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Posted on: August 19 2015

Image wild alaskan salmon

When we experience long term chronic pain, we need to look at the big picture. As well as addressing the obvious cause of our pain, we need to reduce the systemic inflammation in our body…

Reduce inflammation

Increase foods in your diet that are anti-inflammatory

Fish, especially sardines and wild Alaskan salmon are very high in the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 EPA. Check the labels of tinned fish – some brands are such high quality that they contain over 500mg EPA! Be aware the Atlantic salmon (including Tasmanian salmon) is farmed, and as a result has much lower levels of EPA, in addition to antibiotic disease control measures, additives (sometimes natural) to make them pink and environmental impact concerns.

A high dose Omega 3 EPA fish oil can provide up to 2000mg EPA per serve. Be sure to go only for the highest quality, as fish oils are very susceptible to being oxidised and going rancid when exposed to heat, light and air. Nitrogen flushed processing prevents this damage.

Turmeric is strongly anti-inflammatory. It is poorly absorbed when eaten as a spice however. Adding black pepper will increase its absorption somewhat, as will consuming it with a healthy fat, but for an anti-inflammatory effect that measures up to your anti-inflammatory medications, consider a high quality, high dose extraction of turmeric in a tablet or capsule.

Walnuts (one handful) and flaxseeds (two tablespoons freshly crushed, or one tablespoon of high quality oil) contain the Omega 3 fatty acid ALA which although much weaker than EPA, is a good vegetarian option.

Reduce foods that are triggering inflammation in the body

Refined sugar increases inflammation. Avoid lollies, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, flavoured yoghurts and check all packaged foods.

Identify any food allergies accurately with a naturopath, as these can trigger inflammation every time you eat them.

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