What we eat every day has a profound effect on how we feel. Our foods play a major role in our health and well-being. Scientists and researchers have concluded that a poor diet contributes to a third of all cancers. Research indicates that foods fight pain in four distinct ways:
- They can reduce damage at the site of an injury.
- They work inside the brain to reduce pain sensitivity.
- They act as painkillers on nerves.
- They help our bodies fight inflammation.
Realistically, there is scant evidence that a simple diet change can drive out our chronic pain. There is ample evidence; however, that a healthy diet ultimately adds to the length of our lives, and we know without a doubt that being and feeling healthy helps us fight pain sensations. It also is important to understand that a good diet can help us fight many chronic diseases that often lead to chronic pain or make it worse. You can find relief from your pain by incorporating a number of healthy foods into your regular diet. There are even foods that fight swelling and inflammation, and therefore contribute to pain reduction, for example:
- Tart cherries contain powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants as well as cyanidin, a substance that fights inflammation better than aspirin. Research shows that cherries may also help ease the pain of gout and arthritis.
- Omega-3 fatty acids from fish fight inflammation, as well as heart disease and cholesterol. Studies have shown that participants with rheumatoid arthritis who took omega-3 were able to decrease the amount of nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) they took on a regular basis.
- High-protein soybeans are loaded with powerful compounds that slow oxidation and inflammation.
- Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance that has been used in Asia for centuries to fight illness. Modern research shows that the compound fights cancer and inflammation.
Herbs don’t just make foods taste good; they are used to fight pain include feverfew, ginger, cat’s claw, cayenne, eucalyptus, aloe vera, lobelia, neem, yellow dock, passion flower, hops, and wood betony. Herbs technically are drugs and should be treated as such. Some can produce side effects and carry risks when not taken responsibly. It is always important to consult with your doctor and pharmacist before taking any herbal preparations since they can have potential reactions with your other medications. Make sure you read labels for warnings and ingredients. (Material excerpted from A Day without Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM) If you would like more information-for yourself or a loved one-about how nutrition and the numerous other holistic modalities in our pain recovery treatment program can help in recovery from chronic pain, please give us a call today.