As chiropractors, we focus on the musculo-skeletal system of the body. Every day we see patients with all sorts of acute injuries and chronic conditions like back pain, neck pain, headaches, tendintis etc. Through adjustments, myofascial work, acupuncture and physical modalities like cold laser and shockwave therapy, we can quickly get our patients out of pain, but it's what our patients do at home to support their treatment that makes the most long term difference. We prescribe home exercises to every patient that include mobility and core strength work specific to their condition, but one of the most popular questions that we get is "What should I be eating?!" There are SO many diets out there with conflicting nutritional studies and advice, so it's easy to get confused. While we're not proponents of one specific diet for weight loss, the right nutritional components can help your body to heal which is what is most important to us and our patients. The following tips are helpful for fighting your body's inflammation and can help to support your chiropractic treatment and make your body function optimally.
1. Eat lots of leafy greens & healthy fats.
The more spinach, broccoli, romaine, cabbage, collards and kale, the better! Greens are loaded with anti-oxidants. Besides leafy greens, the most powerful inflammation fighting foods are salmon, walnuts, fermented foods, garlic and turmeric. You should aim to incoporate a serving of walnuts and a fermented food (such as kimchi) into your diet daily, and salmon 1-2 times per week.
2. Incorporate "superfoods" in your diet
Papaya, pineapple, blueberries, flax, ginger and beets are the superstars of the inflammation fighters. Bromelain which is in pineapple and papaya, is great for both digestion and inflammation and is helpful to incorporate a serving daily. Blueberries contain quercetin which has been linked to fighting cancer, so a cup of blueberries a day will keep the doctor away! Beets contain compounds which help repair damaged cells, so are great salad additions 2-3 times per week (Busy mom hack: Trader Joes sells them pre-cooked, so no long/messy roasting times, just slice and add to your salad or smoothie!)
3. Avoid nightshades
Not all vegetables fight inflammation. Many find that it's best to limit nightshades - think tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant. Some people have gut issues associated with these veggies. If you're not sure, eliminate them for a bit and see how you feel.
4. Avoid these key inflammation causing foods
Limit wheat, sugar, corn, soy, dairy, peanuts. It's absolutely essential to avoid processed and refined foods. If you're a meat eater, make sure that you're eating grass fed.