Dealing With Chronic Pain: 6 Foods That Can Help Prevent Pain Naturally

Chronic pain impacts millions of Americans, and your diet may the cause – or at least a contributing factor. However, there are a few foods that you can incorporate into your diet to help prevent and alleviate the pain you are experiencing. These foods contain inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation, which thereby helps relieve the pain. Here are six of those pain-reducing foods:

1. Cherries

Cherries contain anthocyanin, which is a powerful compound full of antioxidants that can help inhibit enzymes in the body that cause pain. These compounds are actually able to work similar to the way NSAIDS, like aspirin, do. A recent study shows that adding cherries to your diet can reduce inflammation in the body.

2. Coffee

If you don't typically drink coffee yet you experience frequent headaches, it may be time to have a cup of Joe in the mornings. Alternatively, you could just drink a cup or two of coffee whenever you feel a headache coming on. This works because the caffeine in the coffee constricts the blood vessels that are causing the pain. However, only drink a small amount or you could cause the pain to worsen.

3. Ginger

Ginger is very popular for alleviating sea sickness in travelers and morning sickness in moms-to-be. However, it can also reduce inflammation in the body by inhibiting certain inflammatory response genes. Because of this, ginger has the ability to offer relief from arthritis, muscle pain, and migraines.

4. Fish

Fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury, which can help ease back pain. Omega 3's can help enhance blood circulation by reducing the swelling in the nerves and blood vessels. One study says that Omega-3 fatty acids can be a beneficial alternative therapy for both inflammation and pain of the joints (arthritis).

5. Mint

From general aches and pains to severe headaches, you may find comfort after a fresh cup of mint tea. In particular wintergreen leaves contain a specific compound, known as methyl salicylate, which has the ability to block pain and inflammation enzymes. Over-the-counter pain patches for your back, neck, etc. typically contain this compound, which is capable of reducing pain.

6. Hot Peppers

One of the primary ingredients found in hot peppers is capsaicin, which has been shown to help decreased pain by depleting the body of a certain substance that is involved in sending your brain pain signals. In fact, many pain-fighting ointments and cream actually contain this ingredient.

When you are experiencing pain, these six foods and beverages may be something to try. If the pain cannot be alleviated, then you may need to schedule an appointment with your doctor to find the exact source of pain and develop a custom plan of treatment. If you prefer to avoid harmful prescription medications, you may want to consider visiting a naturopathic clinic, which utilizes natural ways of treating and relieving pain.