What’s triggering your inflammation?

Backpain_Man with spine x-ray_rf123-13655194_RF_cmykBeyond eating the right foods to maintain a healthy weight, did you know that the types of foods you eat can also significantly impact your body’s ability to fight inflammation? This may ring particularly true for those battling neck and back pain.

The overall benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet include:

  • A reduced risk of heart disease
  • A decrease in blood pressure
  • A reduction in high triglycerides (associated with diabetes and heart disease)
  • Relief for stiff and tender arthritic joints

What foods may cause inflammation?

To help reduce neck and back inflammation, you’ll want to avoid the following trigger foods:

  • Trans fats
  • Sugar
  • White bread and pasta
  • Alcohol
  • Gluten
  • Milk
  • MSG

To help reduce your body’s inflammatory response, it’s important to incorporatea healthy balance of not only fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but also lean meats and omega-3 fatty acids.

Are you getting enough omega-3s?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fats that are essential for fighting inflammation. They’re also known as “brain food,” a crucial ingredient for the brain’s cognitive thinking and performance abilities. Because the body cannot make these fatty acids, it’s important to support your diet through supplements and food sources that are rich in omega-3s.

American diets tend to overload on omega-6 fatty acids (found in fried, processed and fast foods) versus omega-3s. In fact, according to some studies, a high ratio of omega-6 acids to omega-3s may be a culprit in increased inflammation. It’s important to strike a healthy balance.

There are three different types of omega-3s available, including ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).Great sources for these types of omega-3 fatty acids include cold water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring; flax seeds or flax seed oil, chia seeds, walnuts and green leafy vegetables.

Time to stock up!

So the next time you’re at the grocery or on the way to the health food store, be sure to stock up on anti-inflammatory foods and supplements!


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