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10 natural ways to alleviate inflammation and pain

18 February 2017  |  Admin

It is often said that you are what you eat and it’s true because what you eat can directly affect your health, mood, general wellbeing and even your appearance. Our modern world is full of fast foods, canned and processed foods that don’t help. Eating healthy can be your natural way to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Lowering your intake of foods that can aggravate inflammation is also important. Consider reducing your intake of foods and beverages such as white bread, pastries, french fries (chips), fizzy drinks, processed meat and margarine.

Whilst the foods listed below can assist to alleviate inflammation and pain you should always consult your doctor if you have a persistence of either or both conditions as they can be caused by possibly serious underlying medical issues that may require your doctors intervention.

1. Tomatoes
These are a great source of vitamin C and contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene which can help to reduce inflammation and pain. They are also loaded with numerous other vital vitamins and minerals such as vitamins K, B3, and B1, chromium, copper, zinc, manganese as well as valuable protein. There are numerous ways to serve tomatoes but for those occasions when pain is troublesome, a glass of freshly made tomato juice can be very beneficial.

2. Green Leafy Vegetables
These are vegetables such as spinach and kale that contain chemicals known to help reduce inflammation and pain. They also contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals that can help to strengthen your immune system. Among them are vitamins A, B12 and K, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and thiamin as well as protein. There are many ways to serve these either as a side dish or in salads.

3. Cherries
This popular fruit can be eaten on the go or added to numerous types of desserts. They can aid reduction of inflammation by helping the body to fight damaging free radicals. They have also been shown to help fight gout by helping to lower damaging uric acid levels and reducing associated pain levels. A recent study showed up to a 50% reduction in gout attacks following a daily intake of cherries.

4. Olive Oil
This versatile oil has been shown to have a more powerful anti-inflammatory ability than some over-the-counter pain relief options. The compound thought to be responsible for this is Oleic acid, the predominant fatty acid in olive oil. It is easy to incorporate in your diet by using it instead of your regular cooking oil. Contrary to what many people believe, studies indicate that a high intake of olive oil is not linked with weight gain.

5. Ginger
This popular spice is considered to be of the world’s healthiest foods. Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered or as an oil or juice and is a very common ingredient in numerous healthy recipes. The unique fragrance and flavour of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol, the active compound thought to be responsible for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

6. Salmon
This may be a somewhat more extravagant way to address inflammation and pain issues but salmon contains high levels of omega-3 and beneficial fatty acids that can help alleviate these issues. Studies have shown that consuming at least two servings of salmon per week is an equally effective and much tastier way of increasing levels of omega-3 in your body than supplementing with often disliked fish oil capsules.

7. Blueberries
This increasingly popular fruit contains powerful antioxidants that can help to fight inflammation. They contain many important vitamins and minerals and are a tasty and healthy way to fight inflammation and pain. Blueberries are available fresh, frozen, freeze dried and in jellies, syrups and jams. Make sure to check the label of frozen and dried blueberries for unnecessary added sugars.

8. Bok Choy
Bok what?? It is more readily available than you might think. It is also referred to a Chinese cabbage and is loaded with more than 70 antioxidant substances to help fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. There is little or no waste with this versatile vegetable as the entire green parts of the plant can be consumed either raw in salads or cooked in a variety of dishes. A popular way to eat it is in a stir fry with all your other favourite healthy ingredients.

9. Turmeric
This popular spice which gives curry its yellow colour has been used in India for centuries both in cooking and as a herbal remedy. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and it has powerful anti-inflammatory effects as well as being a very strong antioxidant. Its mechanism of action is very complex and is believed to mitigate inflammation at a molecular level. Being a culinary spice, it is easy to incorporate it into your diet.

10. Pineapple
This fruit is a member of the Bromeliad family and its active constituent that is believed to mitigate inflammation and associated pain is bromelian. A variety of studies have indicated that bromelain may be helpful in treating osteoarthritis, though more research is needed. One of the many other additional benefits is that pineapple contains nearly 75% of the recommended daily intake of the mineral manganese, which is essential in developing strong bones and connective tissue.

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