Reduce Inflammation with 5 Foods! Natural Anti-Inflammatories- Thomas DeLauer

5 Pain-Fighting Foods

Whether it's migraines, back pain, joint pain or arthritis, 35 percent of American adults (that's 105 million people) suffer from chronic pain, according to the American Chronic Pain Association. Furthermore, a 2006 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that 26 percent of Americans age 20 years and older (an estimated 76.5 million) have problems with pain that lasts 24 hours or more. Pain is often a symptom of inflammation, which is how your body reacts to injury. "Inflammation is a normal process. Acute inflammatory responses [short-term inflammation of an injury like a sprained ankle] can cause pain, but are beneficial. Without those immune responses, used to heal and prevent infection, we'd all be in trouble," says David Maine, MD, director of the Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. "But chronic inflammatory changes [in rheumatoid arthritis, for example] can disrupt all sorts of signals in muscle growth and health." Though drugs can help treat and manage chronic pain and inflammation, what you eat can actually help, too. From cherries to green tea, here are five foods that may help provide relief.
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You probably already know that the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are good for your heart because they have anti-inflammatory properties. But you might not have realized that they can also fight inflammation in other parts of your body and therefore help reduce pain. In a study done by the American College of Sports Medicine, fish oils, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, were shown to reduce joint tenderness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and reduce the production of pro-inflammatory substances. "Omega-3 fats found in fish like salmon, sardines, anchovies and trout can relieve pain by suppressing the enzymes that cause inflammation," notes Kari Kooi, RD, corporate wellness dietician at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. "They're called 'essential fatty acids' because they're necessary for human health, but our bodies don't actually make them, so we have to get them through food." While you can get omega-3s from plant-derived sources such as flaxseeds and walnuts, the body must convert the fatty acids, which reduces the efficiency of absorption. Omega-3 fatty acids derived from cold-water fatty fish, however, are "better absorbed because no conversion process is necessary," Kooi says. The American Health Association recommends two servings of fish per week for heart health. Following these guidelines ensures you will continually benefit from fish's anti-inflammatory properties.Photo: Shutterstock



While fresh ginger has been used for centuries to treat everything from colds to upset stomach, the University of Georgia recently found it can also reduce muscle pain after exercise by 25 percent. "Gingerol is the potent phytonutrient in ginger that is believed to supply these pain-relieving properties," Kooi says. "In fact, a study found that ginger might be just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen to treat postexercise soreness." Ginger can also relieve pain in osteoarthritis patients. Kooi recommends adding minced ginger to vegetables or a stir-fry, or making a tea by placing sliced fresh ginger in a tea ball and immersing it in hot water for 10 minutes, then adding honey for sweetness as needed.Photo: Shutterstock



Cherries—or any other red, purple or blue fruits such as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and red grapes—can help reduce pain through the presence of a phytonutrient called anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2006 study by the Agricultural Research Service found that cherries fight inflammation related to arthritis, heart disease and cancer. "[Anthocyanins] can help relieve pain by neutralizing free radicals that contribute to inflammation and also by blocking the enzymes that cause tissue inflammation," Kooi says. (Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells in the body. Anthocyanins help neutralize these molecules so they can't cause any more damage.) "Some free radicals are created in our bodies through metabolic processes. Other sources include cigarette smoke, sunlight and air pollution," Kooi says. "Antioxidants from plant foods like fruits and vegetables can prevent oxidative damage." To introduce them into your diet, Kooi recommends eating fresh or frozen cherries, which pack the most nutritional punch. Or you can add dried cherries to oatmeal or trail mix.Photo: Shutterstock

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Olive Oil


One anti-inflammatory, pain-busting food to try is olive oil, which may help with long-term relief of pain and inflammation. According to researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, a compound in extra-virgin olive oil called oleocanthal can act similar to the way NSAIDs do, warding off pain. "Many drugs used to combat pain today were derived from nature. For example, the medicinal effect of the bark of the willow, from which aspirin is derived, has been known for centuries. But people who want to experience the medicinal benefits of aspirin don't chew the bark of the willow," says Steven Cohen, MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "The [researchers] postulate that the long-term consumption of olive oil might confer some of the long-term benefits of NSAID use, without the downside (increased risk of kidney disease)." Kooi says it's important to buy high-quality oil and use it in uncooked dishes, which will provide the most nutrition. "In a nutshell, it's wise to invest in a good quality extra-virgin olive oil with a low acidity level; the darker the color, the stronger the flavor, which means more oleocanthal."Photo: Shutterstock

Green Tea


According to the CDC, 67 million adults will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by the year 2030. And green tea, an established superfood, has been shown to alleviate this sometimes debilitating disease. "There's a potent compound found in green tea, EGCG, that's been shown to block the production of molecules that can damage cartilage and bone, so it can help to alleviate arthritis pain," Kooi says. According to the National Institutes of Health, a 2008 study using rats found that green tea significantly reduces the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition, by improving immune responses and suppressing inflammatory substances in the body, while increasing anti-inflammatory substances. "The study leads us to believe those antioxidants will possibly prevent susceptibility to arthritis," Dr. Maine says. "So it can lead to future pharmacology for treatment in humans, whether it be medications or natural substances like green tea." Kooi recommends drinking one to three cups of green tea a day.


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Date: 03.12.2018, 07:10 / Views: 72283