What if we told you that the back pain which refuses to abate despite numerous chiropractic interventions and a long list of prescription medications can be managed by just changing your food habits and adding certain foods into your daily diet?
No, this is not some quick marketing scheme but rather scientifically researched information on foods that are deemed to be very effective as painkillers, hence their name “super foods”. These aren’t some rare herbs or ayurvedic, ancient secret items though but vegetables and food items that are found in the shelves of your local grocery market.
Most of these superfoods are filled with antiinflammatory nutrients which help in reducing pain and inflammation, in the healing process and rebuilding joints/cartilages. This in turn leads to lower incidences of pain, stiffness, improved flexibility and mobility.
So this week we shall focus on foods that have the capability to relieve pain. But unlike our previous article on diets and pain, we will be going indepth into the details and reasons why these specific foods are called as “superfoods” and what kind of effect they have on our bodies.
• Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Gem vegetables like brocooli, spinach and spring greens are rich in vitamin C, calcium and more importantly antioxidants, specifically carotenoids.
Anti oxidants play a huge role in minimizing pain by neutralising free radicals that could lead to damage of protein, fats, cartilages and cells. Doctors usually advise to intake at least 3-4 servings of green leafy vegetables.
Oily fishes are filled with omega 3 fatty acids which is widely renowned to alleviate chronic pain, stiffness, aches and more, essentially acting like painkillers in place of NSAIDs. Tuna, mackerel, pomfret are all good sources of omega 3 fatty acids and you’ve got to consume at least 3-4 portions weekly.
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• Olive oil
A great source of healthy, mono saturated fats, olive oil is rich in anti oxidants and antiinflammatory nutrients. By replacing your traditional cooking oil with olive oil, not only will you be choosing a healthier alternative but tastier one as well.
• Soy beans
With isoflavones as it’s chief antioxidant, soy are great at reducing inflammation and stimulating osteoblasts and chrondocytes which help in building bones and cartilages.
They do have oestrogenal properties though, so large quantities aren’t recommended for men. Try taking them in the form of tofu/soy sauce, powder varieties or fermented products.
A superb pain relieving and anti inflamattory fruit, it has good amounts of antioxidants, mono-saturated oils, essential fatty acids, beta-sitosterol and Vitamin E. It also helps in building/repairing bones, cartilages, joints and muscles, thereby speeding up the healing process and minimizing pain. You can just use it as starter, as part of your salad entree or take it as a part of dips like guacamole.
Pomegranates are filled with an array of highly effective antioxidants such as polyphenols, anthocyanins, carotenoids apart from vitamins E and C. It’s ellagic acid is reported to have the ability to drastically alleviate inflammation and prevent cartilage damage. It’s actually twice as effective as green tea and red wine, hence pomegranate juice is highly recommended by doctors and dieticians alike.
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