The world might advance to levels unseen with all the technology and even find a cure to diseases that are known to have no cure. But as humans, our brains are wired to look for ways to prevent any sort of discomfort and hindrance to our bodies. Our ancestors have left behind them a huge history showing the benefits of organic food. And in this blog, we bring to you a list of commonly available and valuable elements of food that provide solace to us from pain which might even prove to be better than drugs.
How Pain Relieving Foods Help
First of all, let us look at a study that shows the number of people that suffer from chronic pain. More than one-third of the population suffers from chronic pain that limits them from performing basic activities in daily life. What is worse? The pain killers and other drugs taken for relief can lead to addiction and side effects apart from relieving the pain. There is also proof from doctors themselves that admit that these drugs don’t provide relief from chronic pain in the long term.
And honestly, our body is mostly what goes inside it. So let us take a look at what everyday elements we have overlooked so far that are actually invaluable in helping alleviate chronic pain.
Now what most of us don’t know is that the components that give them their pretty, vibrant color are the ones that act as powerful antioxidants – a compound called anthocyanins.
These antioxidants block inflammation and inhibit the pain enzymes similar to how an aspirin or a naproxen or any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug would.
A study in the Journal of nutrition also showed that people whose breakfast included a bowl of cherries showed a 25% lesser chance of developing inflammation and other such issues.
Cherries mainly help in reducing chances of developing arthritis and muscle pain. About 45 of them a day should do the job.
Targets – Arthritis, Muscle Pain
Requirement – 45 cherries daily
This one is a lifesaver and most people now know it already. It is the secret elixir laced with benefits for most health issues. This root is infamous for helping avoid and cure common causes for an upset stomach and also easing nausea or any kind of sickness.
They are known to work by breaking up intestinal gas while possibly blocking a gut receptor that is known to induce vomiting.
While ginger definitely helps in times of need, it doesn’t hurt to consume it every day. It acts like an organic aspirin with anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve muscle pain, arthritis and migraines.
It can be included in your diet in various forms. Some popular ways are using grated ginger in the preparation of meals and juices. But nothing like the feeling of adrak chai or ginger tea/lemonade. Just add a slice of peeled ginger root into the tea pot and allow it to seep in as the tea brews. Oh, it’s the best! A quarter teaspoon of ginger helps keep discomfort at bay.
Targets – Arthritis, Muscle Pain, Migraines
Requirements – ¼ teaspoon everyday
The lord of spices! Okay, maybe not according to records but this ancient essential spice has been in use in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries now! And for a good reason. It is used in curries and in preparation of some other commonly prepared foods. The reason it is loved and recommended so much is because of its anti-inflammatory properties due to a substance present in it called curcumin.
It can be consumed in the form of turmeric supplements that have 95% curcumin content in them or just sprinkle some turmeric and pepper on your salad or other food preparations. And always consume turmeric with pepper because the “piperine” in black pepper helps release “curcumin” from the spice. Otherwise, consumption of turmeric alone isn’t effective.
Turmeric is known to protect tissues from damage, inflammation in joints and preserve the functioning of good nerve cells.
One teaspoon of turmeric does the job. It is known to cure joint pains and colitis.
Targets – Colitis, Joint pain
Requirements – 1 tablespoon everyday
For some people with stomach upsets and irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) it may be of interest to know that the bacteria in yoghurt actually helps. The B.infantis and L.acidophilus help in reducing pain, bloating and inflammation.
It is important to note that not all kinds of yoghurt are beneficial. Ensure that the yoghurt you are consuming has enough probiotics, like plain yoghurt and the brands that sell it with “live and active cultures”. Consuming foods that actually contain elements that help relieve pain are important.
It helps soothe the tummy and IBS. One to two packs of 8-ounce packets a day suffice daily need.
Targets – IBS, Stomach Upset
Requirements – Upto two 200 gms containers everyday
Yes! Your morning pick-me-up and caffeine supplement is also a good medicine. It is a popular headache reliever. The caffeine content helps relieve headaches by narrowing the dilated blood vessels during a headache.
Although, if you are a coffee-addict it can work adversely. It causes withdrawal headaches when you don’t have it as often or quit consumption completely.
It works by reducing pain-promoting elements and emphasizing the effect of pain-relievers. So it works for headaches only if you aren’t a regular coffee-drinker.
The consumption should be limited to not more than 2 cups a day.
Targets – Headaches, General pain reliever
Requirements – Not more than two cups (100 ml each) a day
It used to be a fun thing to do to chew on mint leaves as kids for the cooling effect after! But chewing on peppermint not only helps freshen breath but also prevent muscle spasms and IBS. The menthol in peppermint helps relieve the strain and headaches as well! The same reason why rubbing peppermint oil on the temples and wrists helps when you inhale the scent of it.
You can add some leaves while brewing tea and let the essence seep in as strong as you like! Squeeze a few drops of lemon and you have an organic aspirin to your rescue! The lemon squeeze helps in drawing out the complete essence of pain-relieving chemicals as possible from the mint leaves.
A cup of mint tea daily helps relieve headaches and IBS. It is beneficial and can be included for health generally as well.
Targets – IBS, headache and breath issues
Requirements – A cup of tea everyday/ chewing on 3-4 leaves for breath
Sure no one likes a garlic-breath! But the wonders garlic does to your health is invaluable. Rich in sulfur compounds, garlic has anti-inflammatory as well as antibiotic properties that help alleviate pain. The components help in producing the T helper cells that help build the immune system.
It can be used while cooking or simply crush 2-3 cloves of garlic and gulp it down with water first thing in the morning. It can take time to get used to doing it without choking but it is not impossible.
It is extremely effective in relieving joint pain and hence chronic pains as well. Applying garlic joint pain relief oil/creams 2-3 times a day can help too.
Targets – Achy joints, prevention and cure of common cold, sore throat
Requirements – About 2 to 4 cloves a day
Those were some of our top recommendations to pain relief foods that are easily available and feasible. We hope you try them and share your experiences in the comments below. Or you can simply share your own recipes of natural pain relief foods as well! Either way, share this blog if you found it insightful and let us know about it too!