Almost half of UK adults experience chronic pain. Although pain, whether chronic or acute, can have you reaching for strong painkillers, detoxing your body with the right diet can ease your pain. Detoxes aren’t just about ridding your body of toxins – they focus on the consumption of healthy foods that are known to have powerful benefits for your body. They sometimes also cut out harmful substances and foods that increase pain. For instance, cutting out animal products can ease diabetic neuropathy pain because plant-based diets contain lots of antioxidants and nutrients that are beneficial for a healthy body. If you’re experiencing pain from a chronic health condition or you’ve been injured from exercise, there are three important detoxes you should know about.
If you’re experiencing pain after exercise, it’s in your best interest to go on a sugar detox. Sugar, which is found in many foods, increases the body’s inflammation. This leads to an increase in pain, not just from injuries but also health conditions such as gout and fibromyalgia.
A high sugar consumption leads to weight gain, which puts pressure on the body’s joints. If you have a sports hernia, you should, therefore, avoid sugar as this can help you heal faster. Instead of adding simple carbohydrates to your diet which are found in refined sugar, complex carbs give your body more essential nutrients to aid in your recovery from a sports hernia. Fruits and vegetables are especially good sources of complex carbs.
Juicing your fruits and vegetables is a smart way to get more antioxidants into your diet. However, if you’re struggling with pain, a juice detox can also come to your assistance. Many fruits and vegetables offer natural pain relief due to their anti-inflammatory properties. For instance, cherries contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These block pain signals in the brain. Research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that tart cherries decrease muscle pain after exercise. A juice detox of cherries can assist in relieving pain from injuries and strains.
Pineapples are also pain relievers. According to an article in Reader’s Digest, experts claim that pineapples can improve symptoms associated with osteoarthritis because they contain a bromelain enzyme. This enzyme relieves swelling and pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery monitored 45 people who needed oral surgery under local anesthetic. Participants who were given bromelain showed a reduction in pain when compared to people given placebos.
Besides for sugar, salt is also dangerous to eat in large quantities. Salt has many negative effects on the body, with one of the most-often talked about is how it raises blood pressure. People in the UK consume an average of 8 grams of salt every day, which is higher than the 6-gram recommended daily limit!
Eating too much salt can cause joint pain and stiffness, especially if you have rheumatoid arthritis. This is because medications such as corticosteroids which treat rheumatoid arthritis cause the body’s cells to hold onto more sodium. Salt also causes inflammation in the body due to how it swells up the arteries and veins. This puts pressure on the body’s joints. So if you have a painful injury, going on a salt detox can make you feel better by relieving joint pressure and inflammation in general.
When you’re faced with pain, whether from injury or a health condition, it’s easy to focus on getting medication and totally ignore your diet. However, by cutting out some common inflammatory substances, such as salt and sugar, and trading them for healthy produce, you can minimise your pain while feeling stronger.
Image by Derrick Brutel