Good nutrition is an important part of your overall health. A healthy diet should include a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins and healthy fats. This gives your body the nutrients and energy it needs to function properly.
And a well-balanced diet is also vital for building your body’s immune system and healing power. That’s why nutrition can be your ally in fighting pain and inflammation.
“Lifestyle modifications are very important for helping someone manage their overall pain,” says Dr. Tina Ardon, a Mayo Clinic family medicine physician. “Two important aspects to think about upfront are a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. These two things can make great impacts on how someone deals with their pain.
Is your diet helping … or hurting?” Research indicates that there is a link between diet and inflammation,” says Ardon. “Although this is a normal process in response to an injury or an infection, sometimes inflammation can turn into a chronic process and be widespread throughout the body.” Long-term inflammation is linked to several diseases and conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.” We know that some foods can contribute to, or exacerbate, inflammation; whereas, other foods actually can be helpful for reducing or preventing inflammation,” says Ardon.