How Food Can Make You Feel Better

3 Basic Diet Tips for a Healthy Mind and Body

When your body is out of balance, it may lead to feelings of pain or discomfort. What we eat can greatly reduce that pain by keeping the mind healthy, limiting stress on the digestive system, regulating heart and kidney health, and most importantly controlling inflammation. 

Inflammation is the natural response of your body to injury and to protect tissue from foreign substances. Inflammation increases blood flow around injured areas to start the healing process. This can occur visibly such as when you sprain an ankle and it swells up and it can also occur microscopically around joints and organs throughout the body.

Inflammation usually leads to pain and discomfort which many feel frequently in their lives. Further, studies show that constant inflammation can result in the formation of disease and chronic illness.  By reducing the amount of inflammation that comes from daily stress factors, people can reduce pain, feel better, and experience more stability in their lives.

One way to reduce inflammation is to eat well. Diet impacts so many things in our bodies and inflammation and pain are connected to it as suggested by a large body of research. A plant-based diet, Mediterranean diet, or diets influenced by these ones, can reduce inflammation, control cholesterol levels, improve gut health, and regulate insulin. In fact, some people who suffer from chronic pain have seen reversals of their conditions once they adopt one of these diets. Some have even seen heart disease healed, diabetes disappear, and arthritis subside - such is the power.

These diets are rich in vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains and limit or exclude red meat, dairy products, and eggs. When those following the diet cook at home, they can also control sodium, sugar, and fat intake which is important as well for overall health. Here are three ways we can eat better.

Eat the Rainbow

Consume a broad range of vegetables and fruit with every meal. Eating the rainbow means including vegetable of all types of colors to provide a complete set of macro nutrients (fats, carbs, and protein) and micro nutrients such as minerals and vitamins. The bright colors from the plant-based foods provide antioxidants and phytonutrients which help prevent cancer. Plant-based foods also provide much needed fiber which is crucial for well being.

Consume Whole Grains

Refined foods such as grains and sugars are sources of inflammation and chronic pain. It is recommended to eat whole grains instead which provide complex carbohydrates which have an array of health benefits. Instead of eating refined wheat pasta or white rice, try whole grain pasta, multi-grain baking mixes and brown rice. Oatmeal in the morning is another way to get whole grains.

Avoid Fried Foods

Many have heard of Omega 3 fatty acids which are good for health. Omega 3 has a role in reducing inflammation. It's counterpart, Omega 6 helps to cause healthy inflammation to heal the body. It's important to keep these two in balance with the food we eat. Some dietitians suggest a one to one ratio. The standard American diet creates an O6 to O3 imbalance of twenty to one which comes primarily from fried foods. This means that many people are in a constant state of inflammation. By eating better and cooking at home, you can bring the O6 to O3 ratio back into balance and feel better.

by Spiro Zefferys. Spiro is a Co-Founder of Treatmo, a graduate of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona-where he currently resides-and has a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition.