Foods That Help Relieve Pain

Chronic pain is inarguably horrible. At its best, pain is irritating. At its worst, it may be literally disabling. There are many medicinal and therapeutic options for pain relief, but these have downfalls. Medications may cause unpleasant side effects and therapies may be expensive, plus getting an appointment may take weeks, if not months. Fortunately, there is something you can do that may provide pain relief with just a trip to the grocery store.

A number of foods have pain relieving potential. Some of these foods include:

  • Cherries – Cherries are chock full of antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and inhibit the enzymes that create pain. Some studies indicate that drinking 12 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for seven days prior to a big run may reduce sore muscles in runners. Whole cherries may offer the same benefits, with some studies indicating that eating a bowl of cherries daily may reduce inflammation by as much as 25%. Many vitamin and supplement manufacturers offer a tart cherry extract, available at your neighborhood Walgreens.

  • Ginger – Ginger has been touted as having anti-nausea benefits for years, but it may do more than that. Just a ¼ teaspoon daily may reduce inflammation, potentially providing relief from migraines, arthritis, and muscle aches. One study even suggests that ginger may provide women with relief from menstrual pain.

  • Cranberry Juice – Drinking approximately one cup of 100% cranberry juice daily may provide protection to your stomach lining, therefore preventing stomach ulcers. Shop carefully – many cranberry juices are comprised of a cranberry cocktail, meaning it is more “cranberry flavored” juice, a mix of cheaper juice and water as fillers.

  • Salmon – Salmon, sardines, and herring are quite similar in health benefits. They are all low in mercury and high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help improve blood flow and reduce inflammation. Fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids may not only be beneficial for reducing back and joint pain; they may also promote cardiovascular health, improve mood, and may even reduce age-related depletion of brain cells.

  • Turmeric – This curry spice has anti-inflammatory properties, and may also preserve nerve health. One tablespoon worked into your daily diet may benefit people suffering from achy joints or colitis.

  • Probiotic-enriched yogurt – The “good bacteria” that naturally occur in the digestive tract sometimes need reinforcements. When these reinforcements are introduced via probiotics, the pain, bloating, and inflammation related to digestive disorders may be reduced. One 8 ounce cup of probiotic yogurt a day may provide the desired results.

  • Coffee – Coffee is more than a good way to find energy in the morning. The caffeine in this tasty drink may narrow dilated blood vessels, thereby reducing headache pain. Additionally, caffeine is a stimulant, so it may speed up the pain-relieving process of other painkilling products. Eight ounces of coffee daily should be enough, though – overconsumption of caffeine may backfire and cause headache pain.


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