From migraines to back pain, to joint pain and arthritis, 35% of american adults suffer from chronic pain according to the American Chronic Pain Association. Instead of turning to “comfort foods” to lift your spirits when pain strikes, take a bite out of inflammation-reducing super foods that can really help you feel better.
Because pain is often a symptom of inflammation, we’ve compiled a list of foods with inflammation relief properties.
Red & Purple Fruits Are Nature’s Medicine
High amounts of antioxidants called anthocyanins found in cherries are known to work just like aspirin and Advil. They have been shown to reduce uric acid, helping to limit the pain associated with gout. This natural “medicine” of anthocyanins are found in other red and purple fruits too including blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums and grapes, all of which are bountiful this time of year.
Caffeine and Herbs Help Knock Out Headaches
Did you know that a cup or two of coffee can constrict blood vessels enough to prevent a headache and reduce muscle aches? The caffeine found in coffee and strong teas has been shown to decrease tension in your head. Rosemary, mint and ginger also offer natural pain relief. Try brewing up a batch of herbal tea using fresh or dried rosemary, mint or ginger. Nibble on bits of crystalized ginger, and add fresh or dried herbs to your favorite recipes.
Relieve Back, Neck and Muscle Aches Naturally
In addition to helping headaches, ginger has been shown to relieve muscle pain. And nature offers us several other delicious remedies for sore muscles including papaya, cherries and, thanks to its magnesium (sometimes called Mother Nature’s muscle relaxant), tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds and often served in Greek restaurants.
The “Mediterranean” Diet for Arthritis Patients
Oily fish containing omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, herring and sardines top the list of foods that can be helpful in thwarting arthritis-related pain. Olive oil, nuts and yogurt are also part of the famed “Mediterranean” diet that reduces inflammation and also contributes to heart health. Soy, edamame and green tea are terrific compliments to the list of foods that can benefit those suffering with arthritis.