Now that the holidays are over, if you indulged in the usual holiday fare, chances are you are feeling it in your body. Some people have immediate and rather severe reactions to the consumption of sugary foods or food containing gluten. Both of these ingredients are found in most processed foods. Both can exacerbate the pain of arthritis and contribute to inflammation in the body.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Fortunately, many people who overindulge during the holidays return to healthier eating habits with the new year. When you suffer from arthritis pain, even small changes can make a difference. Limiting your intake of red meat and eating more cold-water fish such as cod, salmon and mackerel is helpful.
Whole grains are also good for you. The fiber in whole grains keeps your digestive system clean and healthy. Cholesterol and other harmful substances are flushed out of the body. Additionally, whole grains contain important nutrients along with the fiber. These include B vitamins, trace minerals, protein and antioxidants.
Vegetables and berries are also full of important nutrients and they reduce inflammation, but avoid fruit juices because the sugar in juice increases inflammation. Leafy, dark green vegetables are very good for helping decrease inflammation. Brightly colored vegetables are preferable also.
Some people prefer to avoid dairy products because they can be high in saturated fats and therefore can increase inflammation. At the same time there are other fatty acids in dairy products that have health benefits, such as reducing the risk of diabetes. If you do choose to eat dairy, choose natural cheeses over processed cheese.
There are tasty nondairy options for milk. These include: coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk and hemp milk. You may want to avoid soy milk because it is hard on the digestive system. Some choose oat milk as an alternative, but be aware that it can contribute to inflammation. Read the labels and avoid those substitutes that include added sugar.
Whole and Fresh is Better
When possible, eat whole foods and non-processed foods. You will find that many processed foods are loaded with ingredients that contribute to inflammation. When you change your eating habits to eat foods as close as possible to their natural state, you will find your pain levels decreasing and your health increasing.
Hanowell Spine Clinic is here to treat spine disorders and help with advanced pain management. Call us for scheduling an appointment.