I’m sure we’re all guilty of it (I know I am). Taking that last piece of bread at dinner or splurging on a few extra cookies. It’s okay, we’re all human.
But, for those of us living with chronic, stabbing pain in our arms, hands, legs or feet, making smarter eating habits is the difference to reducing nerve pain.
So, before you head out to the market and pick up food for the week, consider the following Do’s and Don’ts to healthier eating.
DO consider a vegan diet.
I know the idea of cutting out cheese, meat and milk seems difficult or even strange, but don’t knock it until you try it! Eating a low-fat, vegan (plant-based) diet can improve your blood sugar. Always a positive for patients with nerve pain. If you’re struggling with the idea of a vegan diet, ask yourself one thing: Do I want to live pain-free? Yes!
DON’T consume Gluten.
It seems that just about everything we eat, there is gluten. What is gluten, you might ask? Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, barley and rye. It is like a glue that helps foods maintain their shape. The problem is, many people are allergic it and don’t even realize it.
For those of us allergic to gluten or living with nerve pain, removing gluten from our diets is highly recommended. This means we can’t eat foods containing wheat, white, cake or baking flour.
DON’T skip meals.
Studies have shown that whether a person eats three meals or day or six smaller meals a day, it all comes down to maintaining calorie intake. Our snacks throughout the day need to offer nutritional value, rather than satisfy our morning craving of a doughnut.
DON’T use artificial sweeteners.
Say it isn’t so! Sugars may be fun to eat, but they offer little-to-no nutrients. It is tempting to think that artificial sweeteners can be used guilt free, but it’s best to avoid extra sweeteners in our drinks. Instead, if your sweet tooth needs satisfying, try fruits and vegetables. An apple a day keeps the doctor away!
DO control your blood sugar.
To maintain a healthy blood sugar, replace foods such as white rice, white bread and white pastas with whole grains. Though whole grains are better for you, keep in mind if you have a gluten allergy stay far, far away.
DO drink plenty of water.
Nothing beats high quality H20. We can never have too much of a good thing like water. It quenches our thirst and is the perfect drink to fuel our bodies.
You don’t have to live with the pain every day. Simple changes like the foods you eat or staying active, whether you’re walking the dog or stretching at your desk, these changes are key to less nerve pain. And that’s a great thing!
Remember to always consult your physician regarding your dietary and nutritional needs.