If you are one of the over 100 million adults in the U.S. that has chronic pain then you know how constant pain can interfere with your life. The American Chronic Pain Association cites 35% of Americans with having some type of chronic pain from migraines to arthritis to back pain. Most of this pain is attributed to inflammation. According to David Maine, MD, director of the Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, inflammation that targets a specific injury or infection is how the body is supposed to work to heal itself, but chronic inflammation can be destructive to health and cause ongoing pain. No matter where your pain lives though there are superfoods you can add into your diet that can help with chronic pain. Here are some that can help with pain and how they work.
Turmeric has curcumin that not only fights inflammation but has properties that protect tissues and nerve cell function.
Found in hot peppers, capsaicin triggers endorphins which the body uses to block pain signals. It also reduces the enzyme that releases substances that can increase pain.
Gingerols are phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory properties found in ginger. Ginger also contains paradols, shogaols and zingerone that work on pain much like NSAIDs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. According to Kari Kooi, RD, one study reported ginger to be as effective as NSAIDs for soreness from exercise. The University of Georgia study reported a 25% reduction in muscle pain from exercise for participants using ginger.
Not only does garlic have properties to fight the swelling and pain of inflammation, but it also has antibiotic properties, increases immune system functioning, and helps increase T helper cell production.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Including a balance of fat types in the diet can help act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Most people get enough omega-6 fatty acids already and too much can cause more inflammation. Transfats can also contribute to inflammation. It is better to concentrate on getting the right ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids which is 3:1, and getting a balance of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats One way to be sure you get the exact ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is by eating AFA blue-green algae. Fatty wild caught fish like salmon is a good source of omega-3 as are chia seeds, dark-green leafy vegetables, various seeds, nuts, and flax and olive oil. Salmon also gives you vitamin D which some studies show not having enough can contribute to chronic pain. Olive oil also has antioxidant polyphenols like oleocanthal that according to researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia can act like NSAIDs and as an anti-inflammatory. The American College of Sports Medicine reported that omega-3 fatty acids could reduce joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis.
Red, Purple, Blue Fruits
Cherries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and red grapes all have anthocyanins with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These antioxidants help fight free radicals that play a role in inflammation and block enzymes that can inflame tissues.
Supplements for the Diet
When fighting chronic pain from inflammation there are supplements that can also deliver the nutrition your body can use. This enzyme algae supplement gives you the nutritional value of AFA bluegreen algae as well as plant-based proteolytic enzymes–bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase. These enzymes have been found helpful in supporting joints, circulation and overworked tissues as well as fighting cellular oxidation from free radical damage. This antioxidant and algae supplement has wild blueberry, green tea, and carnosine, along with AFA bluegreen algae for an extra antioxidant punch. Adding an algae joint support supplement with a blend of vegetable glucosamine, chondroitin, and bluegreen algae can also help deliver the extra nutrition to support those active lifestyles that sometimes bring on chronic pain.
You can fight back and take control of your chronic pain from inflammation. Research backs up the results certain foods can give, but until you give them a try for yourself, you won’t know how they can work for you. Try adding some of these superfoods and supplements to your diet and see what results you get. Getting any amount of pain relief with these healthy foods will be worth the effort.
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