If you have chronic pain, you probably don’t want to face some of the aspects of everyday life. Even something a simple as tying your shoe or walking down stairs can be a painful experience. Luckily, you don’t have to live in constant pain. If you suffer from chronic pain, try adding some of these pain-fighting foods to your diet to ease your pain symptoms:
Whole grains offer fiber, magnesium, and a variety of other nutrients that can keep pain at bay. Fiber will help keep you feeling full and maintain a healthy weight (shown to lessen pain). Magnesium and other minerals contained in whole grains provide pain-fighting benefits to all of your muscles and bones. Try barley, quinoa, and bulgur for a unique twist on whole grains.
Fatty fish are a surprisingly important food group. Fatty fish contains a wealth of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are know to fight chronic pain. Fatty fish also contains vitamin D, which is an important vitamin for building a healthy immune system and keeping your bones healthy. Most health professionals recommend each person get at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day (3 ounces of fish have about 500 IU).
Olive oil is known for its pain-fighting ingredients. Olive oil fights oxidants in the body and provides antioxidant polyphenols which fight pain. However, it is important to make sure your olive oil is pure. Many grocery store brands adulterate their oil with unhealthy corn and soybean oils. Olive oil should have a sharp flavor and harden in the refrigerator. If it does not, then it is not pure olive oil.
Surprisingly enough, spices are the spice of life. Spices contain many pain-fighting ingredients. The ultimate pain-fighting spices are ginger and turmeric. Ginger contains substances that act similarly to ibuprofen for curbing pain. Turmeric is also a relative of the ginger plant, containing many pain-fighting ingredients.
Strawberries can fight pain? Research says “yes.” Recent studies have shown that the high concentration of vitamin C in strawberries can help reduce pain levels in the body after surgery or broken bones. Vitamin C also reduces cartilage loss and lowers the number of bone lesions due to aging.
You were always told to eat your vegetables, and this is doubly true for chronic pain sufferers. Spinach, arugula, seaweed, and other dark greens contain beneficial vitamin K. Vitamin K can soothe pain, according to recent studies. A cup of dark greens contains 132 percent of what you need each day.
Dairy is sometimes villainized in the health community because many people are lactose-intolerant. However, for individuals who can tolerate dairy, it provides many vital nutrients that can help manage pain. Diary products contain both calcium and vitamin D, which help keep the bones strong. Dairy products also contain B vitamins which may help fight pain as well.
Adding these foods to your daily diet will help you reduce how much pain you see in an everyday basis. As with any diet changes, always discuss any changes that you plan to make with your doctor. Certain vitamins or minerals may interfere with medications that you are taking, or cause other side effects. However, for most people, adding these foods to your diet and avoiding junk food will help you reduce inflammation, pain and help you live better than ever.