sodium.

A good rule of thumb is to choose foods with ingredients that you can pronounce and identify. If you look at the packaging and see a bunch of confusing or chemical-sounding ingredients, consider selecting a more natural alternative.

Avoid these foods

There is a benefit to some inflammation, because it helps fight infection and spur healing, for example. However, you should do all you can to avoid increasing the amount of inflammation in your body. And you can go a long way toward reducing inflammation by avoiding or limiting your consumption of foods that can increase it.

These include:

If you see some of your favorites on this list, consider finding balanced alternatives with better nutritional value.

Keep it interesting

Learning how to make one or two meals with whole foods is a good start, but don’t stop there. Try to make your daily menus as diverse as possible with various ingredients and combinations.

By building up a good knowledge base, you’ll be able to keep things interesting and won’t be as tempted to fall back into bad habits. Make sure you include fruits, veggies, and healthy grains in your meal plan every day.

A few more tips

Our experts can give you additional tips according to your condition, dietary restrictions, and personal needs, but here are a few other things to keep in mind as you undertake your dietary journey:

To learn more about how eating a healthy diet can help reduce chronic pain, contact Alpha Care Medical to book an appointment today.

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