This is a two-part series by Dr. Surbhi Prapanna that talks about dealing with chronic pain naturally. You can read ‘How To Deal With Chronic Pain Naturally – Part 1’ here.
Experts believe that certain chemicals in the food can trigger the release of neurotransmitters and are responsible for increased pain and inflammation. Use of anti-inflammatory food in your diet may help alleviate problems arising due to chronic pain. Specific food allergies may also trigger inflammation. Wheat, corn, eggs, soy, nuts, citrus foods and dairy products are some of the common foods that may cause allergic reactions. Learning to avoid these foods in your diet is recommended.
Food rich in Omega-3 fatty acid
There is enough evidence that Omega-3 reduces certain types of chronic pain and even decreases long term need for anti-inflammatory drugs, while Omega-6 increases inflammation. Most people find it easier to get Omega-6 than Omega-3 in their diet that usually increases the inflammation.
Best source of Omega-3 – Flaxseed, canola oil, walnut, eggs, wheat germ, chia seed, seafood and spinach
Certain foods have ‘anti-inflammatory properties’. They can reduce pain and inflammation. The most easily available anti-inflammatory foods are,
- Garlic- garlic has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It also boosts our immune system and helps in reducing swelling and inflammation.
- Ginger- it is one of the oldest root that is used in ancient Ayurveda treatment for its great benefits. It is believed that it can work like anti-inflammatory drugs without any side effects.
- Whole grains– These are good source of fibre and have higher nutritional value than refined carbohydrate, but one surprising benefit of whole grain is that it can reduce the level of C – reactive protein. C-reactive protein is a marker that increases in various inflammatory diseases like in rheumatoid arthritis.
Foods that have antioxidant properties
Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals and prevent cell damage. It is believed that free radicals may contribute to chronic pain. If left unchecked, these excessive free radicals can further damage the already inflamed tissues. Apart from neutralizing these free radicals, antioxidants increase our immunity and improve overall health. So, it is wise to include various ‘antioxidant foods’ in our diet to reduce pain and inflammation.
Best sources of antioxidants
- Green tea– it is an excellent source of polyphenols which is a great antioxidant that helps to reduce free radicals in our body which can cause pain and inflammation.
- Cherries- Cherries, raspberries, strawberries all have an exceptional nutritional value. Anthocyanins are active ingredients in cherries that have wonderful antioxidant properties.
- Cayenne– Capsaicin is an active compound found in cayenne that makes it a profound antioxidant agent and help in reducing inflammation.
- Green leafy vegetables- Dark leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and collard) are well-known sources of nutrition. They contain an abundance of carotenoid- an antioxidant that protects cells and plays a vital role in reducing inflammation.
If we are talking about anti-inflammatory foods how can we ever forget the great “turmeric”? It is an important component of ancient Ayurvedic medicine and used extensively in Indian cuisine. Curuminoids in turmeric are active and powerful ingredients in turmeric that can be as powerful as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in fighting inflammation. The best part of turmeric is that it can be used as a part of diet, as a supplement and topically too.
Herbal and homeopathic remedies
Last but not the least using herbal and homeopathic remedies is a proven approach to treat chronic pain. But as these medicines work best according to individual symptoms, it is recommended to seek proper medical advice before using it.
Going back to my mom’s story, I want to help her as a daughter and as a physician. And for that, I included these anti- inflammatory foods in my mom’s diet. She has avoided the use of unhealthy and processed food such as French fries, refined carbohydrate. She started a regular exercise routine. Lastly, she has also paid a proper attention to her mental stress. She saw great benefits from acupuncture too. As we all know hard work always pays in life, she has got fruitful results with her hard work. Her joint pain improved remarkably with better mobility in joints. It felt great to witness the healing power of these natural methods.
Do you have any unforgettable experience of healing with natural ways? Please share with us!
Note: the article is for information purpose only; always seek medical advice before starting any diet, exercise regimen or alternative treatment.
Surbhi is a qualified doctor (B.H.M.S.) with 5 year of teaching and clinical experience. She started her writing journey at the age of 17 and published various articles in famous news paper and magazines. The most incredible experience of her life is being a mommy of two cute dolls. Recently she started her own blog Positive Parenting. She loves to write on crafting, parenting issues and kids activity and wants to share her parenting journey with others.