We all realise how food choices in our diets affects our general health and well-being. Even in muscle or joint pain inflammatory conditions like gout or arthritis, diet plays a pivotal role.
This point really came home recently for me again, when after years of telling my mum about using food as a medicine and eating anti-inflammatory foods she finally saw the benefits of diet.
My mum has a right osteo-arthrtic hip joint that has been flaring up with pain the last 2-3 years. She doesn’t want hip replacement surgery so I have been trying to help her with conservative pain management options. I actually sent her to a Rheumatologist for arthritis pain-killer medication. This is when she finally tried an arthritis diet change because the Rheumatologist told her to stop sugar in her diet. My mum finally realised how pain is linked to the food we eat.
This is what I want to talk about today and the concept of the Deflame Diet by chiropractor, David Seamen.
I also found a free online shopping trolley that helps you choose healthier foods.
Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Pain Relief
You most likely haven’t heard it before, but there is a concept called the deflame diet.
The deflame diet was coined by an US chiropractor, David Seaman. Seaman writes lots on his reading on nutrition research and how it relates to inflammation in the body.
What I really like about the deflame diet concept is it promotes food as medicine.
Your food is what you prescribe yourself everyday. Your food prescription could be good for your health or bad for your health. Food and nutrition are basic health tools that are apart of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding chronic lifestyle diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease like high blood pressure.
We don’t need to live on supplements, our daily food choices should do the job. That is what I like about the deflame diet, which promotes food first, supplements if needed.
The Deflame Diet Guidelines
This printable pdf gives you a lot more direction on types of anti-inflammatory foods and basic anti-inflammatory supplements.[gview file=”http://deflame.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Deflaming-Guides-2012.pdf”]
Listen to the delfame food guideline:
Part 1 describes deflaming with diet.
Part 2 describes deflaming with nutritional supplements.
Food Can Cause Pain and Inflammation
Yes food that we eat can cause pain in or bodies.
An example would be the arthritis condition called gout.
You probably know gout as the old man problem when his big toe gets sore from eating too much red meat and drinking too much alcohol. Gout is characterised by having too much uric acid in your system.
Apart of the treatment for gout is a change in diet to avoiding gout promoting food like red meat, red wine etc…
Problem One: Too Many Grains
You will see a lot of the inflammatory cycle that occurs from a diet is from having too many grains in your daily eating.
These grains are apart of the omega 6 fat group. I have heard most nutrition advisor’s say we need to increase our omega 3 fats not our omega 6 fats. That means getting more essential fatty acids in our bodies to allow the body to repair itself.
It is known how important fish oils are for maintaining a healthy heart. But these omega 3 oils not only help your heart they are involved in calming the inflammation cycle in our bodies. I saw some research a while back looking at Omega 3 Oils for Pain Relief and using Vitamin C for neuropathic pain.
Problem Two: Too Much Sugar
Sugar is what the Rheumatologist told my mum to cut down on because sugar is involved in the inflammatory chemical process in our bodies. You can watch the lecture “Sugar is a Poison” by Robert H. Lustig who is a medical doctor and professor of pediatrics.
This is the process where too much sugar in our daily eating not only increases our risk of lifestyle diseases, like obesity and diabetes, but affects other parts of our bodies as well. This is the point the Rheumatologist was telling my mum, which she finally took in and changed in her diet.
In my mum’s case she was amazed at how she can be in severe pain where she can’t stand up straight, can’t walk properly on the leg, pain going up and down stairs to within a week or two of diet change near normal again.
She still has a slight limp from the arthritis, but has no pain only mild stiffness. She really can’t believe how powerful an effect on pain and inflammation food can have on the body. She is a firm believer now of the natural anti-inflammatory diet that’s for sure.
How To Start Anti-Inflammatory Diet
I still believe that such a simple way to help our bodies avoid pain is to look at what we eat.
Of course you should discuss any major diet changes with your GP or dietician first especially if your on chronic medications. For instance omega 3 fish oils make your blood thinner so if your on warfarin already this could be a problem.
The deflame diet is in reality asking you to think. Instead of having all that bread or pastries think about having a protein, vegetable or fruit alternative. Eat simple foods, eat natural anti-inflammatory foods.
This is the hardest part to do for many of us including myself.
When your hungry popping into the local supermarket or garage shop to pick up a sandwich or pie is just so much easier and appealing than a raw carrot or steamed veg. But you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll start enjoying the benefits of healthier eating.
Like my mum, she still likes her biscuits or a sugar in her coffee, but she likes the feeling of not having severe pain even more.
So at the end of the day we all have our own personal reasons why we would choose to change our diets. The benefits of a diet maybe you want to have more energy during the day, help a halitosis problem with your breath, help a candida fungal infection, help prevent spots on your skin, prevent bloated painful stomach when sitting in meetings etc… I find if you can see how a diet change helps you prevent something that embarrasses or concerns you will be more likely to make a change.
Maybe, like my mum, pain is what you want to change.
Take a look at the deflame diet concept and if you have an inflammatory condition in your body just know that medication, exercise or hand-on treatment is not the only option you have to feeling better sooner.
Prescribe yourself some better food every time you eat and I think you’ll get a pleasant surprise in your positive change in health.
Dr Seaman Recommended Supplements
As you can read in the pdf above on the second last page that Dr David Seaman recommends certain supplements to eating a deflame diet.
As he mentions that “each of the suggested supplements has been selected due to its ability to promote health and/or reduce inflammation.” I found these anti-inflammatory supplements made by Anabolic Laboratories on Amazon.
Below you can find the four recommended supplements:
For UK readers I couldn’t find them on the UK store so I have added some other vitamins companies.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet Books
My three suggested books to read more about how to eat a diet with less carbohydrates & that follow deflame diet guidelines are these three Paelo diet books by Dr L Cordain and from Sally Fallon:
- The Paleo Diet,
- The Paleo Diet for Athletes and,
- Nourishing Traditions.
Free Online Shopping Diet Food Help[UPDATE] It appears the NHS and mysupermarket website no longer support this right food choice function.
I found this free online healthy food shopping help resource that is in association with NHS choices. The mysupermarket.co.uk website helps you:
- Monitor online what is in your shopping trolley,
- Tells you if the 5 a day are in your trolley,
- Alternative food options,
- Cool red, amber, green traffic light system to monitor food content.