Pain can be a pretty nasty bugger, especially if it turns chronic – and once it does, you’d better brace yourself for months or even years of hit-and-miss therapy experiments. On the plus side, the range of holistic and all-natural treatments for chronic aches is steadily expanding, and some contemporary pain relief methods are nothing short of delectable. So, how can you ward off the boogeyman of pain from your physique, and which ingredients can you add to your plate to get the biggest and tastiest bang out of your nutrition buck?
If headaches are an everyday reality for you, you should add second helpings of these pain relief foods to your menu.
If you had one too many drinks last night and your head feels it, a plateful of baked potatoes might help. Baked potatoes are rich in potassium which the body usually loses in large amounts after a night of hard partying due to the diuretic effects of alcohol.
If you haven’t had your sesame seeds of late, it’s no wonder your headache won’t go away. Rich in Vitamin E and magnesium, sesame can help prevent and ease persistent headaches caused by hormonal imbalance. To get the biggest bang out of your sesame, sprinkle it on salads or add it to soups and oatmeal.
A diet low in carbohydrates can be the reason why you’re prone to headaches. To keep a migraine and dehydration at bay, reach for foods high in healthy carbs such as wholegrain toast. Not only will glycogen-rich food help alleviate headaches, but it will also boost your mood and regulate daily energy levels.
Joint pains can be a real bugger, especially if they’re caused by arthritis. Fortunately for arthritis patients, relief for chronic joint pain tastes amazing and costs next to nothing.
High in sulforaphane, a compound which can slow down osteoarthritis-related cartilage damage, cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts will ease joint pains, increase iron supply, and improve blood flow at the same time.
Rich in curcumin which helps suppress inflammatory joint disease, turmeric is a tasty way to put an end to joint pain. To counteract unpleasant side-effects of arthritis, use fresh turmeric root to make delicious smoothies and juices, or swap your daily dose of the anti-inflammatory spice for quality health supplements containing curcumin.
Rich in diallyl disulfide, garlic can counteract joint pains by suppressing the action of enzymes which lead to cartilage damage. To get the most out of your joint pain prevention, use garlic as a spice which you’ll add to soups, broths, sautés, and other cooked meals or sprinkle it over salads and sandwiches for bonus flavor points.
Waking up to sore muscles is never pleasant, but fortunately for avid gym goers, there are many tasty dietary ingredients which can help ease muscle soreness and cramps.
If you want to keep aches and fatigue out of your muscles, you’d better throw some blueberries into your plate. Rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A, C, and E, blueberries will ease inflammation and decrease muscle soreness after an intense workout.
Carrots contain generous doses of beta-carotene, which makes them a gym bro’s best ally in the pursuit of ache-free muscles. By counteracting free radical damage to muscle tissue, a plate of carrot soup a day will help maximize muscle gain, improve performance, and slice recovery time after tough training.
Regarded as one of the most potent superfoods out there, spinach is another delicious staple which will minimize muscle soreness and damage caused by protein breakdown after intense training. By fighting free radicals, spinach will increase muscle mass while regulating blood sugar and blood pressure at the same time, so be sure to add it to your sautés and salads whenever possible.
Digestive hitches can leave you doubled over with pain, but indigestion doesn’t have to throw you out of the hoops if you know which foods will be a real treat to your tummy and wellbeing.
One of the foods that get digested most easily, rice will eliminate pains from your tummy while at the same time stocking your potassium and magnesium supply. A perfect pain relief and anti-inflammatory food for the gluten-intolerant, well-cooked plain or brown rice will soak up toxins from your intestine and oust it from your organism in a matter of hours.
Your grandma was right: a cup of chamomile tea a day can keep stomach pains at bay. Boasting a high content of pain relieving ingredients such as bisabolol, chamomile helps alleviate stomach cramps and promotes digestion while at the same time soothing gut inflammation and spasms.
Spearmint tea is another herbal stomach pain remedy which can put an end to digestive hitches. To ease digestion and eliminate flatulence, heartburn, and stomach cramps, make yourself a cup of spearmint tea and let it do its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory magic on your belly.
Cramps and pains are making your red-letter days of the month a nightmare? You’re not alone: many ladies suffer from intense menstrual pains, but there’s no reason to settle for a lifetime of cramps because you can help it.
Your body craves chocolate before and during a period for a good reason. Chocolate relieves pain, spasms, and discomforts during your period since it increases endorphin levels in your body. At the same time, calcium and magnesium from dark chocolate will ease menstrual pains and PMS symptoms, which is a reason more to treat yourself to second helpings of chocolate before and during your period.
Pineapple prevents bloating, and it also relaxes the muscles, thus reducing the intensity of menstrual pains and keeping flatulence and cramps at bay. On top of its pain relief properties, the delicious fruit is also a powerful mood booster, so if you want to knock two health gains with a single cup, you should add pineapple to your healthy smoothies and drink them when menstrual pains hit home.
If you’re all bananas, then your menstrual pains are as good as gone. A rich source of Vitamin B6 and potassium, bananas prevent excess water retention and bloating during a period, so if you’re prone to menstrual cramps and pains, you should add the tropical fruit to your menu in the form of a smoothie, shake, or fruit salad as soon as possible.
Whether chronic or acute, pain is a force to be reckoned with. The good news is you can fight all aches efficiently and enjoy mouthfuls of delectable aromas at the same time if you know which ingredients to add to your menu – and if you’re still here, you now do. Bon appétit!