Benefits of a healthy diet plus nutrition guidelines.
It’s important to choose smart, nutrient-dense foods to help you be and feel your best.
- You are what you eat. Good nutrition won’t eliminate chronic pain but it will reduce the extra stress caused by poor nutrition. Pain increases stress and the need for nutrients may increase when a body is under stress.
- Convenient foods combined with low activity can lead to weight gain. Increased weight leads to increased mechanical stresses and increased pain.
- Certain foods can make pain better or worse. Keep a food diary. You may have triggers that are individual to you
Follow the recommended guidelines in the Canada’s Food Guide for a healthy balanced diet that includes all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for vitality and health.
Contact a dietitian
Vitamin D is important for building strong bones. The recommended dosage is 600 IU per day. This is especially important if you take opioids for pain as they can affect your hormones and lower your body's ability to effectively build bone.
Calcium is also important for maintaining good bone density. If you are on opioids, you may consider taking at least one calcium tablet containing 500 mg of elemental calcium per day. It is recommended to combine it with magnesium as it counteracts the constipating effect of the calcium.
Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to relieve pain, particularly reducing the use of anti-inflammatory drugs among people with rheumatoid arthritis. Canada’s Food Guide recommends two servings of fish per week. Char, herring, mackerel, rainbow trout, salmon and sardines have very high amounts of omega-3 fats. Talk to you doctor if additional supplement of omega-3 can help improve your pain.
Magnesium is necessary to relax smooth muscles and plays an important function in blocking pain transmitting receptors.