For many years, I’ve experimented like a mad scientist in my kitchen trying to come up with the perfect solution for my chronic pain.
I was curious to find out if cutting out juicy grilled steaks and mozzarella on my favorite crackers would make a difference.
So I turned to veganism and followed a vegan diet for 2.5 years because I wanted to test if doing so would reduce the pain.
If you asked my friends and family, they would tell you I was too skinny.
Personally, I thought they were wrong, but when I took a good hard look at myself in my bedroom mirror one day, I realized they were onto something.
So I hopped off the vegan train and headed back to Meatville because I didn’t feel strong.
I’m not saying following a vegan lifestyle will leave you looking like a rake.
But it’s a choice, and not for everyone.
So since my vegan experiment didn’t turn out the way I planned, it left me asking myself the big question.
What the hell do you eat to reduce chronic pain, doesn’t taste like cardboard, and leaves a smile on your face while doing the happy dance?
Well, the jury is still out on that one.
However, in this post, I’m going to give you some serious ammunition in the fight against chronic pain.
Keep reading to find out.
How can diet help with arthritis?
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis and affects about 30 million people in the US.
Osteoarthritis results in painful stiff joints.
I’m certain that you’ve heard that changing your diet can help with your chronic pain.
Is this really true?
Although there’s no specific type of food one can eat to cure chronic pain, many people say that eating a healthier diet and cutting down or eliminating processed foods has improved it.
Eating right can:
- maintain a healthy weight
Extra weight adds more stress to your joints, especially knees.
Being just 10 pounds heavier adds 30 to 40 pounds of force on the knee joints each time you take a step.
And extra fat in the body can lead to further inflammation.
- reduce cholesterol
Some people with chronic pain may have higher levels of cholesterol, so reducing it can help reduce symptoms.
Which food is excellent for arthritis?
So what types of food could you eat to help reduce chronic pain?
The 4 stars I’ve listed below are amazing, natural and healthy.
Try incorporating them in your diet to set yourself up on the fast track to reduce chronic pain.
These little red fruits help boost the immune system and improve sleep.
Cherries contain a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins which are pigments that give fruits such as cherries, grapes, and oranges their vibrant color.
Antioxidants can help clean up free radical damage from exercise, eating a meal or being outdoors.
Free radicals trigger cell damage and can promote the development of diseases such as cancer.
Fruits and vegetables are plentiful with antioxidants and although there’s no direct correlation between antioxidants and disease prevention, it’s recommended by researchers to include them in your diet.
Ginger’s use as medicine goes back hundreds of years and can be used as a tea, capsule, essential oil or tincture.
This root contains anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants function the same way as Cox-2 inhibitors, which are also found in pain medication.
Adding ginger to food or drinking ginger tea daily can effectively manage chronic pain.
In a study, researchers gave fish a ginger supplement for 60 days.
They concluded the fish were better able to fight off infections and developed an increase in immunity.
If possible, use organic ginger, avoid supplements with additives and use brands using supercritical fluid extraction.
Ginger is generally safe, but may decrease blood clotting if used in high amounts so aim for 1500-2000 mg daily for optimal results.
Hold on to your hat because blueberries are POWERFUL!
Researchers recommend eating ½ cup daily because they contain a ¼ of the daily recommended vitamin C, fiber, manganese PLUS more than ⅓ vitamin K, which is essential for bone health and blood clotting.
Blueberries also contain anthocyanins (antioxidants, which researchers believe help reduce inflammation that can lead to arthritis pain).
In addition, these little blue and juicy fruits are high in dietary polyphenols so regular consumption of blueberries may help pain.
Researchers have conducted a vast amount of studies examining the relationship between polyphenols and osteoarthritis pain and have discovered that polyphenols can increase brain health and protect against heart disease.
According to one study, consuming freeze dried whole blueberries can improve chronic pain.
40 grams of freeze-dried whole blueberry powder was given to one group, and the other controlled group received a placebo powder. Each group took the powder daily for 4 months.
At the end of the study, researchers concluded that chronic pain, stiffness and difficulty with daily activities significantly decreased after using blueberry powder for 4 months.
NSAIDs are medications commonly used to treat chronic pain, but they can cause side effects.
Turmeric contains a chemical compound called curcumin (another polyphenol) and studies show it can be used safely in high doses and can prevent the inflammatory process.
Other significant health benefits are the prevention of hypertension, anti-obesity effect, and supports immune function.
Turmeric may also suppress acute and chronic inflammation because it blocks the formation of enzymes such as COX-2 that are involved with inflammation.
It’s important to keep in mind that turmeric powder comprises only about 3% curcumin by weight.
Therefore, you would need to consume an outrageous amount or use a supplement to reach the dosage found in most studies. Aim to consume 1000 mg daily.
Adding a dash of black pepper when using turmeric increases its absorption by the body by up to 2000%!
There’s no magic pill or magic fruit to take away chronic pain.
The best way to determine what types of foods work and don’t work for your body is with experimentation.
Foods like tart cherries, ginger, blueberries and turmeric must be included in your diet when fighting chronic pain.
You’ve got to put on your boxing gloves and be ready to rumble with your pain because only one of you will come out the victor.
I know you can do this so I’m putting my money down on you!
Join my 7 day 5 Easy Ways to Manage Chronic Pain ecourse challenge.
Related Post: The Beginner’s Guide to Chronic Pain Management Techniques