Many American’s begin and/or end their day with pain medications. From over the counter to prescription medications, ALL have significant health risks. Side effects range from kidney and liver damage to bleeding ulcerations in the stomach lining, heart attacks and more. Somehow, in our quest to escape from the constant nag of unremitting pain, we forget or ignore the ramifications of taking these powerful medications on a daily basis.

Is this the only option for relieving constant pain and inflammation??? Absolutely not! Controlling your pain issues begin with what you put in your body. Your daily habits either support your body or support your pain. I say this to my clients on a regular basis. Inflammation is a fire within your body that can be stoked or doused by what you eat and drink. This is a simple concept but it is nonetheless a true statement. Specific supplements will expedite the process but nothing takes the place of “intentional eating”.

In my last blog, I talked about the importance of having a list of “non-negotiables”. These are ingredients in processed foods that you refuse to buy or eat. FYI, you have to take the time to read the labels when you shop! Okay, so that was about what you DON’T eat. Today’s post is about what you DO eat if you are looking to put out the fire in your body.

Fresh, organic (if possible) produce and free range poultry and meats, along with wild caught salmon and other low mercury fish is an ideal diet for anyone wanting to lower inflammation levels. But for a lot of us, that is a pretty pricy trip to the grocery store! Farmer’s markets and food co-ops often have the best prices on these items.

Other ways of controlling inflammation are to get creative with herbs and spices when you cook. Here is a list that you can start with: Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Fennel Seed, Cilantro, Basil, Parsley, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Chamomile and Rosemary. Making sure that you get anti-inflammatory herbs and spices in your diet every day is an inexpensive way to lessen your pain and inflammation levels. For those of you looking for more info, check out this video produced by Dr. Michael Greger, MD on scientific research surrounding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of everyday consumption of herbs and spices. Here’s a bonus, these herbs and spices are calorie free! Enjoy!