Many patients have asked if there is anything that they can do to help reduce or control chronic pain. Aside from regular chiropractic treatment to ensure that the spine and nervous system are functioning properly and daily exercise, our diets are one of the strongest contributors to our well-being. Much attention has been paid to trendy diets and super foods, but I will try to keep things simple.
Finding the Right Things to Eat
It seems almost everyday we hear about foods that we shouldn’t eat. Many of the foods in our diet are considered pro-inflammatory. This means that they increase the body’s level of inflammation and set off a cascade of reactions that predispose us to pain and sickness. So, of course there are foods to avoid. Chief offenders are processed and fatty foods. Steer clear of labels with ingredients that include anything “partially hydrogenated.” Try to avoid cakes, cookies, crackers, chips, fried foods, shortening, snack foods, and oils made from corn, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, soybeans and peanuts.
Whether the discomfort is in your neck, shoulders, low back, knees, or elsewhere trying to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can be beneficial. As a general rule, eating fish, grass-fed meats, fruits and vegetables should be the staples in a healthy diet (READ: eat more of these). Here I have assembled a few recipes which feature foods that can help to reduce the body’s overall level of inflammation (avoiding the bad foods is good too).
- Frozen blueberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries &/or bananas
- Whey and soy protein
- Glutamine (an amino acid)
- Soaked pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, walnuts (softened & drained)
- 3 Tablespoons of fresh ground flax
- Organic coconut oil
Start with water and protein powders (follow manufacturer’s instructions). Incorporate flax, coconut oil and glutamine, then add berries and nuts (any or all) to taste. Blend ingredients until smooth. Vary your recipe to taste.
- Chopped raw onions, red bell peppers, avocado – place in a bowl
- Add organic extra virgin olive oil, organic balsamic vinegar, mustard, spices (ginger, turmeric, garlic, sea salt)
- Add mixed greens – blend with previous ingredients
- Sautee chicken, fish or meat and mix with vegetables
- Hint: to keep calories low, DON’T cook protein with oil; saute in water or the natural oil/juices of the protein.
- Use high quality, heat retaining, stainless steel 2-3 gallon pot
- Boil 1 gallon of water; add 1/2 pound of sliced ginger; lightly boil for 5 minutes; turn off and keep off
- Add 2-6 organic green tea bags, steep for 30-60 minutes, then remove
- After 4-12 hours, strain out ginger, place juice in glass jar and cool in refrigerator; reheat or drink cold
You can drink the ginger root and green tea straight or dilute with water. If you need to sweeten, add a small amount of fruit juice (100% apple juice for example). *Sweeten with 100% JUICE ONLY; nothing with high fructose corn syrup, added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
We hope you find some of these beneficial and useful to your life. If you have some recipes to share with us please let us know in our comments! We’re always looking for new great treats to pass along to our patients and friends.