Each month we’ll bring you a note from one of our therapists. It might be something they’re reading, learning or just something they want to share.
This month’s note is from Noel Turk, PT, DPT, ATC:
A few months ago, I was reaching for my protein powder, and I noticed the canister read: “Eat like your life depends on it.” This is such a simple (and obvious) thought… Obviously we need food to have life, right? But are we actually eating like our lives depend on it? The things we ingest can either nourish or wreak havoc on our bodies, and we get to choose which we allow to happen.
Today, I want to talk a little bit about diet and inflammation. Long term inflammation in the body has been linked to many negative health effects, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s. The good news is there are things we can eat that have been proven to affect inflammation.
Foods that have been linked to increased inflammation include: Refined carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar sweetened beverages, margarine, and even vegetable/canola oil.
Foods that have been linked to decrease inflammation include: Green leafy vegetables, omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, sardines), healthy nuts, and fruits, such as berries.
I often encourage my patients experiencing chronic pain to explore their diet, because I think it’s important to treat the body as a whole. We can do all the right things to get your body moving properly, but if your body is experiencing a constant level of high inflammation, pain levels will be higher, and your health will likely suffer in the future. Try eliminating refined sugar, eating more plants, or adding in salmon a little more often for a few weeks. Then, re-evaluate your symptoms and see if you notice any changes.
The research is clear that dietary changes CAN improve symptoms in a multitude of chronic illnesses, so I encourage you to look a little further into what you’re fueling your body with – and eat like your life depends on it!