Eating to Reduce Pain and Injury
As an outdoor athlete reducing your risk of injury is serious business. You take the necessary precautions, you train, stay hydrated and use the right safety equipment. But what about the food you eat? Is it possible that your diet could be undermining your best efforts to stay injury free? Dr. Daniel Twogood says, “yes.”
In my recent interview with Dr. Daniel Twogood he explains how inflammatory substances, found in many of the most common foods we eat, can increase our risk of injury and even cause chronic pain. He says substances like casein protein, sodium caseinate, mono sodium glutamate, gluten and others can result in inflammation and pain in the body. With higher levels of inflammation and pain comes an increased risk of injury.
Casein protein is a protein found in cows milk and other dairy products like cheese and yogurt. The best strategy for dealing with pro-inflammatory substances like casein is to remove foods from your diet that include them. Unfortunately, eliminating casein is not as easy as switching to “non-dairy” alternatives because products like coffee creamers contain sodium caseinate, another powerful form of casein. Instead, Dr. Twogood recommends switching to plant derived alternatives like soy or almond milk products.
The other food that Dr. Twogood identifies as causing pain in the body is chocolate. In fact, he said “Chocolate is the most powerful cause of pain, more than anything else in the world.” Bad news for chocolate lovers but good news for those suffering with chronic pain.
Rounding out his short list of pro-inflammatory substances to avoid is Mono Sodium Glutamate or (MSG). MSG is a chemical flavor enhancer found in TV dinners, Chinese food, processed foods, cup of soup, etc. Aside from pain, MSG can cause panic attacks, heart palpitations, mood changes, mysterious bruises and other issues.
By making dietary changes and eliminating foods that contain these pro-inflammatory substances it’s possible to reduce the level of inflammation in your body,your risk of injury and chronic pain. I invite you to listen to my interview with Dr. Twogood to learn more about what he’s discovered and how he’s helped athletes and countless others live pain free.
Here’s to your health,
Steve Stearns is an avid outdoorsman and host of the Outside Health and Fitness podcast. He shares practical advice, resources and interviews experts from the world of fitness, nutrition and health. His goal is to help others discover new, fun and effective ways to be naturally fit, healthy and happy.