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Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition

Written by Hillary Dummond
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Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition

Physical therapy is a profession that is often dominated by a category of patients that share a similar complaint on the seemingly broad spectrum of pain.  Although every patient presents a different explanation as to how they interpret their own discomfort, it often can all be directed back toward one primary cause, and that is inflammation. 

In medical terminology, inflammation is identified as a localized, physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection.  In much simpler terms, inflammation is the body’s attempt at damage control.  A common outlook toward an injury is that the impacted area of the body is what is causing physical pain.  In-fact, the actual cause of pain following an injury can, in most cases, be attributed directly to the inflammation set in by the body in a rapid attempt at self-healing.  Physical therapy is a heavily researched area of the medical sciences that has placed great emphasis on the ability to decrease and/or abolish pain caused by this natural healing process.  Although therapy is an absolute necessity in the battle against inflammation initiated pain, there are multiple tools an individual can implement on the roadway to recovery. 

It is known throughout the profession that sustained relief is largely dependent on the individual’s diligence in maintaining an exercise regimen even after scheduled clinic visit are concluded.  What is not so obvious are the other factors that should be considered in ensuring the success and longevity of physical therapy.  One of these factors is the fuel that runs the human body, also known as food.  It is no mystery that eating healthy is better than the alternative.  The question that follows is, why?  Television, magazines and numerous other media outlets imply that eating healthy is yet another element in perfecting ones physique.  Although this is certainly true, this does not do justice to the many other benefits of a healthy and balanced diet.  Similar to proper stretching and a therapy based workout routine, the right food choices can have a tremendous impact on the body’s ability to fight off inflammation. 

The human body is second to none in its natural ability to deal with various challenges.  The opportunity to enhance these defenses is often overlooked, and is as simple as eating the right foods.  Many people see healthy eating as a painful obligation that involves a dedicated lifestyle change.  Fortunately, this common misconception is not always accurate. The following is some of the foods and recommended daily/weekly servings listed from Gaples Institute and Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, that are both easy and inexpensive to obtain, and will help lead the charge in the fight against painful immflamation. 

-Vegetables such as dark, green kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots

            -4-5 times a day

-Fruits such as Dark berries, peaches, oranges, plums, cherries, apples                

           -3-4 times a day

-Whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, barley

            -3-5 times a day

-Beans and Legumes

            -1-2 times a day

-Healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, nuts (walnuts, avocado, seeds)

            5-7 times a day

 -Fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, and black cod

            -2-6 times a week

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html

Please consult your physician or healthcare provider before beginning or changing your daily nutrition.

 

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