Inflammation is a necessary reaction from the body to protect it from injury. But when it’s chronic, it can lead to health problems, particularly joint pain. The foods we eat can contribute to or manage inflammation. Generally, healthy foods help reduce inflammation while unhealthy foods promote it. But did you know that there are some foods we often consider healthy which can increase inflammation?
If you have an intolerance or allergy to certain foods – even if they are healthy – they could be triggering inflammation and worsening your joint pain.
Naturopathic doctor Melissa Piercell explained, “If you know you’re not feeling right but can’t nail down what’s making you feel like garbage, there are a few keys foods endurance athletes can eliminate to see if they feel better. And when you’re eliminating these foods, make sure you eliminate them otherwise you won’t know if they’re causing the problem.”
If you are planning on embarking on an elimination diet, you should try it for at least three weeks to really narrow in on the culprit.
Six major food allergens include dairy, gluten, soy, caffeine, alcohol, and processed sugar. Nightshade vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants can also trigger inflammation as well and may be included in your elimination diet. Nuts and red meat may also be a trigger for some people.
You may notice that when removing your trigger foods, your joint pain subsides. Although this may seem restrictive, it is essential to reduce inflammation in the body not just for your joints but for your overall health.
To begin an elimination diet, you may want to work alongside a nutritionist for guidance and the proper steps. Generally, they will put you on a plan to remove certain foods and instruct you to incorporate these foods back at a certain time. You will also be required to keep a food journal to document how you feel when you remove and add foods.
Although the list of inflammatory foods may seem long, they may not all be a trigger for you, so don’t fear that you won’t be left with anything to eat.