I’ve got a client who went on a dream vacation to Europe a few years ago (you know, when travel was a thing!).
She ate differently than she did here in Canada– basically less processed foods and more whole foods (veggies, fruits, proteins, etc.).
After a few days, almost every one of her everyday aches and pains went away. Pains she had gotten used to – a sore knee, a tight low back, etc. – were pretty much gone!
And this happened even though she was more active all day from walking and sightseeing - not to mention sleeping on different beds and travelling across the world.
She learned a valuable lesson: Sometimes, making a slight change in your lifestyle or everyday diet can have a huge payoff. She felt so good, she kept up her new way of eating when she got home.
There are a lot of foods out there that can increase inflammation in your body.
And as you probably already know, inflammation is linked with aches and pains (especially if you have arthritis), but also obesity, diabetes, and a long list of other diseases. It impacts our mobility across the board.
I’ve put together a list of foods that are directly tied to inflammation, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Sugar. Processed sugars can trigger the release of inflammatory messengers in your body called cytokines.
Trans fats. These can cause systemic inflammation. Even though they’re banned, trans fats can still be found in fast foods and some processed items. Check ingredient labels and avoid items with partially hydrogenated oils.
Omega 6 fatty acids. Your body needs a healthy balance of omega 3s and 6s, but most of us get way too much of the 6s, which can lead to inflammation. They’re found in salad dressings, mayo, and many vegetable and seed oils like corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, and peanut.
Refined carbs, aka “white” carbs. White flour, rice, pasta, bread, crackers, cereal, etc. can spike your blood sugar and lead to inflammation.
Alcohol. Moderate drinking (1 drink a day for women; 2 for men) may have some health benefits for many people. However, studies show the more alcohol people consume, the higher their level of inflammatory markers in their bodies.
Processed meats. The methods used to prepare these meats create AGEs (advanced glycation end-products), which are linked to inflammation.
Some people also find they get aches and pains from foods they are sensitive to, like gluten, dairy and even some vegetables.
I’m not suggesting that you go on a big kick and throw out all of those foods since that can lead to frustration and it’s too drastic…But sometimes making just one or two changes can start you on the road toward feeling your absolute best.
What small changes are you ready to make?!