Anyone with chronic pain has typically tried non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSADs) like aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil), or anti-pain pain medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol). Each medication is associated with side-effects, such as liver toxicity for acetaminophen and ulcers for NASIDs. Interestingly, the second most common cause of ulcers is the regular use of aspirin and other NSAIDs.
In an effort to avoid the side effects associated with NSAIDs, many individuals seek out nutritional supplements that can be used as an alternative. There is a secret that must be understood before one searches out nutrition supplements to reduce pain and inflammation. Our diets substantially determine the inflammation levels in the body, which can directly impact upon the development of pain.
The foods that cause inflammation and lead to pain include refined sugar, refined grains, and related flour products (bread, pasta, bagels, etc), refined oils, and obese meat. These inflammatory foods make up approximately 80% of the average American’s calorie intake, and yet even 30-40% of calories from these foods is too much. Eating a diet comprised of the inflammatory foods creates a tsunami of inflammation with in the body that will hit joint and muscle sooner or later causing pain and suffering. At this point, people start taking NSAIDs and Tylenol, and all the while continue to eat the same inflammatory foods that cause the problem.
Most people cannot turn off diet driven inflammation and pain by taking medications or nutritional supplements. So it is important to make diet changes to calm the inflammatory state. To expect that drugs and supplements will be curative is not reasonable.
Consider the term “nutritional supplements” it is supposed to supplement a healthy anti-inflammatory diet rather than one that is filled with the various inflammatory foods. The anti-inflammatory diet consists mostly of vegetables, fruit, raw nuts in moderate amounts, and healthy proteins. The best oils/fats include olive oil, coconut oil, and these should be used in moderation. A very popular oil supplement is fish oil that contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Not well appreciated in America is that spicing our meats adds a substantial anti-inflammatory boost. Ginger, turmeric, rosemary, oregano, garlic, and nearly all spices tested thus far have proven to be anti-inflammatory.
So if you desire dietary approaches towards a pain-free state, natural options are available. Basic dietary changes and certain key supplements can be very helpful.