Category Archives: diet

Top 5 Foods for Chronic Pain

wildsalmonI’ve wanted to write about foods for chronic pain for a while now, as well as get everyone’s input, so here it is!

The best foods for chronic pain are all anti-inflammatory in nature since pain is either caused by inflammation, or causes inflammation over time.  As a rule of thumb you want to look for food high in antioxidants, fiber, and certain vitamins and minerals.  Over time, a diet like this will give you at least meager pain relief.  And at the very least you will be countering the systemic nature of chronic pain with all of the other health benefits you get from eating healthy.  A wholesome diet helps prevent pain-aggravating weight gain and boosts energy levels and mood so you can have an overall better outlook on things.

  • Wild-Caught Salmon is a great source of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), two very potent omega-3 fatty acids that lower inflammation.  The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids can’t be understated, e.g., they prevents heart disease,  cancer, and reduce some symptoms of autoimmune diseases and psychological disorder, plus all this is backed by myriad scientific studies.  A good substitute to eating salmon a couple of times a week is a good fish oil supplement.

 

  • Blueberries are an  antioxidant powerhouse.  They are high in phytonutrients—certain plant compounds that give you anti-inflammatory protection against a ton of diseases such as cancer and dementia.  Really, any of the berry relatives (especially blackberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries) are full of antioxidants and vitamin C.

 

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, which help lower a common pain-causing mechanism in the body.  It’s low in saturated fat, but can still substitute butter while cooking.  Too much saturated fat has been shown to erode bone density and trigger pain.  ScienceDaily has even reported that a naturally occurring chemical found in extra-virgin olive oil is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent similar to Aspirin.

 

  • Kelp (or any ocean salad) contains fucoidan, a type of complex carbohydrate that is anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-oxidative.  Recent studies on fucoidan have shown that its brown algae extract can help control liver and lung cancer, as well as promote collagen synthesis—the creation of the primary component in connective tissues, such as tendons and ligaments.  Kelp’s high fiber content also helps induce fullness, slow fat absorption and promote weight loss.  The only problem is it’s not as accessible as some of these other foods, and if you can find it, you have to make sure it’s organic kelp, harvested from unpolluted seas.

 

  • Turmeric is a traditional Asian spice commonly found in pre-mixed curry powder.  It contains a powerful compound called curcumin.  Some studies have shown turmeric’s anti-inflammatory effects are similar to potent drugs such as hydrocortisone and ibuprofen but with none of the side effects.  The University of Maryland Medical Center states that curcumin may also help fight infections, some cancers, and treat digestive problems.

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