People who suffer from chronic pain, with conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia, know that this pain severely reduces their quality of life. Chronic pain is difficult to manage, and just as difficult to treat, with medications only reducing symptoms slightly, rather than eliminating them completely. Fortunately, over the past few years, people are beginning to realize that there are simple lifestyles changes we can make to help us deal with chronic pain, and one of the most important changes you can make is avoiding the intake of certain foods.
What Foods to Avoid When Dealing with Chronic Pain?
Studies have shown that the intake of certain foods can improve your health and reduce pain and inflammation. On the same note, foods have also been identified that actually make chronic pain conditions worse! Below is our list of some of the foods you should avoid if you’re dealing with chronic pain:
Limit Your Sugar Intake
Higher insulin levels are generally connected to both increased or worsening pain and/or inflammation. Sugar intake increases your insulin levels. These days, sugar is found in just about everything we eat, so it can be difficult to know what foods to avoid. This means it’s increasingly important to pay attention to the nutritional information of the foods you eat. Avoiding sugar intake means reducing or eliminating the more common foods like fruit juice and cookies, but also items you may not think about like salad dressings or yogurt.
Focus on Fresh Foods & Avoid Preservatives
We’ve all heard the trends, eating fresh and organic is the latest craze, but there are real health benefits behind doing so! Processed foods (like the kind in the frozen foods section) contain preservatives, reduction of which can often help reduce inflammation and ease symptoms of conditions like IBS. While you’re avoiding processed foods and preservatives, consider adding fresh greens and organic products to your diet. Buying organic helps you avoid chemicals and pesticides in your food, and eating fresh vegetables has enough health benefits that we could write an entire post about them!
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
This one may come as a shock to some people, as a lot of people prefer to start their mornings with a cup of coffee for a bit of a boost, but caffeine can create problems for people suffering from chronic pain. Chronic pain is often linked to inadequate sleep. For most people, this means they need a bit of an extra boost to get through the day and we generally resort to caffeine as a result. Caffeine and its effects can linger in your body, so while that extra boost in the late afternoon may help temporarily, it could have an impact on the quality of your sleep, resulting in poor sleep and fatigue the next day.
Avoid Pasteurized Dairy Products
Dairy products like milk and yogurt are known to contain a type of protein that can contribute to chronic pain conditions. This type of protein can cause irritation in your joints, worsening your pain situation. If dairy products are a common protein source for you, you may want to consider getting your protein from nuts or beans.
Keep an Eye on Your Carbs
When many people think of carbs, they often think of sugars. The intake of carbohydrates, like sugars, is known to increase insulin levels in the body which can make chronic pain symptoms worse over time.
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