Inflammation is your body’s response to harmful stimuli and is a vital part of the immune system response. We normally associate inflammation with an injury such as a stubbed toe, or a sprained ankle, but there is now more research coming about showing a strong link between chronic inflammation and the gut.
Yes, you heard me, the gut.
In the short term, inflammation is a natural healing process. In the long term, inflammation can trigger disease processes. Chronic inflammation is linked to a number of factors including food, and environmental factors such as stress, excess weight, lack of exercise, alcohol and smoking.
Our favourite anti-inflammatory foods are:
- Green, leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli)
- Olive oil
- Nuts (walnuts, brazil, almonds)
- Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)
- Fruits (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, oranges)
It also helps to avoid the foods that may stimulate an inflammatory reaction. These are some foods to avoid:
- Processed foods, and genetically modified foods
- Deep fried foods
- Refined carbohydrates (white bread and pasta)
The benefits from this is more than decreasing inflammation – “A healthy diet is beneficial not only for reducing the risk of chronic diseases, but also for improving mood and overall quality of life,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Other things that can help your body heal:
- Exercise: a combination of gentle exercise, and something that will get your heart rate up. Listen to your body, and find a sport or hobby you enjoy
- Stress management: in the form of meditation, yoga, or a walk in nature
- Breathing: taking slow, deep breaths that fill your lungs with oxygen
Remember that every body is different. Listen to what your body is telling you, and find the right balance that works for you.
The PainKARE Team