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Feb 14, 2014

10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods that Fight Pain

Humans have been seeking relief from pain for centuries—long before there were pills to pop. These foods are still around today, and they can really help manage pain.

Oranges: These sweet citrus fruits are considered anti-inflammatory and are recommended in anti-arthritis diets. Oranges contain beta-cryptoxanthin, a phytochemical that has been shown to decrease the development of inflammatory joint conditions. Some other foods that have beta-cryptoxanthin are apricots, plums, watermelons, peaches and papaya.

Red Grapes: Red Grapes (and, to a lesser extent, green grapes) have resveratrol in their skins. Resveratrol inhibits the COX enzyme, which is what NSAIDs do. Resveratrol is also found in mulberries.

Seeds and Nuts: Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts and hazelnuts contain tryptophan. This chemical helps reduce pain and sensitivity.

Beans and Whole Grains: Beans, whole grains and lentils also contain tryptophan. A good pain-fighting dish would be beans over brown rice with some nuts on the side.

Fatty Fish: Fish like salmon and mackerel contain large amounts of essential fatty acids (omega-3s), which are anti-inflammatory.

Cherries: Recent studies have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of cherries. Cherry juice works well too.

Blackberries, Strawberries, and Blueberries: These berries have antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage.  This can inhibit or prevent painful conditions like arthritis.  Other studies have also found these berries to be anti-inflammatory as well.

Chickweed: You may not recognize this as a food, but it is an edible plant that you can probably find in your yard. Chickweed helps reduce swelling and helps ease internal pain. It can be eaten as a salad green or brewed into tea.

Ginger: Ginger is a tasty anti-inflammatory that reduces those pesky prostaglandins. It seems to work especially well for muscular pain.

Celery Seeds: The anti- inflammatory chemical in celery and its seeds is apigenin. Celery seed is recommended for managing gout pain and preventing attacks of gout.