For many people who have arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome or other chronic inflammatory condition, pain can become a daily way of life. When this happens, it is tempting to reach for that bottle of aspirin or ibuprofen to take the edge off. However, even over-the-counter medications like these come with side effects, including damage to the hearing and to the gastro-intestinal system, especially the stomach. The good news is that there are natural ways to help reduce the inflammation – and thus the pain – associated with many of these disease processes. Below is a list of 21 foods that are great for managing both inflammation and pain while giving the immunity a boost at the same time.
Ginger – Ginger’s strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties made it more effective at pain relief than ibuprofen in several studies.
Acai Juice – Acai berries are native to the Amazon area and have been used for centuries by native peoples for pain reduction and to increase energy levels.
Coffee – Studies have shown that coffee is particularly useful for headaches as it helps to constrict blood vessels and is often found as an adjuvant in OTC pain relievers.
Olive Oil – The polyphenols in olive oil have the well-documented ability to reduce pain-causing mechanisms in the body and are great for heart health, too.
Sage – For sore throats from the flu, bronchitis or allergies, sip some sage tea, which has been shown to soothe down irritated mucous membranes and relieve pain.
Almonds – The Omega 3 fatty acids in almonds are great for relieving stiffness and inflammation.
Walnuts – Walnuts and the oil made from them are also a rich source of inflammation-reducing Omega-3’s.
Leafy Green Vegetables – Spinach, kale, arugula and other leafy greens are high in Vitamin K, which is necessary for joint health and flexibility.
Purple Grapes – The resveratrol found in purple grapes has an analgesic effect similar to aspirin.
Flax Seeds – Flax seeds, like almonds and walnuts, are also high in anti-inflammatory Omega’s 3 fatty acids.
Turmeric – Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory both.
Salmon – This fatty fish is an excellent source of Omega 3’s to bring down inflammation.
Mackerel – Mackerel is another important source for Omega 3 fatty acids.
Herring – Like mackerel and salmon, this fatty fish will also provide a wealth of Omega 3’s.
Celery – This crunchy, delicious vegetable contains more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds.
Tart Cherries – The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherries make it as effective as aspirin or ibuprofen at pain relief.
Blackberries – Like cherries, blueberries are rich in antioxidants and heat-shock proteins, which help to bring down inflammation.
Raspberries – Raspberries are also antioxidant-rich and contain heat-shock proteins.
Blueberries – Blueberries are another great source of antioxidants to help relieve pain and boost immunity.
Strawberries – Strawberries have the same antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits as the berries listed above.
Cayenne Pepper – The capsaicin in cayenne pepper has made it a favorite for arthritis treatment due to its incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Adding these foods to the diet on the regular basis is a natural, healthy way to boost the immune system and reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and similar conditions.
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