Taking a few pills might seem like a quick and easy way to address the pain you are feeling. But who wants to live their life dependent on ibuprofen or Tylenol? A safer and healthier method for dealing with your pain could be adding certain foods to your diet. Specific foods can target your aches and pains, giving you relief from chronic suffering.
How Much: 1 cup of beans, 3 times a week
Relieves: Acid Reflux
Fibre-rich beans can ease the symptoms of acid reflux. People who eat a high-fibre diet are at a 20% lower risk of suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to a study in the online British Medical Journal, Gut.
Fibre helps food move through the digestive tract at a good pace, preventing the acid in the stomach from causing reflux. The soluble fibre in beans also reduces acid levels within the stomach. Make up a large pot of black beans to enjoy throughout the week or to freeze in single-serving portions.
How Much: ? cup
When you have the PMS blues, reach for a handful of nuts instead of a bowl of ice cream! Almonds are full of riboflavin, which can reduce your chances of having PMS by one-third, according to a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. That means relief from cramping and PMS-related confusion.
Pistachios, and other foods packed with vitamin B6, can take away the bloating, crankiness, and cramps that are often associated with PMS.
How Much: 45 cherries
Relieves: Muscle aches and arthritis
Eating cherries can reduce inflammation throughout your body. C-reactive protein, linked to inflammation and arthritis, can be cut by 25% with cherries, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition.
Cherries are also effective for stopping pain. They stop inflammation, just like naproxen, aspirin, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, but they do it naturally. Eat raw cherries on their own, on top of Greek yogurt, or folded into salad.
Drinking cherry juice can also reduce muscle pain. One study found that drinking 12-ounces of cherry juice, twice a day, helped runners experience less muscle pain after a long-distance run.
How Much: 1 ounce
Some migraines are caused by magnesium deficiency. If this is the case for you, pumpkin seeds could be the answer. Eating a diet rich in pumpkin seeds, and other foods packed with magnesium, can relax your nerves and muscles and relieve intense migraine pain. Toss pumpkin seeds into breakfast cereal, or enjoy them toasted.
How Much: ¼ tsp fresh ginger
Relieves: Sore Muscles, migraines, achy joints
Ginger is another inflammation cutter. Just like over-the-counter manufactured anti-inflammatories, ginger can decrease the inflammation in your body, taking away the pain of arthritis and migraines and relieving muscle soreness. \
Ginger is also great for an upset stomach, motion sickness, and morning sickness. One study linked the gingerols in ginger with a 25% lower risk of developing post-workout aches and pains. Gingerols are full of antioxidants to lower the amount of inflammation throughout your body and take away your pain.
How Much: 1 cup of peppermint tea
Relieves: Digestive problems and headaches
The menthol from peppermint oil can take away your digestive symptoms and headaches. Rub a small amount into your temples and breathe in its healing powers. Peppermint tea is also effective to take away pain throughout your body and relieve the bloating, gas, spasms and cramps from irritable bowel syndrome.
How Much: 1-3 tsp
If you are experiencing loose bowels or diarrhea eat 1-3 tsp of shredded unsweetened coconut. Coconut can kill the microbes and reduce the inflammation that could be causing your digestive issues. Sprinkle shredded coconut over your favourite oatmeal or add it to granola.
How much: 1 Tbsp
Relieves: Colitis and joint pain
Osteoarthritis sufferers experienced as much pain relief from taking turmeric as they did from taking ibuprofen, according to one study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine. Turmeric contains curcumin, an inflammation reducer.
This powerful spice stops the destruction of tissue within the joint and protects nerve cells. The curcumin in turmeric can also aid with inflammatory issues in the digestive tract, easing the symptoms of colitis (which is an inflammation of the colon). Add turmeric to your diet with a dish of Turmeric Rice or Channa Masala.
How Much: 1 cup
Relieves: Back Pain
The resveratrol in red grapes and other dark coloured fruits can stop tissue degeneration. A Rush University Medical Centre experiment demonstrated that resveratrol can block damage to the cartilage which often leads to back pain. Rush researcher, Dr. Xin Li, also recommends getting resveratrol from drinking a glass of wine. Toss red grapes into salad.
How Much: ¼ cup
The soy protein in soybeans can reduce the pain from osteoarthritis. These soy proteins protect the joints from degeneration. It is interesting to note that protein from dairy sources does not have these same benefits. To experience relief from arthritis pain you need to eat whole soy from foods like tofu or tempeh or drink soy milk. The highly processed soy in packaged snacks will not take away your pain.
How Much: Three 3-ounce servings per week
Relieves: Neck, joint, and back pain
Salmon and other fish packed with omega-3 fatty acids increase your blood flow and help your body deliver vital nutrients to the disks of your spine. When these disks do not receive enough blood, they break down, causing back pain.
A study reported in Surgical Neurology points out that taking omega-3 supplements could help you even more. Taking at least 1,200 mg per day of EPA and DHA could relieve your neck and back pains by reducing inflammation in your vessels and nerves and increasing blood flow.
However, researchers pointed out that any amount of fish oil, including the amount you get from eating salmon, can protect your heart and put you in a better mood. Add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet with a dish of grilled salmon.