A healthy diet and lifestyle are the key to good overall health, but beyond that, there are some ‘super foods’ that can give your body a boost. When it comes to pain, there are several foods that can alleviate soreness and stiffness and help prevent problems down the road.
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Salmon, sardines, walnuts and flax seeds are excellent sources of these healthy fats. Fat often gets a bad rap in today’s diet world, but not all fats are deserving of that designation. Our bodies need fat to survive, it’s a necessary requirement in our diet, but we do have a choice of whether we eat fats that support our health or go against it.
If you’re not a fan of Omega-3 foods or just have trouble getting enough, I’d highly recommend you grab some krill oil. ArcticPure Krill Oil is a premium, naturally rich source of omega-3s and phospholipids, a potent support for heart and brain health, as well as a means of monthly comfort for women.
Krill oil additionally contains the natural antioxidants astaxanthin and vitamin A, both of which support protection of cells, eyesight, joint health, and immunity.
The bad fats are trans fats and saturated fats, which contribute to many health problems and end up affecting the heart and ultimately everything in our body — it’s all connected.
One of the primary functions of Omega-3 fatty acids is their ability to act as an anti-inflammatory in the human body. Much of our pain is caused by tight, tense muscles, inflamed joints and degenerative wear.
Omega-3 fats are a great way to reduce the swelling of inflamed joints and tissue, thereby reducing the cause of the pain and not just masking the pain itself. Trans fats and saturated fats are a component of an unhealthy diet, often leading to weight gain. Maintaining a healthy weight is also a predominant way to reduce pain.
Boswellia is a plant that has long been used to treat pain due to inflammation.
The active ingredient is extracted from the Boswellia tree, and has been used in Indian herbal remedies throughout history. It has excellent anti-inflammatory qualities and most people exhibit no side effects.
An extract is often derived from this plant and added to many modern medicines, even name brands. Boswellia can be taken orally, which is most common, but can also be found in creams to be applied topically.
If you’re having inflammation issues, my grandfather introduced me to some stuff called SerraPhase Inlfammation Response. He said it was really working wonders for his knees and asked me to look it up. I did… One the of the main ingredients was Boswelia.
Green tea has been dubbed one of the world’s most effective health foods for numerous reasons. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and exhibits anti-inflammatory qualities as well, a real dual-action food! Substances that oxidize themselves in our body create what are known as ‘free radicals’. They come namely from what we ingest and are abundant in unhealthy diets.
These free radicals float around inside our body, destroying healthy cells, causing mutations and deformities on a cellular level. As these cells degrade and potentially die, our body develops more and more inflammation throughout. Inflammation causes pain and exacerbates further health problems in our tissue, organs, bones and joints.
Green tea has this miraculous ability to ensnare those free radicals, it neutralizes them and prevents them from damaging our body. The additional benefit is that green tea can help reduce inflammation, which can occur because of poor diet or mechanical damage (a strained or pulled muscle, for example). Experts suggest two to three cups per day for maximum benefit.
Currently in my pantry I’ve Organic Plantation green tea, which is 100% USDA certified organic nilgiri green tea.
Vitamins & Minerals – Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables, no matter the type all possess great healing and strengthening properties. The more raw the vegetable or fruit is, the more vitamins and minerals you will obtain from these foods.
When fruits and vegetables are cooked, the vitamins and minerals break down to some degree, or leach out of the foods, making them less potent. But, a cooked vegetable is still a decent source of vitamins and minerals.
Overall health is controlled by what we eat, for the most part, lifestyle and exercise following closely behind. But, we truly are what we eat, and if we want to be at our best, we need to provide our body with the tools and building blocks it needs to grow and repair itself efficiently.
No other category of food offers our bodies those tools and building blocks in such dense, health-promoting little packages. Food is health care, medicine is sick care.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so keep your body strong and provide it with the necessary elements for it to stay strong and repair itself when necessary.
Certain nutrient deficiencies have been associated with pain and inflammation. One of the most notable is vitamin D. In individuals with a deficiency of vitamin D, back pain was more prevalent. When given a dietary supplement, their back pain decreased. Other vitamins and minerals have been extensively studied and a proven link has been made for many. Several vitamins and minerals function as antioxidants in the body as well.
This oil is at the forefront of healthy eating these days. Olive oil has been touted as one of the best things you can consume to achieve optimal health in the dietary world. Used in place of other, unhealthy fats, olive oil tastefully replaces bad with good and your body reaps the rewards.
Olive oil has been found to have anti-inflammatory qualities that act similarly to NSAIDs in the body. NSAID stands for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug, and is the category of drug that people turn to first with body aches and pain.
Click here for Bragg Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Berries are one of nature’s greatest providers of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. By weight, they pack the most punch per ounce compared with other fruits. They are one of nature’s super foods, and eaten regularly, or daily, can help prevent and alleviate many ailments.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries have all gained in popularity, and for good reason. Berries offer a strong dose of what are known as phytonutrient antioxidants. These substances have the ability to enhance our immune system and help our body fight inflammation and infection. Not to mention, berries are full of fibre, vitamins, minerals and other health promoting goodness!
Garlic and Onions
Garlic has been known as a great health food for generations, but is still growing in popularity at an astonishing rate. It is a plant found in the allium (onion) family, with an active ingredient called allicin. This organosulfur compound is present in both onions and garlic, which puts them both in the same health food category.
Because of the high sulphur content of garlic and onion, they possess incredible antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral abilities. They both contain an abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which makes them great for treating the cause of most pain.
Garlic has been extensively studied, and has been found to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer and reduce inflammation throughout the body, among many other health benefits.
The root of the ginger plant is used mainly in eastern cuisine, but has become much more common worldwide. Ginger root has extraordinary anti-inflammatory qualities, and as such, is great for alleviating pain. Many analgesics (pain medications) work by blocking the COX enzyme, and ginger does exactly this.
Ginger has been studied extensively around the world for its pain relieving qualities, and has been found to be as effective as ibuprofen in many cases.
The foods listed above have two things in common: Anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. These two things are found in non-processed, minimally-cooked, natural foods, especially in those that are still alive. Foods with inflammation reducing qualities have the highest potential for relieving pain.
Antioxidants are foods that will support optimal health on a cellular level and help your body heal itself, also preventing inflammation from starting in the first place.
A healthy lifestyle, with a diet rich in super foods, will help reduce the incidence of pain and promote an overall state of health and wellbeing, making recovery more likely.
We are what we eat, and if we eat healthy, we will surely become that as well.
Health by choice, not by chance.