Last time I gave you a good overview on how you can eat to reduce your inflammation levels and speed up your healing capability. Before we go into this further, let’s just do a review quick of how eating better can help your body. You have to understand what you fuel your body with will have a direct impact on your ability to heal. It’ll have a direct impact on many aspects of your life. This applies to those with any kind of inflammatory condition, back, neck or shoulder issue. I used this when I had tendonitis in my elbow, and it cleared that up. I did it by just changing a few things in terms of what I was putting in my body.
The First Thing to Eating Better
Drink only water, tea, or coffee with no to minimal sugar. Stay away from those drinks high in sugar such as lattes from Starbucks and Scooters. Last Tuesday, I was at Starbucks with a friend of mine grabbing a cup of coffee. I don’t go to Starbucks very often, I like their coffee but not all that other stuff. In fact, hadn’t been there in a long time so I kind of forgot the sizes. I had to ask the lady what their sizes were. She shows them to me and I chose the larger one, I think it’s a venti.
When I told her I just wanted a black coffee she kind of looked at me. “You don’t want anything in it?” “No, just black coffee.” It totally confused her. She had to look to her manager and ask her what she should give me. I think they are so used to everybody getting the mochas, lattes, and all of that whipped cream. But you guys, it is just one of the worst things you can do. Go to Starbucks, but just get your coffee straight black. Don’t add anything in it.
The Second Thing to Eating Better
Avoid high concentrated sugar foods, like candy, cookies, cake, and processed food.
Dark chocolate is okay. You can feed that sweet tooth a little bit, but really avoid those high concentrated sugar foods.
The Third Thing to Eating Better
Avoid dairy products. Milk, yogurt, sour cream, stay away from those things. Those increase your inflammatory levels. You don’t have to swear all dairy off. You can have fermented cheese, it’s not as bad as far as affecting your blood pH.
The Fourth Thing to Eating Better
The last thing is only 20% of your plate should be meat. 80% should be veggies. I call it the 80/20 rule, 80% veggies, 20% meat. If you have your plate in front of you, it doesn’t matter whether it’s lunch or dinner, 80% of that volume should be vegetable source and only 20% should be a meat source.
Let’s Talk About Specific Foods
Now that we have these basics down, let’s talk about specific foods. Let’s really get down into it. I want to talk to you about how they can help or hurt you in your healing process.
Fats is one food that has a significant impact on the inflammatory process. Omega-6 fatty acid, which is found in the American diet, tends to promote inflammation. While the omega-3 fatty acids help suppress the inflammatory process. The omega-6 fatty acids are the ones you guys really want to stay away from. They are still important, but it’s the ratio we have in our western diet, which is so bad. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the western diet has been shown to be as high as 16 to 2. This has prompted some experts to conclude our traditional western diet is a pro inflammatory diet.
There’s no wonder most of us today are in some kind of pain, especially when it comes to back. The omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for our diet, but we consume far too many of them. You’ve got to work on getting that ratio in a better position.
We don’t eat enough Omega-3, which promotes health we should bring down our Omega-6. While also focusing on bringing up our Omega-3 levels. Our intake of dairy, beef, pork, and chicken, we want to reduce that. Especially if you’re trying to heal or want to reduce your inflammation level.
The fatty acids, Omega-6, is present with higher levels in beef, pork, chicken, all the dairy milk products. Some of the seed oils, egg yolks, food packets, and processed foods. these are all staples of our standard American diet. The omega-6 increases inflammation, and the Omega-3 suppress inflammation. We want to stay away from those things that have the high Omega-6.
You might wonder if I’m going to stay away from dairy, beef, chicken, and pork, what can I eat? What has a high level of Omega-3?
That’s a great question. Cold water fish. Okay. Your salmon, halibut, mackerel, and tuna are very high in Omega-3. Canola oil, ground flax seeds, and walnuts (walnuts are considered a super food)
Little side story about walnuts. My grandfather lived to be 96 years of age and he didn’t start his family until he was a little bit older. He was born in 1896 and he died in 1992, was an avid golfer and one of the things he swore by was walnuts. There was this big Walnut tree in his backyard and he would make these cookies, granted they were cookies, but he would throw so many walnuts into those things. Whether that helped him or not with his longevity, it certainly didn’t hurt him. He felt walnuts were very important. There’s been a lot of research, to back him up, showing walnuts are a superfood. They’re very healthy for your heart. They have a high level of Omega-3 and suppress inflammation. Walnuts are in abundance and it’s definitely something to think about. You should definitely intermix walnuts with your food.
All of those things, the cold water fish, canola oil, ground flax seeds, walnuts are great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids and helps reduce your pain.
These fatty acids are also active in preventing the cycle of inflammation. Preventing the cycle of inflammation will help provide relief to people. Things such as olive oil, pecans, almonds, avocados, peanuts, cashews, sesame seeds/oil, pistachios, and macadamia nuts are great sources of Omega-9. I want you to be careful with them because they’re very loaded with calories. There’s nothing wrong with having a few almonds, some avocados, throw in cashews, pistachios, or macadamia nuts, just do so in moderation. Don’t eat an entire can.
Fruits and Greens
I’ve always wondered how long it was going to take for our society to know these things are good for us. Your mom used to tell you to eat all your vegetables. If you want to grow up big and strong, eat your vegetables. There’s so much truth to that. We should all listen to our mothers because moms always right. It’s just the way it is.
