Top 3 Foods For Joint Pain Relief
With a growing trend toward a healthier lifestyle, good nutrition is playing an increasing role in the lives of many individuals. In addition to helping maintain a healthy body weight and boosting energy, scientists are learning that certain foods may also help ease joint pain.
Many people would prefer controlling pain through diet rather than popping a pill for every joint ache that comes along. While an NSAID pain reliever or an aspirin was once thought to be the only relief for common muscle aches and joint pains, research is showing that some foods offer natural, pain-relieving effects. Here are three foods that offer natural pain relief.
Cherries are packed with anthocyanins which are compounds that contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory effects act as a natural NSAID. In a British study examining muscle pain attributed to working out, researchers determined that subjects who drank one ounce of concentrated cherry juice twice a day over a period of 10 days recovered more quickly from an intense leg-resistance workout on the eighth day than subjects who did not drink juice. In another study, eating roughly 45 cherries daily lowered amounts of C-reactive protein in patients with arthritis by 25 percent. This is a major marker for inflammation attributed to arthritis. Cherries can be eaten fresh or frozen, and most experts recommend about 20 cherries per day for common aches and pains.
Papaya is the only source of an important enzyme, papain, which is so effective that it is used in an injectable form for back pain. This potent anti-inflammatory is also known to relieve pain from burns, stings and wounds and help ease post-operative pain. According to Dr. Eric Braverman, the author of Younger (Thinner) You Diet, "Papain increases the production of immune cells called cytokines to speed healing. It also slows the blood-clotting mechanism, which improves circulation and boosts the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the inflamed area." Many people purchase papaya supplements for pain, but it is also said to help regulate digestion. Fresh papaya can be found in most grocery stores in the produce aisle, and papaya supplements can be found in the health products section or online through natural supplements websites.
Most people are at least slightly deficient in magnesium which is a natural muscle relaxant. Tahini (a sesame seed spread) is a good source of magnesium which makes it a great product for headaches and muscle pain. Tahini is also a rich source of copper. This valuable mineral helps with many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory reactions in the body. In fact, copper has been shown to help relieve pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
Tahini can usually be found in the peanut butter aisle, especially in natural foods stores. Many people enjoy tahini spread on toast, but others prefer it mixed with chick peas and spices for a delicious hummus.
The great thing about these nutritious foods is that they provide benefits well beyond pain relief. The anthocyanins in cherries can help prevent cancer, and cherries might be the best natural remedy for gout. Papaya helps promote good cardiovascular health and combats colon cancer. Tahini is a better source of protein than most nuts, and its high alkaline mineral content is great for maintaining a healthy immune system and body weight. Rather than reach for a pill for aches and pains, try dietary relief. Stock the foods above in your refrigerator to help combat pain