Nearly 116 million American adults are affected by chronic pain, more than one third of the US population. While pain management therapies including medication and physical therapy will help reduce symptoms, they sometimes fail to eliminate the root cause of the pain.
One of the easiest rules in the book is to tailor your diet by introducing rich and nutritious foods to promote healing. Food is medicine, and our bodies have the power to heal with the proper tools. At American Spine, we promote healing in all venues; management tools, dieting, exercise. With the holidays right around the corner, we know that many people lose sight of their dietary goals by giving in to those food temptations. However, there is a solution. Practice motivation through these four foods that help fight pain.
Cherries. These luscious red fruits help fight arthritis and muscle pain. Cherries are filled with compounds called anthocyanins, which give them that ruby red color. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that help block inflammation and constrain pain enzymes. The Journal of Nutrition recently published an article that said people who ate cherries for breakfast reduced inflammation by 25 percent. Whether eaten whole or in a juice, cherries will definitely help reduce muscle pain.
Ginger. Targeting migraines, arthritis, and sore muscles, doctors recommend at least a ¼ teaspoon of daily intake. Ginger has been believed to break up intestinal gas and prevent vomiting. A natural anti-inflammatory medicine, ginger can be made into Asian dishes, smoothies, or juices. Ginger tea is really delicious, too!
Cold Water Fish. Salmon, herring, and sardines are low in mercury and high in omega-3s. This acid helps fight back pain and improve blood flow. Omega-3 fatty acids help tamper down inflammation in nerves and blood vessels. There are multiple supplements on the market that are rich in Omega-3s that can be added to your diet.
Turmeric. Used to heal achy joints and colitis (colon inflammation), turmeric is a brown curry spice that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for years to relieve pain and help digestive problems. Within turmeric is an anti-inflammatory property called curcumin. Protecting the body from tissue damage and joint inflammation, turmeric can also preserve cell function.
Cherries are harvested during the fall and winter season, so keep a look out in your local grocery stores. Since the holidays are just around the corner, keep these power foods available in your house for any holiday dishes. For more information on how to alter your diet to fight pain, consult with an American Spine staff member today!
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246)
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.