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Could My Diet Be Making My Chronic Pain Worse?

Chronic pain affects an estimated 50 million adults in the United States. With many possible causes of chronic pain, it’s often difficult to treat and may diminish patients’ quality of life. 

Lifestyle factors can play a significant role in chronic pain, including your diet. Certain foods could worsen your pain, while other foods may provide relief. Read on to learn more about the link between your diet and chronic pain. 

How Your Diet Can Affect Chronic Pain

The primary link between diet and chronic pain is inflammation. Certain foods are known to cause or worsen inflammation, while others provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Given that many cases of chronic pain are rooted in inflammation, consuming an anti-inflammatory diet may naturally improve your pain. 

Foods That May Worsen Chronic Pain

When consumed regularly or excessively, certain foods can worsen chronic pain by increasing inflammation. These foods include:

  • Red and processed meat
  • Fried foods including French fries and donuts
  • Foods containing added sugar, including candy, jelly, and soda
  • Trans fats, which are often found in margarine and non-dairy coffee creamer
  • White bread and pasta
  • Processed baked goods and pastries

Additionally, certain cooking methods can worsen inflammation, including deep-fat frying and grilling. 

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, polyphenols, and prebiotics or probiotics are naturally anti-inflammatory. 

  • The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish (including salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, anchovies, and striped bass), nuts, and seeds
  • The best sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes.
  • The best sources of polyphenols are whole grains, olive oil, dark chocolate, green tea, coffee, berries, leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, apples, and red wine
  • The best natural prebiotics are onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas, and Jerusalem artichokes
  • The best natural probiotics are fermented foods including yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and pickles

The experienced team at Florida Wellness Medical Group can help you overcome chronic pain with a variety of advanced therapies. Schedule your appointment today!