More than one third of all Americans suffer from chronic pain, and many rely on pain medication to ease their symptoms. Certain foods can actually help chronic pain sufferers by blocking pain signals, fighting inflammation, and even healing the disease itself. By eating healthfully pain can be improved or even eliminated. Here are three pain-relieving foods and how they help:
- 1. Cherries: These contain compounds called anthocyanins, which block inflammation and inhibit pain enzymes, just like aspirin does. One study in Journal of Nutritionshowed people who ate a bowl of cherries for breakfast reduced inflammation by 25%.
- 2. Coffee: Caffeine in your daily cup of coffee helps reduce pain by narrowing dilated blood vessels which develop with headaches. Coffeealso reduces pain-promoting compounds and amplifies the effects of other pain relievers.
- 3. Salmon, Herring, Sardines: Fish that are low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids can help relieve back pain. In a healthy back, blood vessels transport nutrients to spinal disks and when blood flow is diminished, these disks lose thier nutrients and degenerate. Omega-3s help improve blood flow and thus degeneration. Additionally, fish oil is beneficial for cardiovascular protection and improved mood.