Health Tip – Mar. 7 – Five Pain-Fighting Foods
Dee Dee – Health Tip
Whether it’s migraines, back pain, joint pain or arthritis, 35 percent of American adults (that’s 105 million people) suffer from chronic pain, according to the American Chronic Pain Association. Furthermore, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that 26 percent of Americans age 20 years and older (an estimated 76.5 million) have problems with pain that lasts 24 hours or more.
Pain is often a symptom of inflammation, which is how your body reacts to injury. Inflammation is a normal process. Acute inflammatory responses [short-term inflammation of an injury like a sprained ankle] can cause pain, but are beneficial. Without those immune responses, used to heal and prevent infection, we’d all be in trouble. But chronic inflammatory changes can disrupt all sorts of signals in muscle growth and health. Though drugs can help treat and manage chronic pain and inflammation, what you eat can actually help, too.
Here are five foods that might help:
1. Salmon: You probably already know that the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are good for your heart because they have anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Ginger: While fresh ginger has been used for centuries to treat everything from colds to upset stomach, the University of Georgia recently found it can also reduce muscle pain after exercise by 25 percent.
3. Cherries: Cherries—or any other red, purple or blue fruits such as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and red grapes—can help reduce pain through the presence of a phytonutrient called anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Olive Oil: Olive oil may help with long-term relief of pain and inflammation. According to researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, a compound in extra-virgin olive oil called oleocanthal can act similar to the way NSAIDs do, warding off pain.
5. Green Tea: There’s a potent compound found in green tea, EGCG, that’s been shown to block the production of molecules that can damage cartilage and bone, so it can help to alleviate arthritis pain.