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Foods for Thought: What to Eat and Avoid When it Comes to Inflammation

If you suffer from arthritis, you know all about inflammation. Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect us from infection with foreign substances, such as bacteria and viruses. However, in some diseases, like arthritis, the body’s defense system, the immune system, triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign substances to fight off. In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.

The most common conditions associated with inflammation are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and muscular low back and neck pain. Symptom of inflammation include:

  • Redness
  • Swollen joints that are warm to the touch
  • Joint pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Loss of joint function
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue/loss of energy, headaches, loss of appetite, and muscle stiffness

Did you know that the foods you eat affect inflammation? Here is a list of foods and ingredients that can trigger more inflammation in your body:

  • Sugar. Pastries, desserts, chocolate, and soda may be hard to resist but the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Sugar goes by many names so look for any word ending in “ose” on the ingredient labels.
  • Saturated fats. Many studies have shown that saturated fats trigger adipose, or fat tissue inflammation, which is not only an indicator for heart disease but it, also worsens arthritis inflammation. Foods such as pizza and cheese are the biggest source of saturated fats. Other foods include meat products, dairy products, pasta dishes, and grain-based desserts.
  • Trans fat can be found in fast foods, fried products, processed snack foods, frozen breakfast products, cookies, donuts, crackers, and some stick margarines. Look for “partially hydrogenated oils” in the ingredient label and avoid those foods.
  • Refined carbohydrates. These can be found in white flour products such as breads, rolls, white rice, white potatoes, French fries, and some cereals.
  • MSG. Mono-sodium glutamate is a flavor enhancing food additive found in prepared Asian food and soy sauce. It can also be found in fast foods, prepared soups and soup mixes, salad dressings, and deli meats.

Now that you are scrambling to think of what there is left to eat, here are a few foods and ingredients that can help fight inflammation:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red wine
  • Tea
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Oily fish
  • Cocoa
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Walnuts
  • Broccoli
  • Whole grains
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Low fat dairy
  • Peppers
  • Beets
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Onions

If you would like to learn more about what other treatment options are available to treat symptoms caused by inflammation, contact us at NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine for an appointment. We offer treatment options such as:

  • Microvas
  • PRP Injection Therapy
  • Non-surgical Orthopedic
  • Joint injections
  • Chiropractic
  • Physical Therapy
  • Sports Medicine
  • And more!
  • Aberdeen

    557 South Atlantic Ave.
    Aberdeen, NJ 07747

  • Barnegat

    175 Gunning River Rd.
    Barnegat, NJ 08005

  • Jackson

    728 Bennetts Mills Rd.
    Jackson, NJ 08527

  • Freehold

    501 Iron Bridge Rd, Suite 2
    Freehold, NJ 07728

  • Manchester

    60 Lacey Rd.
    Manchester, NJ 08759

  • Point Pleasant

    1104 Arnold Ave.
    Point Pleasant, NJ 08742

  • Neptune

    4057 Asbury Ave.
    Neptune, NJ 07753

  • Surgery Center

    475 Route 70
    Lakewood, NJ 08701

  • Toms River

    367 Lakehurst Rd.
    Toms River, NJ 08755

  • Lincroft

    5 Swimming River Road
    Lincroft, NJ 07738

Schedule an appointment online.


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If you’re looking for a multi-specialty medical group that offers interventional pain management, sports medicine, chiropractic care, acupuncture therapy, physical therapy, and orthopedic surgery, look no further than NorthEast Spine & Sports Medicine.

We have eight offices and one ambulatory surgery center (ASC) located in and around Monmouth County, NJ and Ocean County, NJ, and we have many patients that visit us from the following towns:

  • Jackson, NJ
  • Point Pleasant, NJ
  • Barnegat, NJ
  • Brick, NJ
  • Lakewood, NJ
  • Manchester, NJ
  • Aberdeen, NJ
  • Marlboro, NJ
  • Freehold, NJ
  • Monroe, NJ
  • Glassboro, NJ
  • Any many others

Since the beginning, our doctors and staff have been committed to treating patients who suffer from several different types of painful spine, joint, and orthopedic conditions. Furthermore, our goal is not only to reduce pain through physical rehabilitation, therapy, or any of our procedures and treatment options, but to help all of our patients have their functionality and quality of life restored.

Doctors with Superior Medical Knowledge and Compassion

One of the many benefits of choosing NorthEast Spine & Sports Medicine is that we only use the most innovative and modern treatment options and procedures. Furthermore, every service and treatment option we offer is available at each of our nine offices. Therefore, you should expect to receive the treatment you need whether you visit our office in Jackson, NJ, Point Pleasant, NJ, Barnegat, NJ, Manchester, NJ, Aberdeen, NJ or Tinton Falls, NJ. Furthermore, when patients come to one of our offices, they are always greeted with smiles and treated with kindness.

Every member of a team is respectful and empathetic, and will go to great lengths to ensure your pain management needs are addressed. Another reason to choose our medical practice is because our team makes it one of their highest priorities to stay at the forefront of medical research so that they’re offering the best care possible. Lastly, our physicians and staff also make certain that patients have the knowledge they need to help them live pain-free lives.

Comprehensive and Customized Care Provided by NorthEast Spine & Sports Medicine

While some patients may only require one service and/or treatment option and procedure, others may require customized care plans to help them get back on their feet. After your initial evaluation, your physician will create a custom-tailored treatment plan that they feel will offer you with the pain relief you want. In fact, you should not only expect to be recommended with a treatment plan that will help to reduce and/or eliminate your pain, but one that will aid in increasing your activity level, and reducing the amount of pain medicine you take. In the end, you will be provided with a comprehensive and customized care plan that will greatly improve the quality of your life.

Even though pain is an unavoidable part of life, it doesn’t mean you must suffer from it all throughout your lifetime. To learn more the doctors and staff at NorthEast Spine & Sports Medicine, our pain treatment options and procedures, and our locations in and around Ocean County, NJ, and Monmouth County, NJ, please browse our site. To make an appointment, please don’t hesitate to do so online, or give one of the offices closest to your home in Brick, NJ, Lakewood, NJ, Marlboro, NJ, Freehold, NJ, Glassboro, NJ, or another area a call today.