People don’t always associate the foods they eat with their health conditions, but food can be a powerful tool when a person is fighting certain health issues. Inflammation has been determined to be a major factor in many diseases, including arthritis. To reduce pain and inflammation, a person should avoid eating certain foodsï€» highly processed food products, foods that are high in saturated fat, and foods that contain sugar and refined carbohydrates. In addition to staying away from specific types of foods, an individual with chronic pain should try to consume certain other kinds of foods on a regular basis. Many of these foods are delicious, and they may be used in a wide variety of recipes.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Since many Americans start their meals with a salad, adding dark, leafy greens to a diet is a good way to start combating inflammation. As mentioned at the Health Magazine website, dark, leafy greens are a great source of vitamin E, which may protect the body from molecules that promote inflammation. Such greens include spinach, collard greens, and kale. These greens can be delectable when sautéed in olive oil and garlic. Spinach and kale make great primary ingredients in salad. Kale can even be added to fruit smoothies without significantly altering their flavor. Another similar food that contains anti-inflammatory properties is broccoli, which can be steamed, boiled, fried, baked, and added to soups, salads, stews, and casseroles.
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Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Another type of food that may prevent or reduce inflammation is the kind that contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acid. Foods that fall into this category include sardines, salmon, and mackerel, which can all be used in hundreds of recipes. Salmon may be baked, broiled, grilled, or steamed. Sardines can be delicious on crackers, and mackerel can be used as an ingredient in salad. According to Healthline contributor Denine Stracker, RN, walnuts and flaxseeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acid, so vegetarians may also get plenty of this essential fatty acid.
Some herbs fight pain and swelling, as well. Ginger and turmeric are two root herbs that have the capacity to minimize pain and decrease inflammation. Both of these herbs can be used in their root form, and they may also be utilized after being ground into powder. Turmeric is used in numerous recipes across the world. Ginger is found in a lot of recipes for Asian cuisine, and it can also be added to tea. Other herbs that may reduce inflammation include cilantro, basil, rosemary, parsley, and peppermint.
Cherries and Cherry Juice
This sweet fruit is actually a powerful pain fighter, and it also aids in preventing inflammation. As Dr. Brian Graham of the Graham Rehabilitation & Wellness Center points out, red cherries contain antioxidants that “inhibit pain enzymes.” Fresh cherries make a great addition to fruit salad, and dried cherries are tasty when mixed with granola, green salad, or hot cereal. Drinking tart cherry juice is another way to reap the benefits of this healthy fruit.
People who live with chronic pain may try many things to alleviate it. Such individuals might be encouraged to know that a variety of flavorful foods can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Along with a rehabilitative program that includes physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and exercise, such foods could enable chronic pain sufferers to experience relief from long-term discomfort.