While it is crucial to seek the advice of a qualified medical professional when experiencing pain, certain nutrients may also assist in pain management:
Found in: fatty fish (such as tuna, mackerel, trout, salmon, and sardines), nuts (particularly walnuts), vegetable oils, flaxseed, flaxseed oils, leafy vegetables, and omega-3 supplements.
Look for bright orange, blue, and purple-colored foods, as anthocyanins produce this color in fruits and vegetables.6
soybeans, soy sauce, soy meat alternatives, tofu, miso, soymilk, soy supplements, and any product made with soy protein.
Many studies indicate that soy is anti-inflammatory. It negates inflammatory agents in the body, including c-reactive proteins (proteins produced by the liver in response to inflammation).4 It should be noted that the typical Australian diet is abundant in soy, as this food is used in a host of processed food products.
the spice aisle and turmeric/curcumin supplements. Turmeric is a yellow spice harvested and grounded from the root of the turmeric plant.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance that reduces inflammation by blocking inflammatory enzymes and cytokines (small proteins that contribute to the inflammatory response by enabling cellular communication).7 Recommended dosage for pain relief is typically 400 to 600 milligrams (in pill form) or .5 to 1 gram of powdered root, three times daily.7
*It is important to note that high doses of this spice can act as a blood thinner and produce an upset stomach. Please do not take turmeric if you are taking blood thinners, such as coumadin.*
tart cherries, grape skins, walnuts, tomatoes, and melatonin supplements.
Melatonin is a hormone produced primarily by the pineal gland of the brain, but it is also present in some plant foods (see above). This hormone plays a key role in regulating sleep patterns, but research also shows that it may help manage pain by reducing inflammation. For pain relief, a dosage of approximately 5 to 10 milligrams nightly for six months may help relieve pain.9
Nutrient therapy can be helpful in the reduction of chronic pain. Those interested in nutrient therapy should seek the advice of an Accredited Practicing Dietitian. It is important to note that supplements may interfere with medications and over-supplementation may cause an imbalance in the body, leading to more problems. Therefore, an accredited professional is imperative to the pain sufferer’s safety.
Nature has provided an abundance of resources to reduce chronic pain. Please remember that the best way to consume nutrients is as Mother Nature intended: in the form of natural, whole foods.
A great way to get some of these potentially anti-inflammatory & pain relieving foods into your diet is by kick starting your day with a healthy smoothie with ingredients such as turmeric, pineapple, cherries and avocado.
*Please note* It is extremely important that the pain sufferer inform their doctor about every supplement they are taking. Supplements can interfere with certain medications and medical treatments.