The 8 Best Foods to Eat for Pain Relief
Ibuprofen isn’t the only answer for relieving mild aches and pains. Research has linked certain foods to decreasing inflammation, which is what often causes pain in the first place. Add these eight superfoods to your diet if you want to manage headaches, sore joints and light arthritis in a natural, healthier way.
1) Fatty Fish
Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines along with fish oil supplements are high in anti-inflammatory properties. They’re also full of omega-3 fatty acids which have shown to ease pain caused by arthritis. Another study found taking fish oil may even help prevent rheumatoid arthritis.
Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries contain phytonutrients, natural chemicals that offer anti-inflammatory benefits. These fruits are an excellent source of antioxidants too. Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals which are potentially harmful molecules that have been linked to conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Pick up a bag of frozen berries and add them to your smoothies if they aren’t in season.
Ginger is recommended when you have motion sickness or a stomach bug, but this miracle root can do a lot more than fight nausea. Research has found it to be effective for arthritic pain. One study even found consuming ginger capsules relieved menstrual cramps and worked just as well as anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. Ginger can be easily incorporated into your diet by adding it to teas, soups, cookies, stir-fries and more.
4) Olive Oil
People who follow a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil have been associated with lower levels of inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Researchers decided to put this to the test in 2003 and found patients with rheumatoid arthritis experienced reduced inflammation and better physical function and wellbeing after eating a Mediterranean diet for three weeks.
5) Tart Cherries
Research indicates tart cherries can help with gout, a type of arthritis that causes hot, swollen joints. Another study discovered runners who drank 12 ounces of cherry juice twice a day for a week reported less muscle pain after a long-distance race compared to athletes who didn’t drink it at all.
This yellow spice is an important ingredient for Indian curries and has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat aching joints and improve digestion. It’s packed with anti-inflammatory properties thanks to a key component named curcumin. When cooking with turmeric, remember to add some black pepper as it releases curcumin from the spice. If you don’t like curry, turmeric can be consumed in capsule form or added to other dishes like soups, vegetables and salad dressings.
Yogurts with probiotics usually have bacterial strains like B. infantis and L. acidophilus. Based on a 2010 review, these types of good bacteria helped patients with irritable bowel syndrome by minimizing pain, inflammation and bloating. When grocery shopping, look for yogurt that says it has live and active cultures. Vegans can also get the same benefits by eating probiotic-enriched soy yogurt.
8) Hot Peppers
You’re in luck if you can handle spicy food. Chilli peppers are loaded with capsaicin, a compound that diminishes the body’s pain signals. You can add hot peppers to your everyday meals or use a capsaicin cream which provides topical relief for arthritis. Keep in mind hotter peppers have more capsaicin, but be careful when handling them as they can burn your skin.
Are you suffering when you don’t need to be?
Our physiotherapists are here to help if you’re in pain. They’re ready to work with you to determine the root cause of your discomfort and will create a personalized treatment plan based on your health goals. From there, a combination of supervised exercise and manual therapy techniques will be used to relieve pain and help you manage your injury or condition.
Start your recovery journey today
Take the first step of your recovery journey by coming in for a FREE Discovery Visit. This no-obligation session gives you the opportunity to discuss your health concerns and review treatment options with the physiotherapist of your choice. It’s also a great way to get your questions answered and to find out if physiotherapy is the right path for you.