If you suffer from chronic pain, your diet could be the culprit. You might wonder what your nutrition has to do with your pain. Surprisingly — a lot.

The root cause of pain varies, but what you eat affects how you physically feel. Our team at University Pain Medicine Center, understands the link between your diet and your pain. Here’s what you should know.

How your diet can cause pain in your body

Chronic pain is mostly a result of inflammation in your body. Research has shown that your diet can be part of what causes this problem.

Eating a healthy balance of foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants supports your immune system, which allows it to defend your body against disease and infection. However, when you eat a poor diet, it can cause your immune system to improperly function, which can lead to inflammation.

Nutrients your body needs

For your immune system to stay strong, you need micronutrients, including:

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Folic acid
  • Selenium,
  • Vitamins A, B, C, and E

Not only should you support your body with foods that have these nutrients, but you can also take supplements to help fill in the gaps to reach the daily amount you need.

Food options to consider

Foods rich in antioxidants can have powerful anti-inflammatory effects to help alleviate pain from flare-ups. These types of foods can even prevent them.

The Mediterranean diet has many of the staples to support your immune system. It includes:

  • Whole fruits
  • Nuts
  • Leafy greens
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains

Omega-3 fatty acids can also help reduce inflammation. They are found in olive oil, flaxseed oil, and fatty fish like salmon and sardines. Consider adding these to your diet with healthy moderation.

Steps to take

One of the first steps to take in changing your diet is to observe your current diet. If you eat junk food, remove all those items from your home. And, if you love to eat fast food, make a conscious effort to put the brakes on.

Instead, make a list of healthy foods, and make time to stock your kitchen with what your body needs.

Foods to eliminate from your diet include:

  • Foods that have sugars like high-fructose corn syrup
  • Foods high in refined carbohydrates
  • White bread
  • White pasta
  • Processed meat

Reading labels to learn about their ingredients and nutritional value can also help you control what you eat and drink.

To learn more about the relationship between your diet and your pain, reach out to our friendly office staff. Make an appointment with a member of our professional medical team at one of our six locations in New Jersey. Book your visit today.

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