Believe it or not, there are some foods that are actual natural pain relievers. Here’s our grocery list – try these pain relieving foods at home.
It’s true: some of your favorite foods have the ability to do more than satiate hunger and provide a healthy diet. There are several pain relieving foods (possibly in your pantry now). Why not take advantage?
Take care of your body. You can start with these 7 pain relieving foods.
1. Sweet Pain Relief—Cherries
Certain compounds found in cherries are powerful antioxidants.
The anthocyanins compounds work in more than one way to relieve pain. Not only do they block inflammation, but they also work like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to inhibit pain enzymes.
Cherries can even make a quarter of a difference in your pain levels! A study found that people who ate a bowl of cherries for breakfast reduced a major marker of inflammation by a whopping 25%.
Other research has also proven the positive effects of cherries for athletes. An additional study found that runners who drank 12 ounces of tart cherry juice twice daily for 7 days before a distance run had less muscle pain.
The science behind these pain relieving foods is that cherries help reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals in the body and stopping tissue inflammation.
If you’re suffering from Arthritis or muscle pain, start chomping those cherries. The recommended daily dose is 45 cherries.
Not a fan of cherries? Good news—raspberries and strawberries also contain pain-fighting anthocyanins, like cherries (although to a lesser extent).
2. Java Just May do the Trick—Coffee & Tea to Cancel Out Pain
The same drink you use to keep you awake and active during the day is also one of our natural pain relievers.
Check what many of the over-the-counter and prescription pain medications are made of, and you will likely find caffeine as an ingredient.
Research suggests that caffeine, in general, can be used as a pain reliever if you’ve been hitting the gym too hard. A cup of Joe or tea or a caffeine supplement can help those suffering from exercise-induced muscular injury and pain.
One study found when taken with a standard dose of pain reliever such as ibuprofen, a 100 mg to 130 mg caffeine supplement increased pain relief. No need to down the whole pot or kettle, though—that amount of caffeine in a supplement is equivalent to about one cup of coffee.
This morning pick-me-up can also be used to target headaches.
By targeting the cause of headaches—narrowing the dilated blood vessels that develop the head pain—caffeine helps reduce your that pain.
Overall, coffee and tea reduce pain-promoting compounds and amplify the effect of other pain relievers. However, take it easy on the amount you consume, as too much caffeine can also have the opposite effect, and when you give it up you can get withdrawal headaches.
3. The Longtime Wonder Root—Ginger
Having been used for thousands of years by the Chinese to help with an array of ailments, ginger is one of the proven pain relieving foods.
The root is a traditional means of pain relief, targeting tummy troubles and easing motion sickness and nausea.
As a natural aspirin impersonator and anti-inflammatory, ginger can also be used to help with migraines, arthritis, and sore muscles.
Good news for gals—one study showed that ginger was even as effective as ibuprofen for relieving menstrual pain.
At the recommended dose of 2-4g once a day, it’s easy to include enough ginger in your diet to help you stay feeling your best! A perfect compliment to vegetables, marinades, and sweets, Ginger can be used in a variety of ways, such as in tea, biscuits, and stir-fry.
However, ginger is not only beneficial if ingested. You can also reap relief from a ginger compress, applying it to the affected area for 20 minutes or so will help with pain.
4. The Joy of Soy
You probably already know that soy is a great source of protein, but what about the other benefits of soy?
Loaded with isoflavones, soy contains chemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, a soy diet may help manage pain.
With these anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, soy can reduce knee osteoarthritis pain, soothe neuropathic pain and sciatica, and relieve nerve pain due to diabetes.
Pain relieving foods containing unprocessed soybeans, like edamame, are preferable for how to get your recommended dose of soy.
However, even if you keep up with a soy-based diet to help relieve pain, the effects could take two to three weeks to feel noticeable.
Although, you shouldn’t doubt that you will see results. Consuming about 40 grams some form of soy protein every day can reduce chronic pain in that time, according to research done at Oklahoma State University in the United States.
The research shows that people with knee pain reported less discomfort and used fewer pain meds after eating soy protein every day for three months.
5. Flower Power
Usually found as oil, evening primrose has been linked to treating skin disorders.
The oil from the seed of the evening primrose plant has been used to treat a chronic itchy skin condition, known as atopic dermatitis, as well as acne and eczema, just to name a few.
Additionally, evening primrose oil can help as a pain reliever with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and is even used for cancer, high cholesterol, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia.
Women can use evening primrose oil as pain relieving foods for PMS, breast pain, and symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.
Often abbreviated as EPO, evening primrose oil is a rich source of omega-6 essential fatty acids. The oil works because it contains these “fatty acids,” which seem to help decrease inflammation related to conditions such as arthritis and eczema.
6. Spice Up Your Pain Relief with Hot Peppers
The same peppers that may bring tears to your eyes from the spice can also be used as pain relieving foods.
With an ingredient called capsaicin, which stimulates nerve endings and depletes a chemical that relays pain signals, hot peppers can alleviate pain such as that caused by arthritis.
The oily compound, capsaicin, is the active ingredient in many prescriptions and over-the-counter creams, ointments, and patches for arthritis and muscle pain.
The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains.
The cayenne pepper is thought to act as not only an anti-inflammatory but also an antioxidant.
Half a teaspoon of hot pepper powder is recommended daily as a pain reliever.
7. Get to Your Recovery Swimmingly With Salmon
There’s nothing fishy about salmon as not only a tasty dinner and a healthy protein but also as pain relieving foods.
Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce arthritic pain, especially of the neck and back.
Eating fish low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids in general, such as herring and sardines in addition to salmon, can help relieve pain.
One study shows that these omega-3 fatty acids can help your pain just as much as anti-inflammatory drugs. The relief experienced from consuming omega-3s in the form of a fish oil supplement was found to be comparable to the pain relief experienced from taking ibuprofen.
Another study in the journal Surgical Neurology found that taking 1,200 mg or more of EPA and DHA per day could reduce both back and neck pain.
“Any amount of fish oil is beneficial for cardiovascular protection and mood elevation,” says Joseph C. Maroon, MD, the study’s lead researcher.
Have you ever tried one of these pain relieving foods? Tell us how it went in the comments!
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