Mrs. Patil (55-years-old) lives in Ahmedabad with her family. She had some chronic pain issues for the past two years. She took over-the-counter (OTC) medications to manage her pain, but they didn’t give her permanent relief from her condition. Now, she consulted a doctor just a few days back to ease her pain. The doctor advised her of some medications along with certain specific foods for pain relief. But after following the doctor’s instructions and diet, now, Mrs. Patil feels much better in her situation.
Inflammation is a common phenomenon and is an integral part of the body’s natural immune response. But inflammation produces a ton of discomfort, pain, redness, swelling, and heat. People who have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Crohn’s disease, and other autoimmune disorders should try to keep inflammation to a minimum level. Inflammation not only enhances your joint stiffness and pain but also uplifts the progression of the disease.
If you are suffering from chronic pain and inflammation, you can incorporate certain foods into your diet to lessen your pain.
Let’s take a look at some foods that help with the pain.
Turmeric is a common kitchen spice that makes your food more enjoyable. But you must be astonished to know that turmeric minimizes inflammation. Several experts believe that turmeric is a powerful ingredient in lessening inflammation, like some anti-inflammatory medicines. Curcumin is the prime ingredient in turmeric. This active ingredient has robust anti-inflammatory properties and is a strong antioxidant. It is not harmful yet matches the effectiveness of some potent anti-inflammatory medications. By blocking the molecule that moves to the cells’ nuclei, this ingredient triggers genes related to inflammation.
But you should be very careful regarding its consumption. Because turmeric contains oxalate and excessive oxalate may cause kidney stones. Some turmeric powder may have additives that are not beneficial for your health.
Garlic will not only enhance the taste of your food but will also give you relief from inflammation. This is because garlic has anti-inflammatory sulfur compounds. Garlic is part of the genus Allium that is known for the production of organosulfur compounds.
After extraction, these compounds possess a broad spectrum against microbial infections. They are also beneficial for other health conditions like fighting cancer and easing inflammation. Don’t overheat garlic as it may cause heartburn, gas, or body odor.
Cherries come up with a compound known as anthocyanins. These are antioxidants that reduce your pain. Several studies have claimed that antioxidants in cherry juice can lessen pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis.
Moreover, cherries contain polyphenols and vitamin C. Both are antioxidants and possess anti-inflammatory properties. Since cherries contain fiber, if you consume too much, you may suffer from gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s inhibit the immune cells called leukocytes and enzymes called cytokines. These two are the key players in inflammation. The omega-3 fatty acids break the process before it even starts.
Several studies have claimed that people who eat fatty fish like salmon daily are less susceptible to developing RA. People who have incorporated salmon into their daily diet have experienced less swelling and joint pain in RA.
5. Hot Peppers
If you have joint pain, include hot peppers in your diet. Capsaicin that is found in hot peppers makes your mouth feel hot and produces an anti-inflammatory effect. Capsaicin also has antioxidant properties.
Hot peppers are flooded with vitamins B-6 and C, along with potassium, fiber, and beta carotene. Medical studies have claimed that red and orange pigments in peppers (carotenoids) possess anti-cancer properties.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
Pepitas avert and treat osteoporosis. Pumpkin seeds have pepitas that are beneficial against chronic pain.
But pepitas can’t give you relief from leg cramps at night. Thus, you need to incorporate almonds, cashews, dark green leafy vegetables (like spinach and kale), beans, and lentils into your diet.
7. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
When considering foods that fight pain, do count on Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Extra-virgin olive oil contains lubricin that keeps joints sliding smoothly and safeguards cartilage from collapsing.
This is beneficial for people with osteoarthritis. Use lower temperature (less than 410 degrees) while preparing food with olive oil so that you don’t lose any of its benefits.
8. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is beneficial against some health conditions like painful cramps, gas, and bloating.
Peppermint tea gives you a calming effect for sporadic tummy upset. Some studies have revealed that Brazilian mint tea is useful as a prescribed painkiller.
9. Red Wine
A plethora of studies has found that the skin of red grapes (resveratrol) could alleviate the disk swelling that is responsible for back pain. But don’t overconsume it.
Women can drink one glass and men can have two glasses per day. More studies are required to establish this claim.
Foods to Avoid or Eat Less in your Chronic Pain
- Red meat, such as beef (you can consume beef only on special occasions)
- Certain oils and fats, like margarine, shortening, lard, safflower, corn, and sunflowers
- White bread
- Rice and corn cereals
- Instant or white rice
- Foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup
- Soda, including diet soda, fruit juice, and other sugary drinks
- Sweet items like cookies, cakes, pastries, such as muffins, doughnuts, brownies, pies, and other sugary desserts
The Bottom Line
The above article gave you adequate information regarding food for pain relief. As an additional benefit, eating foods that sojourn inflammation may also reduce obesity. This means you will become healthier and fitter over time.