Headaches, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other forms of ongoing pain affect an estimated 25 million adults, or 11 percent of the population. If you’re one of them, you don’t have to suffer. Try these ten foods to ease everyday pain, and keep your body healthy and strong.
Peanut butter is rich in magnesium, which promotes muscle relaxation and has an analgesic effect. Magnesium deficiencies encourage the body to overproduce substance P, a chemical linked with increased feelings of pain. Peanut butter also contains resveratrol, which can ease joint pain in arthritis by reducing inflammation and protecting cartilage.
Try this: combine peanut butter, frozen bananas, and milk for a creamy smoothie; mix peanut butter with coconut milk, ginger, and curry for a fast simmer sauce; stir peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon into cooked oats for a protein-packed breakfast bowl.
Fresh ginger root blocks enzymes that produce inflammatory chemicals and can offer relief from pain. In one study, 63 percent of people with chronic knee pain reported less soreness after taking a ginger extract, and they needed less pain medication.
Try this: grate a whole ginger root, squeeze the juice into a jar, then add sparkling water and sweeten with agave for homemade ginger ale; add ginger root, garlic, and lemongrass stalks to coconut milk, simmer for 20 minutes, and strain for a flavorful soup base; cut ginger into matchsticks and stir fry with shallots, snow peas, carrots, and mushrooms.
Coffee is known to improve athletic performance, and studies show that it also reduces muscle pain after working out. It also helps relieve pain from migraines and enhances the effect of ibuprofen and other pain relievers.
Try this: add strong-brewed coffee to marinades; mix with chocolate and any kind of milk, then freeze in popsicle molds for grown-up frozen pops; purée with tomatoes, onions, garlic, cocoa powder, and chipotle for a rich, spicy mole.
Studies show that coffee can reduce muscle pain after working out, relieve migraine pain, and enhance the effect of ibuprofen and other common pain relievers.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil contains an anti-inflammatory compound called oleocanthal, which has actions similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Try this: mix olive oil with softened butter and minced herbs, then refrigerate till firm for a creamy spread; add olive oil and orange zest to yellow cake mix before baking; purée green olives, garlic, rosemary, and olive oil until mostly smooth for a vibrant green spread to use like pesto.
Pineapple is rich in an enzyme called bromelain that reduces inflammation and can lessen pain. Studies show that it’s especially helpful in treating pain and swelling after oral surgery.
Try this: purée with coconut milk and mango, then freeze in an ice cream maker; combine diced pineapple with red bell peppers, Serrano peppers, and cilantro for a zesty salsa; slice pineapple crosswise and grill for 3 minutes per side, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Did You Know?
The bromelain in pineapple is concentrated mainly in the stem, although the fruit also contains some of this beneficial compound.
Cherries are high in anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation and lessen pain. In one study, runners who drank cherry juice experienced less pain after running. In another study, people who ate 10 ounces of cherries per day had significantly reduced markers of inflammation.
Try this: simmer pitted cherries with balsamic vinegar and honey or agave, and serve over ice cream; add chopped cherries and minced jalapeño peppers to hamburger meat or vegan burger mix, form into patties, and grill; purée cherries with onions, garlic, and chipotle peppers for a simple sweet-and-spicy sauce.
Wild Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help reduce inflammation and lessen pain. In one study, people with back and neck pain took 2,400 mg of omega-3s along with NSAIDs for two weeks, then dropped down to 1,200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids instead of NSAIDs. At the end of the study, 60 percent of patients reported a reduction in their pain levels, and 59 percent stopped using NSAIDs.
Try this: blend smoked salmon with horseradish, mascarpone cheese, and dill; top salmon filets with tomatoes, shallots, and olives, then wrap in parchment packets and bake; use salmon in tacos served with red cabbage slaw and pineapple salsa.
Hot peppers are rich in a compound called capsaicin that has long been used topically to relieve arthritis and joint pain. Some studies also suggest that consuming capsaicin can relieve discomfort—the burning sensation prompts the brain to release endorphins, which block pain signals.
