Poor dietary habits can cause pain in your body and in your joints. Your body chemistry needs proper nutrition to be healthy, and to biochemically eliminate your pain. Common principles in neurology and biochemistry are what show this to be true…let’s put it into laymen’s terms.
Do you believe that what you eat has a direct affect on your aches and pains? Despite what you believe, the common perception is that what we eat does not have any bearing on our pain levels. That is wrong and I’ll tell you why. I will show you how nutrition can actually change your biochemistry to cause you to have more or less pain, depending on what you eat.
Are you really what you eat? Unfortunately most of us just laugh at the statement that we are what we eat. Are we really going to turn into a bottle of india pale ale beer, or a turkey sandwich with sprouts on it? Of course not.
Let’s consider a report put out by the Surgeon General in 1988. The Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health, published in 1988, states that heart disease, cancer and strokes are the three leading causes of death in America, totaling close to 75% of all deaths. We are also told that these are diet-related diseases. The Report concludes, “one personal choice seems to influence long-term health prospects more than any other: what we eat” (1).
The problem is that we don’t really think about what we are eating and how it affects our health. We don’t think about the long-term affects on our body. The younger we are, the more indestructible we feel. The more indestructible we feel, the less we care about what we eat.
If you get sick, what do you do? Do you go running to your doctor to ask them for a cure? Most people in our country do. All you have to do is look to see how many drugs are taken in the U.S. on a daily basis. According data just released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) showing that at least half of all Americans takes at least one prescription drug, with one in six taking three or more medications. We want to be able to eat and drink whatever we want to, then blame the doctor if they can’t heal us. Most people take no responsibility for their own health.
Who do you think is healthier, a sedentary, pill-popping, junk-food junkie, or the active, fruit and vegetable eating, supplement taking woman? You know the answer to that, so why is it that we don’t pay more attention to what we are putting in our bodies? We know that we should eat more fruits and veggies than ice cream and 1,000 calorie coffee drinks. The problem is that no one really has had a reason WHY they should eat properly. Well, if you want to get out of PAIN, now you have a reason.
To be healthy we have to take care of three things. We must take care of our structure, our body chemistry (diet/nutrition), and our minds. The World Health Organization defines health as “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This means that we need to take care of our body with exercise and proper care of the structure, such as the spine, take care of our minds with positive thinking and prayer/meditation, and last of all eating properly. Let’s talk about how to eliminate your pain with food.
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will reduce your level of pain. Your diet can actually help to prevent the development of degenerative diseases (2) and help fight pain. The question that needs to be asked is, what causes pain? What is the difference between your back pain, headaches, leg pain, or carpal tunnel pain? People take a lot of medications for pain in many different locations. Do you think that the treatment of pain makes any sense? Why is it the same pill for every ailment?
We have to understand that we perceive pain through our nervous system. Pain is felt because a pain sensitive nerve is irritated by a chemical or joint fixation. This is not really hard to understand, and can make this whole topic of “eating for less pain” easier to understand. You don’t really hear this information on the TV though when you see commercials for pain relievers…they never talk about WHY you have pain. But, you just have to know that pain is cause by irritation to your pain nerves.
Neurologically speaking pain is pain. What I am saying is that no matter where your pain is, the pain is due to irritation to the pain nerves. So, as long as we can remove whatever is irritating that nerve, you will have less pain and associated symptoms. This should be easy to do. We just have to know what stimulates these nerves…and through the research we do know!
Pain nerves are irritated by joint restrictions and direct trauma. Pain nerves are also irritated by certain biochemicals including lactic acid, prostaglandin E-2, and many more. The names are not important. We have to know that these chemicals are released due to injured tissues, which cause inflammation and pain. (3)
All of our food that we eat is broken down into biochemicals. Certain foods like meat, dairy, and cheese will cause inflammatory chemicals to be released when consumed in large amounts. But, if you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables with them…the affect will not be as inflammatory. It is that simple.
The fact of the matter is if you eat poorly, your pain levels to rise due to increased inflammation and irritation to the pain nerves. Make sure that you eat enough fruits and vegetables to balance this cascade out, so that you have less pain all around.
1. The Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health, U.S. Dept. Health & Human Services, U.S. Government Printing Office, Wash., DC., 1988.
2. American Journal Clinical Nutrition Suppl to 53(1): Jan/1991
3. Seaman, David R. Clinical Nutrition for pain, inflammation and tissue healing. Lake Lure, NC: NutrAnalysis, Inc, 1998.