Fighting Chronic Pain With Food
It is estimated that around 100 million adults suffer from chronic pain in the US alone. Medical advice will often point immediately towards using medication to manage this pain, but while there is, of course, a place for pharmaceuticals, pain medication does not address the root of the problem, and can cause more harm than good. At the heart of chronic pain is inflammation, which medication alone is not able to address: managing this can reduce pain significantly, and is best achieved through diet and nutrition.
Taking Control Of Your Diet
With its emphasis on heavily processed foods, refined sugars and high levels of fats, the standard Western diet encourages inflammation and can cause chronic pain to worsen. For those suffering from chronic conditions, achieving good nutrition and weeding out bad dietary habits can reduce inflammation and make pain more manageable. Choosing to cook more at home, cutting out processed and refined products, and selecting fresh produce rich in natural, anti-inflammatory ingredients is key to managing pain naturally.
Nature’s pantry is rich in anti-inflammatory foods, and simply adopting a diet dense in fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains will address inflammation without the need for much thought. However, there are a few key ingredients that can really help to keep symptoms down, many of them commonly referred to as ‘superfoods’, which makes them easy to track down.
High on the list of fruits that can help with pain relief is pineapple, which is rich in the enzyme bromelain, known to be a strong anti-inflammatory. Dark, leafy greens like kale and chard are packed with carotenoids, also associated with reducing inflammation. Replacing refined grains with whole grains – brown rice, for example – provides the body with more fiber to help combat inflammation, while also delivering greater nutritional value. A variety of nuts and seeds are also beneficial to an anti-inflammatory diet, due to their vitamin and mineral content: good additions to a pain relief diet are almonds, flax seeds and walnuts. Additionally, studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids found nuts and seeds, as well as in oily fish like salmon and sardines, can cause a significant reduction in pain. Gut health plays a significant role in inflammation, so fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi are also good additions to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Natural anti-inflammatory supplements can be used to boost the benefits created by a healthy, inflammation-fighting diet. Products like Turmeric Power-Plus use all natural ingredients to create a supplement that is quickly absorbed by the body, enabling it to reduce inflammation and fight pain immediately. A specialized amino acid supplement, meanwhile, can boost the body’s ability to absorb dietary nutrients and provide chronic pain relief. Using supplements in conjunction with an anti-inflammatory diet enables those who suffer from chronic pain to manage their symptoms without the need for painkillers.
Chronic pain is a reality for many people, and complete relief is not possible. However, through a diet geared towards managing inflammation, natural pain management is achievable, and can result in a better quality of life for those who live with chronic pain.