In Alison Broderick’s article this month, Getting the Facts on Joint Pain, she explains how joint pain and arthritis can have a great impact on a person’s quality of life by making everyday tasks and exercising more difficult. She mentions many of the common causes of joint pain, including inflammation. This is an important point, because the vast majority of Americans suffer from inflammation and don’t even know it!
Inflammation normally occurs in response to injury and attack by germs and is marked by redness and swelling, like when you get a paper cut or fall and scrape your knee. It is the body’s way of getting immune activity and nourishment to an area that really needs them.
But inflammation isn’t always helpful, and can become dangerous when the immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissues, which is what happens when people experience rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. New research also shows a link between inflammation and heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
The good news is that you can prevent inflammation by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. By nourishing your body with a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, in addition to low-glycemic carbohydrates, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you can reduce inflammation and, in turn, prevent arthritis, heart disease, cancer and other age-related disorders.
Here is a list of five foods to add to your diet to reduce your inflammation:
Salmon: Rich in omega-3s, wild Alaskan salmon in particular will provide you with the essential fatty acids your body needs to reduce inflammation.
Turmeric: Turmeric has been used for centuries in many cultures as a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Walnuts: Walnuts are a rich plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, so they are great way for people who choose not to eat fish to get all of the essential fatty acids their body needs.
Dark leafy greens: Leafy greens are nature’s original detox and cleansing foods. Rich in flavanoids and antioxidants, leafy greens will help you reduce inflammation in your body, helping you live pain- and disease-free.
Beans: Beans are rich in protein and fiber, making them powerhouses of energy and rich sources of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Check out this great beans and rice recipe for a quick family dinner.
For more information or support switching to an anti-inflammatory diet, call Sheri Oppenheimer. Sheri Oppenheimer is a health coach at Sweetgrass Spa in Little 5 Points and the Founder of The 100 Women Project. To schedule a FREE health makeover session with her ($125 value), call (404) 522-3223 or email Sheri at email@example.com.