Simple food choices can benefit gulf war veterans with chronic conditions

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Gulf War illness is a chronic condition affecting nearly one-third of the 700,000 U.S. military personnel who served during the early 1990s.

Recent studies in the Journal of the American Heart Association indicate that veterans with this condition face higher risks for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, likely linked to their exposure to various chemicals during service.

This review focuses on easy-to-understand food choices which could benefit veterans, and others, suffering from chronic pain and related conditions.

Anti-inflammatory Foods:

Foods with anti-inflammatory properties can ease pain and inflammation, common symptoms of Gulf War illness. Including fruits and vegetables, such as berries, oranges, and tomatoes, can be beneficial.

Omega-3 rich foods like fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds are known to reduce inflammation. Olive oil and green tea also possess anti-inflammatory properties and can be incorporated into daily diets.

Research Evidence

Several studies support the benefits of anti-inflammatory foods in reducing pain and chronic inflammation.

A research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, 2015 found that increased intake of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats significantly reduced inflammation markers in the body.

Fiber-rich Foods:

High fiber foods are crucial for maintaining heart health, managing diabetes, and regulating blood pressure. Consuming whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables can help in managing chronic conditions associated with Gulf War illness.

Research Evidence

A comprehensive study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013, evidenced that high dietary fiber intake is associated with lower risk of heart diseases and strokes. The fiber-rich foods also help in managing blood sugar levels, beneficial for people with diabetes.


Staying well-hydrated is pivotal for overall health, especially for those with chronic conditions. Water is the best choice, but herbal teas and broths are also good options.

Adequate hydration aids in maintaining blood pressure, reducing the risk of kidney stones, and helps in nutrient absorption.

Research Evidence

The European Journal of Nutrition, 2016, published a study showing that proper hydration reduces the risk of chronic diseases, helps in maintaining blood volume, and keeps the heart and other organs functioning properly.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s crucial for Gulf War veterans, and others dealing with chronic conditions, to consider their food choices seriously.

Incorporating anti-inflammatory and fiber-rich foods, and staying well-hydrated can help in managing and alleviating symptoms related to chronic pain and other associated conditions.

Although altering diet alone might not be the cure, it can significantly contribute to better health and quality of life, aiding in the management of diseases related to Gulf War illness.

These simple, practical dietary choices can lead to positive outcomes, potentially reducing the risk and severity of chronic conditions.

Veterans and their healthcare providers should integrate these food choices with regular physical activity and medical advice to optimize health benefits and manage the symptoms effectively.

While this advice is particularly pertinent for veterans with Gulf War illness, anyone experiencing chronic pain or related conditions can benefit from considering such dietary modifications.

However, individuals should consult their healthcare providers before making significant changes to their diet or lifestyle, to ensure the adjustments are appropriate for their individual health circumstances.

By focusing on these practical and accessible dietary modifications, veterans, and others, can actively participate in managing their health, possibly reducing the impact of chronic conditions, and improving their overall quality of life.

If you care about inflammation, please read studies about the big cause of inflammation in common bowel disease, and vitamin B may help fight COVID-19 and reduce inflammation.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about new way to halt excessive inflammation, and results showing foods that could cause inflammation,

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