Fight Pain with Food

8 Foods that Fight Pain: Cherries

Originally published in the Hippocratic Post written by Salma Khan, this article suggests several foods that might help with pain suppression. There is some evidence that all of these foods have some inflammation & pain relieving properties but of course just as for medication taken in pills and capsules, dose is important and the amount you might get from any of these foods is probably quite variable. If you are going to try these food to relieve chronic pain it would be best to have your prescription medication close to hand to use if needed.

Certain foods are known to have natural pain relieving properties backed up by at least some scientific investigation. And foods don’t seem to have the unpleasant side effects that many pain medications may have. Here are some foods that may help with pain management.

Cherries

 Studies suggest that athletes who regularly consume tart cherry juice in preparation for an athletic competition may experience less muscle pain.

Blueberries

These juicy round berries may have pain relief properties: particlualry may control the painful symptoms of colitis, pain in the colon, which is part of the bowel.

Celery Seeds

It is thought that celery seeds may be of particular benefit for pain caused by arthritis and gout.

Ginger

Ginger has gained fame as a digestive aid and immune booster, but research also suggests that ginger can be used as an aid for pain relief. A promising study found that ginger extract injections helped reduce osteoarthritis pain.

Turmeric

Research has shown that curcumin is effective for aching joint reducing painful swelling.

Cayenne Pepper

 Studies report that capsaicin reduces a key chemical that sends pain signals to the brain from the local nervous system.

Read the full Hippocratic Post article here

It is interesting to note that other authors also refer to other foods. Katie Koerner writing for Greatist.com came up with the following list:

1. Coffee

Research suggests caffeine can reduce pain in those suffering from exercise-induced muscular injury and pain . Not only that, when taken with a standard dose of pain reliever (ibuprofen, for example), one study found that a 100mg to 130mg caffeine supplement — equal to about the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee — increased pain relief .

2. Ginger

One study showed that ginger (specifically in the form of a 250g or 500g capsule of powdered ginger) was as effective as ibuprofen in relieving menstrual pain !

3. Salmon

Not only is salmon tasty and a healthy protein, but it’s full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce arthritic pain (especially in the neck and back) . In one study, the relief experienced from consuming omega-3s in the form of a fish oil supplement was comparable to the relief experienced from taking ibuprofen.

4. Tart Cherries

Studies have found they can help treat gout (a painful form of arthritis that causes swollen, hot, red joints caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood) . But it’s not just for gout—athletes can benefit, too. In one study, those who drank tart cherry juice for seven days prior to an intense running event showed reduced muscle-pain after the race.

5. Echinacea and Sage

Got an aching throat? Some research shows that throat sprays containing sage or echinacea can help provide relief from that nasty sore throat. Another survey looking at 14 different studies found that echinacea can decrease the number of cold infections caught, and reduce their durations.

6. Oranges

While vitamin C has been linked to helping prevent the onset of colds and respiratory infections, an antioxidant called beta-cryptoxanthin, found in oranges and other orange fruits and veggies such as sweet potato and cantaloupe, has been found to help reduce the risk of anti-inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

7. Evening Primrose

Usually found as an oil, this flower's powers have been linked to treating atopic dermatitis (a chronic itchy skin condition), rheumatoid arthritis, and PMS symptoms . The gamma-inolenic acid in the oil has anti-coagulant effects that may help reduce the effects of cardiovascular illnesses .

8. Whisky

No, we do not recommend whiskey for a broken heart or curing any sort of emotional pain. But, it turns out adding a spoonful to warm water may just do the trick to kick that pesky sore throat.

 

Read the full Greatist article here

So there you are - there is plenty of choice of foods depending on where your pain is and sour cherries and ginger were the only food to get highlighted by both of these articles. You may well find more if you search Google. Bear in mind that if these foods contain substances that can help you fight pain they also have the potential to interact with any other medication you might be taking (interactions can be checked at this website) - if any side effects start appearing it would be best to refer to your doctor and stop eating the suspect food.

For the most part fresh food is good for your immmune system and general health too, if eaten in moderation and regularly.

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