Did you know that what you eat, and perhaps more importantly what you don’t, can actually make a difference to the amount of pain you feel when you have an injury, a bad back or a dodgy knee? When you experience pain you are suffering from inflammation. You may have heard of ‘anti-inflammatory foods’. Essentially what you should aim to do when you are in pain is include as many anti-inflammatory foods in your diet and leave out as many inflammatory foods as possible.
Jenny Tschiecshe is one of the country’s leading nutrition experts and contributor to The Daily Mail and The Express newspapers. To expand the information our Sittingwell® Ltd. customers have access to, we have invited Jenny to explain which foods you should include and which you should eat less of to reduce your pain level.
Jenny recommends that you include these foods in your diet:
- Cold-water oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, salmon, flax seeds, flaxseed oil and pumpkin seeds which are all rich in Omega 3 oils.
- Olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocado, nuts, especially walnuts which are all sources of monounsaturated fats.
- Fruits especially berries and vegetables which are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. She particularly recommends choosing green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and rocket, brightly coloured vegetables such as butternut squash and peppers and colourful fruits such as mangoes, strawberries and grapes.
- Lean poultry, fish and seafood, Jenny says, are good sources of protein which are needed to help rebuild and repair damaged tissues.
- Soy and soy foods such as tofu and tempeh, along with other legumes, nuts and seeds can be used as plant-based protein sources.
- What you drink is also important. Jenny recommends drinking filtered tap, sparkling or bottled water, 100% fruit juice (ideally diluted 50/50), herbal tea, vegetable juice and semi-skimmed milk.
The foods to reduce when you are in pain are:
- Trans and saturated fats. These are in processed foods such as biscuits and cakes and high-fat processed meats such as bacon and sausage.
- Refined white flours in bread and pasta (look for 100% whole-grains instead).
- Fizzy drinks, chocolate bars, rich desserts, and sweetened breakfast cereals (that’s about 95% of shop-bought cereals).
- You may also find relief from reducing your consumption of the nightshade family of plants, which includes potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and aubergines. These vegetables contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine, which can trigger pain in some people.
If you are wondering how to put this into action here are 10 anti-inflammatory diet tips which Jenny has kindly put together:
- For breakfast, try porridge served with frozen berries and ground flaxseeds.
- Snack on nuts, seeds, and fresh vegetables instead of biscuits or chocolate.
- Eat more fish and less fatty red meat.
- Cook with olive oil or rapeseed oil.
- Try eating stir-fries with different protein sources such as prawns, scallops, chicken and cashew nuts.
- Avoid deep-fried foods. Steam, boil or grill instead.
- Have a salad with some lean protein such as flaked salmon, shredded chicken, or puy lentils for those preferring vegetable protein.
- Choose dark green or brightly coloured vegetables as side dishes — they should fill half your plate.
- Try to reduce alcohol intake.
- Drink water, semi-skimmed milk , diluted 100% fruit juice, vegetable juices, herbal and green tea instead of sugary soft drinks.
Jenny Tschiesche is founder of the Lunchbox Doctor™ where she delivers weekly lunchbox menu plans and recipes that contain all six of the nutritional components for a healthy, balanced meal to subscribers at Lunchbox Doctor™. Through Lunchbox Doctor™ she helps make the busy lives of parents that bit easier by doing a lot of the planning work, and the chore of thinking up new and interesting foods, for them www.lunchboxdoctor.com
Jenny Tschiesche has also written a fantastic book called “Not Just Sandwiches” – Ways To Improve Your Childs Lunchbox.