Could you eat your way out of chronic pain? Possibly, yes. As we age, many of us may have to deal with the pain of osteoarthritis or other conditions. The good news is that researchers have started to explore the pain-relieving properties of specific foods: the natural painkillers we can consume without the nasty side effects. We will explore the best of the best in this article.
There are a lot of foods and food-based supplements that are thought to have pain-fighting properties and some of them have been scientifically proven.
1. Olive oil
A daily dose of olive oil may act as a natural pain killer, according to a study which showed that olive oil is an anti-inflammatory substance. Researchers say that they have uncovered a previously unknown enzyme in extra virgin olive and that it acts much like the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) we take on a regular basis, like aspirin and ibuprofen.
The experts say that oleocanthal -an enzyme – may be responsible for many of olive oil’s benefits. Tt reduces the risk of many diseases.
Turmeric is an ingredient in curries and other spicy dishes, but it is also used as a medicine in the East. It contains curcumins, which ease inflammatory conditions.
It is said to be helpful in treating arthritis, heartburn, diarrhoea, headaches, fibromyalgia, psoriasis and menstrual problems.
3. Fish oil
There is evidence that omega-3 essential fatty acids may help ease some types of chronic pain. They have been shown to lessen the intensity of joint pain and stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis, neck and back pain, menstrual cramps and the pain caused by inflammatory bowel disease.
Since omega-3 oils lower inflammation within the body too, they may be a good replacement for NSAIDs, and safer, even in supplement form. Research subjects suffering from chronic pain who took 1,200 to 2,400 miligrams of omega-3 daily as a supplement were able to reduce or eliminate their use of NSAIDs in less than 3 months.
Berries contain anthocyanins and ellagitannins, which studies suggest reduce inflammation to the same degree as NSAIDs. They also protect the body from free radicals, are healthy for the body, improve cognition and motor performance, reduce tissue damage and have no side effects.
Just half a cup to one cup of mixed berries a day can give you results. Add the fresh berries to yogurt, sprinkle some wheat germ on top with a little agave nectar, and you have a healthy parfait you can prepare in minutes.
Eating grapes and other fruits that are high in potassium has been shown to reduce painful gout attacks and the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Uric acid crystals, formed as a result of lowered kidney function, can cause gout pain. Grapes are high in vitamins A and C and are loaded with antioxidants. They are also hydrating, reducing the pain caused by joint problems.
It’s best to buy organic grapes, according to recent studies, which show that both grapes and strawberries absorb large quantities of pesticides through their skin.
Red grapes contain bioflavonoids, which works alongside vitamin C to stimulate the immune system and fight inflammation and relieve joint pain. They also help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Quaker oats can be used for fast pain relief. Mix 2 cups of Quaker oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm it in the microwave for 1 minute. Allow it to cool slightly, then apply the mixture to the affected area in order to sooth arthritic joint pain.
Since oats contain zinc, they are useful for people suffering from endometriosis, and their antioxidant qualities help with general inflammation.
Onions and garlic are amongst the richest sources of flavonoids, which are plant chemicals that neutralise free radicals and are helpful for people that suffer from arthritis. They dampen the effects of inflammation-causing chemicals like leukotrienes, prostaglandins and histamines.
Onions and garlic are low in calories and add flavour to any dish. The only downside is that they make your breath a little smelly.
8. Apple cider vinegar
Used for centuries as a folk medicine, apple cider vinegar is rich in minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium. Mineral deficiency can worsen joint pain, so a diet rich in essential minerals is an important step to relieving the pain of arthritis, and general stiffness.
Detoxing and soothing, you can use this vinegar topically or internally. Make a relaxing foot soak using one cup of vinegar with six cups of warm water. For a soothing ointment, use 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of coconut or olive oil and rub it directly onto your joints.
Chamomile is much more than just a herbal tea, it is a treasured herb capable of relieving pain. In order to get a therapeutic dose, try infusing 2-4 tea bags per cup of water. It’s great for acute pain involving the nervous system, as well as acute back pains and sciatica, menstrual cramps or any other pain you might be experiencing. It is high in calcium and relaxes the muscles.
If your symtpoms do not improve after the use of these pain relieving foods and herbs, or the pain becomes serious, always consult your health care professional.
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