“Oh my God…….I can’t bear it anymore…” when you’re gripped by that chronic pain, think of something beyond your medicine chest. You can try the right pain fighter foods at your local grocery store. Things you eat directly or indirectly help reduce your pain in three ways: reduce damage due to oxidative stress, which often occurs when body is subjected to excessive cell damage than it can easily handle; by controlling inflammation that contributes to nagging pain due to chronic diseases such as arthritis; and by helping your body regular its immune response, which helps in managing inflammation more effectively.
Get out of the habit of eating Aleve or Advil to address your pain, without getting to the underlying cause of pain. These medications may become overbearing with time and lead to many side effects that are often permanent. When you change your diet, you protect your cells from damage and also reduce many inflammatory compounds produced by the body. In fact, you can also lose weight with a good anti-inflammatory diet, which reduces pain due to extra stress on your joints. A new research published in the journal Cancer Research, links losing just 4-7 percent body weight leads to amazing reduction in biomarkers for inflammation.
Just have a look at these six food categories that can help insure significant reduction in your pain levels:
Drink Lots of Fluids
Try: Green tea powder. It’s also referred to as matcha and is available as finely ground tea leaves. This powder provides same set of powerful antioxidants that most green tea beverages do, but here you get them in more versatile and concentrated form. In steeped tea, the liquids has many water-soluble antioxidants from the green tea leaves, but tea made using green tea powder is more potent as you’re now consuming the whole leaf. Simply stir it into water (maybe cold or hot) for tea, or add to lattes or smoothies. You can even add them to soups or baked goods.
Other alternatives: Black tea and coffee also contain many anti-inflammatory properties, but in lesser amounts. However, their caffeine content can definitely help ease headache pain.
Reason: Our blood supply and vital organs are composed of around 87-90 percent water. “Liver needs water to detoxify chemicals and many other compounds you come in contact with.” Water also helps in efficient functioning of body and its processes, right down to cellular level.
Eat Different types of Plants
Try: Kale- It’s full of fiber, rich in so many helpful flavonoids, low in calories, and is also one of the most nutrient-dense greens. Include them in a bean-based soup-or chop it into a vegetable, add to pasta or salad dishes, or blend it in a smoothie. You can even bake kale chips, or tear its leaves into small sized pieces, spray some olive oil, and also add some sea salt and it’s done. It’s really an awesome vegetable.
Other alternatives:Beans, lentils, whole grains, and all dark green, orange, red, blue, yellow, and purple vegetables and fruits- the entire rainbow.
Tip: Plant based food sources with more intense color are packed with more antioxidants. But some whites (garlic, cauliflower, onion) and blacks (black beans) offer so many benefits.
Reason: When you switch to a plant-based diet (whole unprocessed foods), it’s like a force field, sort of sunglasses that protect your DNA and lipid membranes from oxidative damage. Ideally, ramp up your plant foods while eliminating all processed and refined foods (such as sugar, white flour, and packaged goods like cookies, cakes and chips), because they can raise your blood glucose, increasing insulin production, and thereby increasing inflammation.
Here “variety” is key because cumulative effective of so many different nutrients help create that beneficial synergy.
Eat Limited Amounts of Animal Sources of Protein (excluding fish)
Try: Canned salmon. This fish has highest inflammation-busting omega-3 fatty acids. You can get this fish in can throughout the year. It’s the most affordable source of wild salmon. Keep in mind, wild-caught is much healthier than farm-raised salmon, which has so many toxic antibiotics and chemicals, depending on their feed and conditions they are raised in.
Other alternatives: Cold-water fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids include sardines, black cod, tuna, mackerel, halibut, herring, and anchovies. And for protein supply, don’t overlook dried beans and legumes, such as soybeans, lentils, and black beans, including ancient grains such as spelt, millet, and quinoa. There are many plant sources of omega-3s including walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds.
Reason: Replacing poultry, pork, beef, and diary proteins with the proteins derived from fish will quickly improve your consumption of DHA and EPA, (long-chain omega-3 fatty acids), which have been directly linked to improvement of symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Plant sources also provide essential “short-chain” omega-3 fatty acids.
Anti-inflammatory Herbs and Spices
Try: Turmeric. It a deep yellow spice with peppery, smoky flavor and is used in mustard and curries. It contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound.
Alternatives: Ginger, garlic, curry, tart cherry, cinnamon, rosemary). Dried tart cherries may not be technically a herb or a spice, but is another antioxidant-superstart that can “spice up” many other foods.
Reason: Many studies have clearly shown the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric on people with rheumatoid arthritis. These herbs and spices help inhibit the formation of inflammatory COX inhibitors (the same enzyme-inhibiting substances present in medications such as Celebrex and Vioxx) and prostaglandins.
Try: Coconut oil. It is easily available in most grocery stores (such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s), coconut oil ensures good fuel for cells lining your gut, which is vital for proper immune system functioning. Coconut oil can be used in baking and cooking where slightly sweet, light flavor is required, or to pop your popcorn (another plant food rich in antioxidants).
Other alternatives: Grape-seed oil, olive oil, ground flax, avocadoes, cashew, nut butters (especially almond-flaxseed, almond, sunflower seed or cashew, which are much less inflammatory than peanut butter), all omega-3 fortified eggs.
Reason: You’ll be successfully replacing unhealthy and toxic omega-6 saturated fats (found in all highly processed foods), which far outnumber beneficial omega-3 fats in present day American diets—a backward ratio that quickly fans inflammation. On the other hand, healthy fat sources fuel anti-inflammatory hormones, and proinflammatory hormones that fight stresses to body cells, which regular the healing process after any threat (injection or injury) is gone.
Try: Greek yogurt. It’s a thick yogurt that comes packed with almost twice the protein available from regular yogurt, and it also has so many probiotics—live microorganisms so helpful in supplementing healthy bacteria already present in the digestive tract. It’s also a nice source of vitamin D.
Other alternatives: All yogurts that contain live cultures (check label for L.bifidus and lactobacillus, two common types) and in any fermented food—such as sauerkraut, kimchee, and keifr.
Reason: Probiotics play a big role in helping your gut in preserving a healthy balance of good bacteria, which is often under siege from multitude of factors ranging from smoking to stress and poor nutrition and pollution. A healthy population of bacteria can survive only on a plant-based diet—it’s actually its own biosystem that needs to be cultivated in a proper way. You can easily supplement this healthy system with this eco-food. It can be very helpful immediately after completely a course of antibiotics, which can disrupt the delicate balance of healthy bacteria.