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Can diet heal chronic pain?

Can diet heal chronic pain? The foods you eat (and don't) can determine how well your body fights painful inflammation. 10 things you need to know about food choices and inflammation.

Anti inflammatory diet tips:

1. Inflammation has a good-guy/bad-guy role in your health. When you are injured or get infected, your body signals the immune system to send white blood cells to the affected areas to repair the injury or fight the infection.

2. Inflammation can occur in your gut, skin, joints, muscles, and more. Mental and physical stress, poor diet and poor life choices can cause inflammation.

3. When the injury heals or the infection goes away, inflammation normally goes away too. However, sometimes your stress and immune systems gets turned on and stays on after the "crisis" has passed. This over taxes the body.

4. Chronic inflammation also can raise your risk for heart disease, weight gain, fatigue, diabetes, certain cancers, and even Alzheimer's disease.

5. Your diet can help support your immune system by having it turn on and turn off at the appropriate times. Yet a poor diet can alter your immune system, so it acts abnormally, and can contribute to persistent low-grade inflammation.

6. Some studies have found that the immune system reacts to an unhealthy diet in much the same way it would respond to a bacterial infection.

7. Zinc, selenium, iron, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E — may help the immune system function.

8. The strongest scientific evidence suggests foods rich in a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols can have an anti-inflammatory effect that helps soothe and prevent painful flare-ups.

9. These foods include many of the staples of the Mediterranean diet, such as whole fruits (especially all types of berries), dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.

10. Some research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in olive oil, flaxseed oil, and fatty fish (like salmon, sardines, and mackerel), also may help control inflammation.

What else helps with inflammation?

Fruits and vegetables. Most fruits brightly colored vegetables contain high levels of natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants.

Nuts and seeds. Studies have also associated nuts and seeds with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Beverages. The polyphenols in coffee and the flavonols in cocoa are thought to have anti-

inflammatory properties. Green tea is rich in both polyphenols and antioxidants.

Keep these anti-inflammatory foods in mind each day when choosing your meals and snacks! Staying in good hormonal health will result in faster fat loss.

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