12 Quick Tips for Improving Your Nutrition

Northern Pain Centre is committed to giving patient’s practical steps for managing many of the challenges they face as a result of their pain.  Welcome to our 12 Quick Tips Series.



Here are our 12 quick tips for improving your nutrition:

  1. Change your mindset – focus on your health, not weight (learn more about the role of mindset for managing your weight here)
  2. Eat the rainbow – a wide variety of different coloured fresh fruit & veggies (learn more about the importance of a wide variety of foods for optimal nutrition here)
  3. Drink plenty of water – start with when you wake up (learn more about the importance of water here)
  4. Eat more veggies than animal products (learn more about nutrition here)
  5. Eat whole grains (learn more about whole grains here)
  6. Eat lean protein (learn more about lean protein here)
  7. Get in the sunshine – helps with vitamin D production, helps release serotonin in your brain (learn more about the effects sunlight has on health here)
  8. Get moving – helps with metabolism, sleep, mood & pain (learn more about the benefits of exercise on weight management here)
  9. Pick fresh food over packaged (learn more about fresh over packaged benefits here)
  10. Try cooking it yourself, instead of buying it pre-made or takeaway (learn more about the benefits of home cooking on weight management here)
  11. Work on better quality sleep – helps with mood, metabolism, willpower and appetite (learn more about the effects of poor sleep on weight here)
  12. Ask for help from your GP, Specialist or see a dietitian (find an accredited Dietitian here)


Learn more about Nutrition and Pain

(Video courtesy of IASP)


As referenced in the IASP webinar, you can discover how healthy your diet & eating habits are with the Healthy Eating Quiz.  You’ll receive instant feed­back on your eating habits and your results will be stored in your dash­board, allow­ing you to track your changes over time. For further advice and guidance, talk to your GP to discuss your weight management options.


Read More Quick Tips


Learn more

If you are wanting to learn more about diet and chronic pain, this section includes:

  • Nutrition and Diet Resources
  • Lifestyle Resources (smoking, alcohol and drugs)
  • Gut Health Resources
  • Free Worksheets


Nutrition and Diet Resources

  • 2020 European Year for the Prevention of Pain Factsheet: Nutrition and Chronic Pain Factsheet
  • Webinar: IASP Webinar: Why, what and how of nutrition for people experiencing chronic pain (link)
  • Website: University of Newcastle: Free Healthy Eating Quiz, Report and Recommendations (link)
  • Article: NPC: 12 Quick Tips for Improving Your Nutrition (link)
  • Article: NPC: Guide to Healthy Diet and Weight Management (link)
  • Article: PPM: A Diet for Patients with Chronic Pain (link)
  • Article: NHS: Improving health and fitness (link)
  • Factsheet: HNEHealth: Nutrition and pain (link)
  • Factsheet: ACI: Pain: Lifestyle and nutrition (link)
  • Website: Eat for Health (link)
  • Website: The Australian Dietary Guidelines (link)
  • Website: The Australian Healthy Food Guide (link)
  • Article: Health Engine: Pain and Nutrition (link)
  • Article: Dietician’s Australia: Smart eating for you (link)
  • Article: My Joint Pain: Healthy Eating and Arthritis (link)
  • Article: My Joint Pain: Nutrition (link)
  • Article: Find an Accredited Practising Dietitian (link)
  • Article: Back to Basics: Recipes (link)
  • Article: AIHW: Food and Nutrition (link)
  • Article: NHMRC: Nutrition (link)
  • Article: Healthdirect: A balanced Diet (link)
  • Article: IPSI: Diet & Pain: Part 1: Which diet works best for pain (link)
  • Article: IPSI: Diet & Pain: Part 2: Which diet works best for pain (link)
  • Article: Future Medicine: Diet therapy in the management of chronic pain: better diet less pain? (link)


Gut Health Resources

  • Article: NPC: 12 Quick Tips for Improving Gut Health (link)
  • Article: NPC: Gut Health and Pain – Part 1: Know Your Gut (link)
  • Article: NPC: Gut Health and Pain – Part 2: The Gut-Brain Connection (link)
  • Article: NPC: Gut Health and Pain – Part 3: Your Gut and Stress (link)
  • Article: NPC: Gut Health and Pain – Part 4: Changing your Gut Health (link)
  • Article: Harvard Health: Can diet heal chronic pain? (link)
  • Article: Science Daily: Gut bacteria associated with chronic pain for first time (link)
  • Article: PPM: Gut Health: A look inside reveals what you eat can affect your pain (link)
  • Article: IPSI: Chronic Pain Treatment by Healing the Gut (link)
  • Article: PBHC: The Gut-Brain Connection to Chronic Pain, Anxiety and Depression (link)


Smoking Resources

  • Factsheet: Australian Government: How to quit smoking (link)
  • Factsheet: NSW Health: Smoking, your health and quitting (link)
  • Article: NPC: Benefits of Quitting Smoking (link)
  • Article: Pain Science: Smoking and Chronic Pain (link)
  • Article: Cancer Council: Quit Smoking (link)
  • Article: The Lung Foundation: Quitting Smoking (link)


Alcohol Resources

  • Factsheet: ACI: Standard Drinks (link)
  • Website: Drinkwise (link)
  • Website: Alcoholics Anonymous (link)
  • Article: NIAAA: The Complex Relationship Between Alcohol and Pain (link)


Recreational Drugs Resources

  • Article: NSW State Library: Drug Information (link)
  • Website: Reach Out: Addiction (link)
  • Website: Alcohol and Drug Foundation (link)


Free Worksheets

  • Booklet: Guide to Nutrition for Chronic Pain (link)
  • Worksheet: Weekly Food Diary (link)
  • Worksheet: My Health Plan (link)
  • Worksheet: Weekly Food Diary (link)


Images courtesy of Unsplash
Written by Aimee Carter