For the most part, those of us who are dealing with chronic pain have taken or heard of the necessary treatment measures. What you may not know is that there are many studies that show that diet can also play a major role in pain control. A diet geared towards the decrease of inflammation in the body, paired with exercise stress management, has been praised by many pain sufferers.

It is important to add that anyone considering changes to their diet should always consult with their primary care physician before taking part in any new lifestyle regimen.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to toxins.  However, with inflammation also comes pain and discomfort. Over a period of time, inflammation left untreated could result in more chronic conditions.

An anti-inflammatory diet, also known as a “Mediterranean diet” entails clean eating, very little red meat and dairy and little to no simple carbohydrates. It is important to note that the key here is not the food itself, but the diet as a whole.

Remember, consistency is the key. It is a lifestyle change and will not show results immediately.

Little red meat: Eat red meat very rarely. Instead, get your iron, protein and other vitamins from sources such as legumes, dark green and leafy vegetables, and substitute meat portions with fish or opt for a vegetarian choice.

The more color, there better: If you tend to see a white, grey or beige theme on your dinner plate, you are doing it wrong. Add as many colors as you can to your plate for each meal. Bright colored fresh fruit and veggies are optimal for vitamin intake, fiber and taste great!

Easy on the dairy and grains: Stay away from simple carbohydrates. This is where reading packaging will come into play. Avoid things like sugar, corn syrup and white flour. These foods can cause inflammation and don’t offer the best nutrition for your dollar. Try to eat high protein Greek yogurts, whole grain breads and whole wheat flour. Limit your overall dairy and grain intake to once a day instead of every meal.

Just like all lifestyle changes, this too will take time to show results. Be patient, and try to focus on how you feel as a whole. Day by day, you will feel and see a change in your body.