Have you ever wondered how food impacts your aches and pains? The ingredients in your daily diet certainly play a role in your muscle health. And if you or a loved one live with chronic pain, you know how important it is to eliminate every source of additional pain possible. Today we are going to walk through the basics of the relationship between diet and muscle aches. Read on to learn more.
What’s Included in a Healthy Diet?
When we talk about the connection between diet and muscle health, we first need to establish what we mean by diet. Although the word “diet” can sometimes refer to a weight loss program, it’s also the word that encapsulates the general relationship a person has with food. Everything a person consumes is part of their diet.
A healthy, balanced diet will ideally include all of the following:
- Whole grains
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Small amounts of healthy fats/oils such as avocado, coconut oil or olive oil
- Lean meats or alternate sources of protein
- Low-fat dairy
It’s important to get enough of each of these sources of nutrition every day because they deliver vitamins and minerals to your muscles, organs, bones, brain and more! Without them, your body cannot sustain itself. Poor nutrition can lead to many problems, including muscle aches, inflammation, decreased bone density and fatigue.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Did you know that dehydration is one of the top four most common reasons for muscle cramps? Not only does staying hydrated decrease cramps but studies show it also improves muscle performance, decreases recovery time and increases anaerobic capacity. It’s an important part of a healthy diet.
We typically recommend that the average person consume eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. If you are struggling with finding a way to get that amount into your daily diet, contact one of our Bedford doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Benbrook and Lewisville). Our chronic pain specialists would love to help you come with a strategy that works for you for hydration, diet, exercise and more.
Foods That Help
Incorporating the right foods in your daily diet can go a long way toward helping avoid unnecessary aches and pains. The best method for getting these nutrients into your body is through consuming whole food sources (versus a vitamin or supplement). Our Bedford sports pain relief (locations also in Benbrook and Lewisville) specialists recommend being intentional about including foods rich in the following nutrients:
- Omega-3: salmon, mackerel, walnuts, chia seeds
- Magnesium: pumpkin seeds, spinach, cashews, shredded wheat cereal, soymilk
- Calcium: winter squash, edamame, kale, cheese
- Vitamin D: tuna fish, swordfish, salmon
- Electrolytes: turkey, chicken, yogurt, beans, bananas
What to Avoid
Finally, we wanted to include a list of the top foods that tend to contribute to muscle and joint soreness. Some of our patients can still consume small amounts of the items on this list without it being a problem while others find it best to avoid them altogether. (However, as you read this list, you may notice that many of these foods also contribute to other health problems.) We recommend limiting the consumption of the following foods:
- Refined carbohydrates
- Trans fats
- Nightshade vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, tomatoes)
Be sure to consult your doctor if you have any questions about this list or any other foods that may be aggravating your condition.
The team at Comprehensive Pain Institute combines the latest in pain management treatments with personally customized care for each patient. Our doctors understand that pain is complex, and we personalize each pain management treatment plan based on your history, symptoms and unique condition. Get in touch today to schedule a time to meet our team and get on the path to a higher quality of life.