12 Of The Best Super Foods To Fight Chronic Pain Fast!

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

For an estimated 116 million Americans, chronic pain is an ongoing problem that interferes with daily life. Defined as being either muscle pain or nerve pain, chronic pain often shows itself in the knees, pelvis, shoulders, or back, but can actually show up anywhere in the body.

One of the main underlying causes of chronic pain is inflammation. What you eat can play a major role in either making symptoms worse or in reducing your pain. When chronic pain continues without abatement, it can often give rise to secondary health problems, especially depression.

Of course, many people simply go to their doctor and try to alleviate their pain through chemical prescription medication, but this should be your last resort. Many pain relievers and synthetic anti-inflammatory drugs come with numerous and terrible side effects.

You should first try adding some of these super foods and herbs to your diet. Several research studies have shown that the compounds in these natural foods can reduce inflammation as well as block the pain signals. Many of them even increase brain chemicals, such as serotonin, which can stop depression and make you feel happier.

Find out the top 12 super foods that you should add to your diet that can help you to deal with chronic pain naturally and with no unwanted side effects; except perhaps, better health!

 

1. Burdock Root

One of the best ways to stop inflammation and the pain it causes is to consume more herbs and other foods that contain essential fatty acids. For at least 2,000 years, burdock root has been used to treat gout, rheumatism, and arthritis, all of which are fueled by inflammation. Burdock root also contains sterols, essential fatty acids, and tannins, which are all super anti-inflammatory compounds that can help you deal with chronic pain by stopping it at its source. Burdock root is most commonly consumed as a tea and can be found in most health food stores or online.

 

2. Hot Peppers

The active ingredient in many hot peppers, including cayenne peppers, is called capsaicin. This compound stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain, which is one of Mother Nature’s natural opiates. This alone can help to reduce chronic pain. Capsaicin also blocks pain signals in the body. By inhibiting an enzyme that releases prostaglandins, which are compounds that transmit pain signals. You can try consuming half a teaspoon of powdered hot pepper every day to help reduce your pain levels.  There are also creams and lotions which contain capsaicin that you can use if you have pain in one particular area, such as your hands, that can go a long way towards reducing your pain.

 

3. Yogurt

You might be wondering how something like delicious yogurt can help to reduce your pain but studies show that regular consumption of dairy products can help to reduce symptoms of chronic pain. This is because dairy products, like yogurt, contain both calcium and vitamin D. These two bone building substances reduce chronic pain by building bones and muscles, keeping them strong and less prone to damage. Vitamin D alone has been shown to lower pain levels. Always choose yogurt that has live active cultures, sometimes called probiotics. The best yogurt is the one you make at home, of course.

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Fresh Ginger Root

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4. Ginger

One of the best natural painkillers around, ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory substances called gingerols which reduce pain by cutting inflammation. Ginger also has other compounds like shogaols, zingerone, and paradols which all have analgesic compounds that offer serious pain relief on the same level as ibuprofen or aspirin. One study in 2005 discovered that ginger was able to reduce both pain and inflammation more effectively than a nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory over the counter compounds such as aspirin. Many reports show that ginger works just as well as ibuprofen minus the side effects. Drink three or more cups of ginger tea each day or chew on fresh, raw ginger slices to reduce your inflammation and pain.

 

5. Cannabis

We would be amiss if we didn’t include this one. Although many people smoke this herbal supplement, you can actually get longer lasting relief by heating and then consuming this miracle from Mother Nature, such as in the infamous brownies, soup, or even hot tea. Cannabis is well-known for its powerful pain relieving and relaxant compounds. If this highly medicinal compound is still illegal in your area, you can always try some of the many other natural foods on this list.

 

6. Turmeric

This is another almost miracle food when it comes to pain relief. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is a super anti-inflammatory compound that protects the body from tissue destruction, and inflammation while encouraging an improved function of the nerve cells. This spice is so powerful that you don’t even need to take a great deal of it to get some serious pain relief. Turmeric should be mixed with a fat so that your body can absorb it more easily. Simply mix one tablespoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and drink one glass each day for unbeatable pain and inflammation relief.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

7. Fenugreek Leaves

The high iron content in the leaves of this herb will also contribute to stronger bones as well as healthy joints. Fenugreek leaves also have high levels of vitamin K, which has been shown in studies to lower the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Fenugreek can reduce chronic inflammation due to its high antioxidant levels. Inflammation is often under-rated by many health care professionals. Inflammation has been linked to heart disease, joint pain, dementia, and even certain types of cancer.

 

8. Onions

Onions are super rich in compounds that are known to fight inflammation, especially in the joints. ‘Arthritis Today’ states that onions are rich in quercetin, a potent antioxidant that inhibits the production of enzymes which cause inflammation. In addition to stopping inflammation, quercetin also reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers cholesterol levels, and even prevents the growth of cancer cells. Onions are best consumed as raw as possible so add them to your salads, top off your vegetable dishes, and add them to your soups just before you serve them. Also, don’t forget the onions on your sandwiches!

 

9.  Strawberries

Fighting inflammation and pain doesn’t get much sweeter than this. Strawberries help to lower the levels of CRP (C-reactive protein) in the blood stream. CRP, especially high levels of it, has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.  Strawberries (always organic, of course) also have a natural antioxidant, vitamin C, which has powerful pain reducing compounds. One of the great things about strawberries is that even frozen, they still have plenty of antioxidant power to go around. Get them any way you can, as long as it’s organic. Strawberries are always on the top of the dirty dozen list of contaminated produce.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

10. Garlic

This natural antibiotic also has powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that can go a long ways towards relieving chronic pain. Garlic also has sulfur compounds that stimulate the production of T-helper cells. These improve the immune system and fight swelling as well as pain and inflammation. Garlic needs to be cut or crushed to release its active compound, allicin. It is also best consumed as raw as possible. You can crush a clove or two of garlic and swallow them whole or chop up fresh, organic garlic into your salads, or top your vegetable dishes with this tasty spice, or any other way you like to use it.

 

SEE ALSO: Stop Chronic Pain Naturally in 2015 and Beyond

 

11. Olive Oil

You might not believe it, but olive oil works very much like ibuprofen or aspirin when it comes to fighting pain. The polyphenols in olive oil are super antioxidants which help to stop the typical pain causing mechanisms in the body. The oleocanthal in olive oil has powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that help many reduce their painfully inflamed joints.

 

12. Salmon

Salmon and other fatty fish contain high levels of pain relieving omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is also one of a few sources of vitamin D, which has also been shown in studies to be linked to lower levels of pain. Several studies have also shown that the omega-3 fatty acids that are found in this cold water fatty fish can protect the body from rheumatoid arthritis. It can even help to mitigate the severity of the disease for those already afflicted.

Always remember that what you eat is crucial for your health. By including many of the super foods listed here as a part of your diet, you can ease chronic pain and reduce inflammation, which can help you enjoy life.

References:

Uofmhealth.org

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Academicjournals.org