by April Morford, DC
Most holistic healthcare providers believe it is important to look at the whole human being and not just the parts. Chronic pain is something that begins slowly and often silently. Inflammation is the underlying culprit, but this doesn’t mean that the inflammation is bad. In fact, inflammation is the body’s way of protecting the system. It is important to remove the origin of the inflammation, support the detox systems of the body, and add powerful nutrients into the body that also happen to combat chronic pain. It is not enough to simply add in herbs and supplements, because as long as the underlying factor is still present, the inflammation and pain will still be present.
What causes inflammation? Food allergies; food sensitivities; unhealthy foods (sugar, refined flours and carbohydrates, hydrogenated fats, refined vegetable oils); harmful chemicals added to foods (dyes, preservatives, flavor enhancers); negative thoughts; a toxic environment (heavy metals, pesticides, molds); a sedentary lifestyle; and infections are common causes. Discovering the underlying causes and removing them, or reducing them, will help begin the healing process. Also, supporting the detoxification systems of the body will help with removing toxins and aid in the healing even more. Here is a look at some things to consume—and not to—to promote health and relieve chronic pain symptoms:
Omega-3 fatty acids: These are important for every system of the body to function optimally. Omega-3s actually activate genes that help the body burn fat and utilize insulin properly, as well as decrease inflammation. Great sources include wild-caught salmon, sardines, flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds.
Bone broth: Loaded with amino acids for building and repair of bone, cartilage and mucosal linings of the body, a cup of bone broth per day is helpful in decreasing inflammation and joint pain, and aids with digestive disorders and liver detoxification.
Antioxidants: The deeper the color of foods means more health-boosting nutrients—berries, beets, pomegranates, cherries, dark-green leafy vegetables, purple grapes, cacao (dark chocolate greater than 70 percent), red kidney beans and pinto beans (although light colored, they contain a lot of antioxidants).
Spice it up: Cloves, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, thyme and cinnamon are some of the most potent anti-inflammatory substances available. Just the amount needed to flavor food is enough to receive benefits.
Eat those bugs: Fermented foods are loaded with bioavailable nutrients; it’s food for the microbiome and helps detoxify heavy metals, pesticides and other waste from the body.
Powerful detoxifiers: These include watercress, bone broth, garlic, cilantro, dandelion, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), green tea (matcha and tulsi), artichokes and citrus peels.
Limit the following: Sugar, flour, processed foods, nightshades, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, red meat and pasteurized dairy products.
April Morford is a doctor of chiropractic with an office located at 520 W. 15th St., in Edmond. For more information, call 405-844-4492 or visit DrAprilMorford.com.