In lieu of my last blog regarding junk food, I would like to focus on some foods that are inherently healthy, but go beyond a base of nutrients to include phytochemicals that actually encourage healing in the body! These are ingredients that can be incorporated with little effort, but will influence a world of healing in the face of pain, stiffness and inflammation. As part of turning your back on junk food, it is worth considering that you could effectively replace ingredients that cause inflammation with ones that actively fight inflammation. Here are a few healing foods that deserve a try:
- Potassium rich foods: including avocado, banana and green leafy vegetables for reducing swelling.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: well known for its anti-inflammatory qualities.
- H2O: hydration's importance cannot be overstated for keeping joints hydrated and pain down.
- Lean protein: chicken, fish for the protein necessary to maintain your muscles.
- Turmeric: powerful anti-inflammatory because of the active ingredient known as curcumin which reduces pain.
- Bromelain: an enzyme found in pineapple that is a potent anti-inflammatory and also helps to reduce swelling.
- Magnesium: a mineral renowned for its relaxing effects, especially on muscles. Can be found in leafy greens, yogurt, nuts, seeds and fish
A diet for fighting back pain is necessarily an anti-inflammatory diet, and this is one that cuts out the processed meats and sweets, and replaces them with wholesome ingredients. Pineapples? delicious. Fish? delicious. And while water may be more boring than Coca Cola, it also comes with none of the negative side effects including sugar, caffeine and extra calories which all work against you.
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.