Top Five Foods for Fighting Aches and Pains (according to David Grotto, RD)
1. Cherries- They have been found to have pain reducing effects similar to asprin. A recent study found tart cherry juice before long distance running can reduce post run muscle pain. Several studies support the pain relieving effects on joints, gout and heart disease. Cherries are also helpful if you have difficulty sleeping.
2. Ginger- It is loaded with antioxidants which are all effective anti-inflammatory. In the journal of pain, a randomized double blind placebo- controlled study found that subject who either ate about 1/2 teaspoon of raw or cooked ginger for 11 days prior to muscle pain from exercises saw pain decrease in 24 hours compared to a control group.
3. Hot Peppers- Why would something that causes pain to the tongue or God forbid touch your eye be helpful in stopping pain anywhere else? Well for starters, hot peppers are extremely rich in vitamin C which helps repair wounded tissue that causes pain. The night shade veggie contains a lot of phytochemicals that reduce pain causing inflammation. A study with 30 patients with chronic upset stomach found that those who ingested about a 1/2 teaspoon of red hot pepper daily for 5 weeks had a 60% reduction in reports of stomach pain, fullness and nausea compared to a placebo group that had 30% reduction.
4. Salmon- By now you should know that salmon is one of the best fist sources of omega-3's. It's omega-3's and vitamin D have been show in study after study to help with aches and prevent arthritis and joint soreness. Clinical studies have shown that intake of omega 3 fats found in such foods as salmon result in reduction in pain associated with arthritis, PMS and irritable bowel syndrome. They also may reduce the risk of diabetes and some degenerative brain diseases, as well as depression. It would benefit you during rehab to increase the amount of salmon, walnuts, flaxseed and chia seeds or take a reputable brand of omega-3 fish oils. Omega 6 oils promote inflammation so stay away from fast food, fried foods, and processed foods as much as possible.
This Indian spice contains iron, manganese, potassium and vitamins B6 and C. It's loaded with pain and inflammation fighting curcumin which helps with liver detoxification. Several animal and human studies show that this is an effective pain reliever for post- surgical pain and fatigue. If you don't like the taste, this does come in supplement form. The anti-oxidant benefits of curcumin should be noticeable in about four to six weeks. Please remember that everyone's body is different so it may take some longer than others to notice the benefits. You should expect to feel better and healthier overall.