Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain
Chronic musculoskeletal pain is a condition that influences tendons, nerves, the brain and other central nervous system structure. Chronic pain is associated with elevated weight status, risk of multi-morbidity, suboptimal dietary patterns and diet quality [International Association For The Study of Pain).
Plant Based/Vegan Diet Benefits
"Dietary markers, including low fruit and vegetable consumption, have been identified for inflammatory arthritis. The journal Rheumatology published a study that found that a gluten-free, vegan diet improved the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A raw, vegan diet, rich in antioxidants and fiber, was shown in another study to decrease joint stiffness and pain in patients with RA. A 2018 study suggested consumption of a plant-based diet decreased pain and improved quality of life for subjects with reported chronic musculoskeletal pain; however, the study was small, with only 14 participants, the results were based solely on self-reporting, and no control group was used."
The main thing about choosing a plant based diet for an interim period to see if it relieves chronic pain is to ensure you get the most health possible. Do not consume platefuls of pasta thinking it will heal your pain because it is meat free? Aim for quality, variety nutrient dense foods & get good advice.
Amy Paturel writes "Multiple studies confirm the role of nuts in an anti-inflammatory diet,” explains José M. Ordovás, PhD, director of nutrition and genomics at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.
"In a study scientists analyzed the nutrient content of 10 common bean varieties and identified a host of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Beans are also an excellent and inexpensive source of protein and have about 15 grams per cup, which is important for muscle health."
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil has immense anti inflammatory properties, while walnut oil has 10 times the omega-3s that olive oil has.
When we eat, food is broken down into its macronutrient parts and released into our bloodstream for “processing” - this is basically our metabolism at work, converting food and drinks into energy, repairing cells, breathing, and keeping your organs functioning! Carbs break down to their simpler forms; glucose, fructose or lactose. Proteins break down into amino acids and fats become lipids or essential fatty acids.
Nutrition interventions have a significant impact on pain reduction, including dietary interventions and any changes in specific nutrients both of which have been shown to have the greatest healing benefits.
Dependant upon your presenting symptoms and medical diagnosis, your nutritional needs will be unique to you. Generally aim for nine or more servings of vegetables daily (one serving equals one cup of most veggies or fruit or two cups of raw leafy greens). Be wary of lots of fruit, one piece daily is best for some conditions as it can inflame digestive disorders. Aim for vegetables 3-6 vegetables 3 times daily where possible. Sneak them in with poached eggs, noodle broth breakfasts, crock pot casserole lunches and baked or stir fried dinners.
The Arthrtitis Foundation promotes the joint health benefit of the Mediteranean Diet
Mediterranean Diet Benefits
Studies confirm that eating foods commonly part of the Mediterranean diet can do the following:
• Lower blood pressure
• Protect against chronic conditions, ranging from cancer to stroke
• Help arthritis by curbing inflammation
• Benefit your joints as well as your heart
• Lead to weight loss, which can lessen joint pain
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