Try this: toss whole shishito peppers with olive oil and garlic powder, and grill until tender; purée Fresno and cayenne peppers (seeds removed) with garlic, vinegar, and salt for a fast, fiery homemade hot sauce; mince Serrano peppers with scallions, basil, and cilantro for a spicy pesto.
Curry powder contains curcumin, a powerful compound that has anti-inflammatory effects and, like ginger, works as a COX-2 inhibitor. Use it with pepper, which contains a compound called piperine that significantly increases the bioavailability of curcumin.
Try this: stir curry powder, ginger powder, and black pepper into softened vanilla ice cream, then refreeze till firm; add curry to scrambled eggs along with chopped tomatoes, onions, and Serrano peppers for a quick Indian anda bhurji; toss cauliflower florets with coconut oil and curry powder, and roast till tender.
Written by Lisa Turner for Better Nutrition and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.
Featured image provided by Better Nutrition
Fight Pain with MariGold!
We design all our product at MariGold to not only taste delicious, but to treat your body well too. All of our ingredients are chosen with your best health in mind.
Inside our protein powders, coffee powders, protein bars, and snacks are ingredients that have incredible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties – all of which can help reduce pain in the body.
Grass-fed whey protein can help reduce inflammation. Not only is it a lean protein, but grass-fed whey contains a protein called lactoferrin, which has been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. MariGold Grass-Fed Whey Isolate is also lactose free, making it ideal for those who are intolerant to lactose, which can cause inflammation in the body.
Collagen Peptides can also be very helpful in reducing inflammation in the body. Collagen’s anti-inflammatory powers come from the role that it plays in our gut health. When your gut is not healthy, it can lead to stomach lining permeability where particles can leak into the rest of the body. This can trigger inflammation. A healthy gut, supported by collagen’s ability to strengthen and support the gut’s lining, can help to reduce overall inflammation.
Collagen also contains glycine, an amino acid with proven anti-inflammatory and immune system-supporting effects.
Coffee contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, which may protect against inflammation as well. MariGold Protein Coffees contain organic, arabica coffee that is flavonoid-rich with powerful anti-oxidants. Our coffees also contain your choice of either Whey Isolate Protein or Collagen Peptides for extra nutrients!
Our NEW Pumpkin Spice collection contains our delicious, warm, pumpkin spice blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg…along with turmeric and green banana powder – all of which have their own health benefits for reducing pain.
Take a look at some of the health benefits these ingredients contain:
- Turmeric – (curcumin) its anti-inflammatory properties can aid in pain relief by reducing inflammation in the body as well as help improve memory by reducing brain inflammation. It contains antioxidant properties that can protect your body from free radicals, and may help lower the risk of heart disease.
- Green Banana Powder – a resistant starch that acts as a prebiotic for a healthy gut microbiome, and can help improve insulin response.
Pumpkin Spice Blend:
- Cinnamon – Loaded with powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, may help reduce the risk of heart disease, can help improve insulin response and lower blood sugar levels, and may help fight bacterial and fungal infection.
- Ginger – Rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It can provide relief from indigestion, nausea and other gut-related ailments. It can also help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Cloves – are a rich source of manganese and are antioxidant-rich. Cloves have antimicrobial properties that may help reduce the risk of liver disease, support health bone density, and may help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Nutmeg – Contains an abundance of antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, may even have positive effects on heart health, libido, mood, and blood sugar levels.
In addition to all these incredibly beneficial ingredients, our Pumpkin Spice Whey Isolate Powder and Pumpkin Spice Collagen Peptides contain L-Glutamine. L-Glutamine has anti-inflammatory properties and plays a pivotal role in gut health, immune function, energy metabolism, and detoxification.*
Be sure to check out our Nutritional Info and What’s Inside pages for even more of our healthy, gut-friendly, anti-inflammatory ingredients!