Proper Nutrition For Chronic Illnesses

Chronic illnesses are difficult to manage, but the right diet can be helpful if we follow some basic guidelines. We'll tell you all you need to know about proper nutrition for chronic illnesses in the article below.
Proper Nutrition For Chronic Illnesses

Last update: 07 September, 2020

In this article, we want to talk about proper nutrition for chronic illnesses.

Chronic illnesses are uncurable illnesses that persist over time. On many occasions, their physiopathology is unknown, as well as the causes that produce them, or even their solution.

However, that doesn’t that there aren’t ways of treating these illnesses in order to relieve symptoms and make the lives of patients easier. In fact, very often, patients themselves become experts at elaborating certain nutritional inventions.

The objective of nutrition in these types of situations is to reduce levels of inflammation, oxidative stress, and pain. Therefore, patients should prioritize a series of foods that are rich in phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. What’s more, it’s important to note the need to restrict foods that are capable of contributing to inflammatory processes.

Let’s take a closer look.

Proper nutrition for chronic illnesses: Anti-inflammatory foods

One nutrient that’s especially relevant when it comes to the dietary treatment of chronic illnesses is Omega 3 fatty acid. This class of lipids is capable of reducing inflammation markers in the organism. Also, it improves an individual’s lipid profile, as affirmed by an article published in Biochemical Society Transactions.

You can find these fats in produces like oily fish, raw vegetable oils, seeds, and avocado. Their consumption should be regular in order to guarantee the modulating effect of said nutrients on inflammatory feedback mechanisms.

Foods with Omega 3 fatty acids.

Find out more about Omega 3: Five Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Proper nutrition for chronic illnesses: Phytonutrients to decrease pain

Other compounds that are beneficial when it comes to managing chronic illnesses are phytonutrients. These are substances that are organic in nature and are present mainly in vegetables.

Phytonutrients are capable of modulating inflammation and reducing oxidative stress, according to a study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. What’s more, phytochemicals are capable of reducing damage to cells, which means they can prevent aging.

In addition, these compounds play a role in certain physiological pathways that are responsible for modulating pain and sensitivity of the nervous system. Therefore, they’re especially important in the management of chronic illnesses. In short, following a diet that includes vegetables on a regular basis is fundamental.

Proper nutrition for chronic illnesses: Dietary supplements

Dietary supplements can also be beneficial when it comes to the management of chronic illnesses. For example, there’s melatonin. This hormone is responsible for modulating circadian sleep cycles and increases the quality of rest.

Overall, it possesses a significant antioxidant nature and is linked to the prevention of metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. Also, melatonin is capable of relieving pain in chronic pathologies like fibromyalgia. However, it’s important not to take elevated doses.

We can also mention probiotics. A healthy microbiota helps protect against the development of complex chronic illnesses. So, in order to reduce the risk of intestinal dysbiosis, patients can consume pro and prebiotic supplements. This way, they improve the diversity of the flora and, in turn, improve their overall health.

The intestinal flora.

Improving diet in order to handle chronic illnesses

When pathologies are chronic, it means there is no known cure. However, there are still ways to manage them from a pharmacological and dietary viewpoint.

To do so, patients must emphasize the intake of foods with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant propertiesThese foods are capable of playing a role in a person’s perception of pain as well as reduce cell damage.

At the same time, patients can also turn to the utilization of dietary supplements. Some supplements, like melatonin and probiotics, help reduce risks and regular aggressive symptoms of chronic illnesses, including pain.

However, it’s important to know how to choose the right products. Before consuming any sort of supplement, you should first consult with a specialist. He or she will be able to verify the need for taking supplements as well as provide specific indications regarding ingestion.

Remember that a varied and healthy diet, along with physical exercise on a regular basis, is the best way to prevent the development of chronic illness. A healthy lifestyle is key to enjoying a good quality of life.

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  • Wang J., Song Y., Chen Z., Leng SX., Connection between systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation underlies neuroprotective mechanism of several phytochemicals in neurodegenerative diseases. Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2018.
  • Calder PC., Omega 3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. Biochem Soc Trans, 2017. 45 (5): 1105-1115.