Pain can have many underlying reasons. Inflammation, obesity, physical injury, and sometimes even mental stress. So how do you manage these varied possibilities that can inflict temporary or chronic pain? The first step is to get proper pain management treatment from professionals. This is important because that’s how you’ll learn how the pain is arising and what is its cause.
Along with keeping continuous contact with a doctor and following the treatment, you also need to replace your regular lifestyle habits with some healthy choices. So starting with the most basic of all things- the food you eat, let’s take a look at the foods that can be very effective in managing pain and its causes.
Mint has been used as a pain reliever for a very long time. It’s used in aromatherapy as well as topicals for easing pain. So why not incorporate it into your diet?
Mint has menthol and limonene which not only deliver freshness and aroma but also anti-inflammatory and relaxing effects. This is why peppermint is often used to treat the pain due to irritable bowel syndrome. In addition to this, mint is a storehouse of nutrients like Vitamin A and fiber. So it is a good addition to the diet for everyone.
Mint is very easy to use. You can add it for flavor in your dishes or top a salad or soup with a few leaves. Another easy way to incorporate mint is in beverages. Be it lemonade or a mint brewed tea, it’s simple and easy. Just make sure to not go overboard with mint. It may be helpful with pain but eating too much can also be risky.
Whenever there is a discussion about healthy food, it is not possible that salmon would not be included. Protein, Vitamin Bs, Potassium, you name it, salmon has it all. While it is a healthy choice for everyone, for people suffering from pain, salmon can be specifically beneficial.
The most important components of salmon are omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These acids affect the immune system and reduce the reproduction of inflammation-causing cells. This is how they give anti-inflammatory attributes to salmon. These properties are the reason why salmon is associated with helping with inflammation due to joint tenderness and Rheumatoid arthritis.
One thing to remember while eating salmon is to always go for wild-caught fish. Unlike the farmed salmon, wild-caught has more health benefits to offer.
Dark chocolate (at least 70 percent) can work as a medicine for people suffering from pain. Just 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate a day is both a treat and a healthy choice.
Dark chocolate is made of cacao which is the magic ingredient behind its therapeutic properties. It can reduce the production of inflammation molecules and act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Dark chocolate is also known to help improve the blood flow that can become a cause of pain in peripheral artery disease.
You may have heard of the association of chocolate with mood. Turns out, dark chocolate can improve your mood by increasing the levels of endorphins and serotonin. This means less stress and less cause for pain.
Since the Vedic times in India, turmeric has been used as a condiment as well as medicine. It was used as an antibacterial as well as a pain reliever. And even today, turmeric is known as an effective anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that acts upon inflammation on the molecular level. This is why it was and is still used as a topical for swelling and injuries as well as an additive in food as a natural aid for arthritis, IBS, and joint pain. If taken in proper amounts, you can use turmeric to ease the discomfort of pain at home.
Turmeric can be used in curries and stews, in boiled rice, in a smoothie or in soups. You can consume it whatever way you like. Just remember to be sure of the type you use as many store brands have added chemicals that take away the beneficial properties of turmeric.
Whole grains in the right amounts are a perfect way of relieving pain. They are high in fiber that can help you lose weight. So if your pain is caused due to obesity, this is the way to go. Also, fiber is very effective in maintaining gut health that contributes to delivering anti-inflammatory as well as mood-boosting effects in the body. If you have joint pain or arthritis, adding whole grains into your diet can help ease the pain.
So stick to whole wheat options of bread, pasta and noodles. Also include whole-wheat food like quinoa, brown rice, maize, oats etc.
Virgin Olive Oil
You may have heard of the many benefits of olive oil. Even doctors recommend switching regular oil with olive oil. So it’s time that you make the switch too. Because in addition to being good for the heart, virgin olive oil also provides therapeutic aid for pain. It is rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. It works in the same way as other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Olive oil has oleocanthal that decreases the production of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes just like the pharmaceuticals. This inhibition help lowers inflammation as well as reduces pain sensitivity. So next time you are frying an egg or cooking some pasta, remember to use virgin olive oil only.
Walnut is a superfood in a true sense. In addition to helping with heart health and diabetes, walnuts can also help deal with pain.
Inflammation is the main cause of body pains. Walnuts can help deal with it effectively. Health conditions like arthritis and chronic inflammation can often be caused due to high levels of oxidative stress. Antioxidants found in walnuts can help reduce the stress and thus also lower the levels of inflammation.
Similarly, omega-3-fatty-acids improve gut health and maintain the wall integrity of the intestines that work together to provide anti-inflammatory effects. The presence of linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids also help reduce inflammation significantly.
The journey to good health always starts with a healthy diet. So when you have to live with pain, you need to learn to make it a pleasant experience. This is why, in addition to carrying on with your pain management treatment you must also improve your lifestyle. And start with a healthy diet plan and fill your plate with these food options. After all, you are what you eat.