Antioxidants are present in fruit and vegetables. Antioxidants help reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body, which inhibits the development of an inflammatory response.
What’s the recommendations? How much should you eat? How many fruits, how many vegetables? Keep in mind, fruit is a form of sugar so you want to be careful with that. The fiber content of that Apple will offset some of that sugar intake, but you still need to be careful with it.
You want to shoot between five to eight servings of fruit and vegetables a day. I would steer more towards the vegetable side than, I would the fruit side. You might think this is a lot, but it’s not as hard as it seems. Especially if you mix in a lot of salads. A serving size of fruit is the equivalent of basically the size of a tangerine or half of a banana. It’s not very big. The serving size of a vegetable is considered one cup, whether that’s raw or cooked. With those vegetables, you should be striving for six or so and just a couple servings of fruits.
Make that shift. It will make a HUGE impact.
ACTIONS: take them now and it will help impact your ability to heal from the inside out.
If you do these things it will certainly reduce the inflammation and you can just start this tomorrow. It’s very easy. Um, first one is, you know, replace the, uh, the chicken, pork, or ground beef.
Replace chicken, pork or ground beef with salmon, mackerel, or halibut. Do that twice a week.
Use canola or olive oil for salad dressings and cooking instead of the other vegetable oils. Stay away from processed oils. Fill your salads with some walnuts, almonds, or pecans. When you go to snack eat fruit or vegetable stuff. Celery is fantastic for you. Mix in a few little handfuls of cashews or macadamia nuts. Sliced avocado instead of cheese on a sandwich. Fermented cheese is okay, but avocado is better. Use the omega-3 fortified eggs. If you’re using eggs as a protein source, use eggs that are fortified with Omega-3. You can find these in all the local grocery stores. Look for is the phrase that says fed with DHA or EHA.
The last thing you can do is add a salad to your dinner every night. Filling up with vegetables during the meals will also help with weight management. If you add those green leafy vegetables to your dinner, then you could expand that into lunchtime too.
Reducing Body Inflammation
Reducing your body’s inflammation levels typically means you are going to have to change your diet. This is one of the best ways to alleviate the issue, if not cure the problem. You must address some of the physical aspects causing your back pain. If you don’t address the food you put into your body and continue eating high sugar, processed, and carbohydrate filled foods, your body’s going to have a hard time healing.
That’s the beauty of this. It’s really simple.
Foods to Avoid
Refined sugar and refined carbohydrates. Start slow because there is such thing as a sugar addiction. When you start to cut out sugar, your body’s going to revolt. I’ll tell you, you are going to feel terrible as you are detoxifying off sugar. Trust me, if you can push through that, it is so worth it because the health benefits are huge. Switch to natural sugar alternatives such as stevia, honey, or natural maple syrup. Artificial sweeteners don’t help you and can indirectly lead to insulin insensitivity and obesity problems. Avoid them at all costs.
There’s a lot of research behind trans fats. These are found in junk food. I know they taste great, but they are going to raise your cholesterol levels. They’re going to raise your inflammatory levels and you are not going to heal properly. You need to cut them out.
Cut out dairy products. You may be lactose intolerant and not even realize it. When you are having inflammation issue going on, such as pain in your shoulder or neck, stay away from those things.
Hydrogenated cooking oils. These are the commercially sold oils you see these lining the shelves in grocery stores. They look clean, golden, and healthy, but they cause high inflammation and its going to throw off your body’s ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s going to throw that out of whack so avoid those cooking oils.
Meats. Sausages, beef, jerky, spam. I know guys, these things taste great, but that turkey and bacon jerky is not good for you. Stay away from those processed and canned meats. Even the consumption of fresh red meat should be reduced until you bring down your inflammation.
Most of the meats today have other chemicals and hormones that will affect your inflammatory levels.
Foods you should focus on eating.
If you truly want to reduce the inflammation levels, and get your back to feel better, the first thing is oily fish, salmon, tuna, and sardines. I know they make your breath stink, but sardines are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Okay. If you don’t like the way fish tastes, you can always purchase fish oil supplements. That helps too.
Water. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. These will flush the toxins out of your body. Most people today are in a constant state of dehydration and don’t even realize it. You should be aiming for, depending on your activity and weather, between 64 to 100 ounces of water a day. I stress, if you’re up moving around and you’re active, it should be over a hundred.
Eat your tomatoes, fruits, and leafy greens. They’re excellent sources at everything you need in order to make your body more alkaline. Tomatoes are also very effective at treating inflammation. It’s more alkaline in nature. Lemon is huge. they may seem acidic in nature but once you consume them, they become alkaline in your body. Avocados are truly amazing and beneficial at alkalizing your body.
Eat fibrous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. These are great sources of fiber. There are many other vegetables that are rich in fiber, too. These are just some examples.
Try making these changes to your diet.
You’re going to find over time your back pain will start to get better. There’s no question. It will help you heal from the inside.
If you would like more tips on fixing your back, I do have a new eBook out, The Five Best Kept Secrets for Fast Back Pain Relief. You can get your copy by simply emailing me at Mike@flex-pt.com or shooting me a message on Facebook messenger.
I love quotes and I want to leave you guys with a thought provoking quote from Joyce Meyer –
“It is sad today that many times people give up in the hard times and never get to enjoy the fruit of all their labor”.
Until next time.
Power Your Life and Keep Moving Forward.