Food for Health: Pain Relief
Foods That Fight Pain
The RX: Cherries
The RX: Ginger
The RX: Cranberry Juice
The RX: Salmon, Herring, Sardines
The RX: Turmeric
The RX: Yogurt
The RX: Coffee
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But there is an alternative, and it's right in your kitchen. Certain foods ease aches by fighting inflammation, blocking pain signals, and even healing underlying disease. "Almost always, if we find pharmaceuticals doing the trick, we'll find a plant doing the same trick--and doing it more safely," says botanist James A. Duke, PhD, author of The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods.
Video: Foods That Hydrate
But before you can reap these rewards, you have to quit the junk food that riles up your body's pain system. The typical Western-style diet is heavy on foods that promote inflammation, including highly processed foods and refined carbs. No fruit, vegetable, or herb by itself can alleviate your pain if you don't change the pattern of your diet to reduce processed food and increase whole foods. This may not be easy, says Peter Abaci, MD, medical director of the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in Los Gatos, CA. "But if you stay committed to a good nutrition plan, you may be able to say good-bye to pain."
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