Got back pain? Eat some grapes. Bad knees? Have some ginger. Research suggests that the right foods can ease your aches and pains just as well as common over-the-counter pain killers. The good news is you can probably find these everyday foods in your kitchen right now.
Here are five superfood pain remedies you can enjoy right away.
Cherries are loaded with antioxidants called anthocyanins and are the force behind cherries’ pain-fighting properties. Research has shown that Bing cherries can significantly reduce inflammation due to arthritis pain. The Baylor Research Institute in Dallas released preliminary data indicating that tart-cherry pills can lessen pain and improve joint function over a two month period. Cherries are also good for relieving pain from muscle damage according to research that looked at exercising men in a Vermont study. Don’t care for cherries? Anthocyanins are also found in blackberries and strawberries.
You may be familiar with the digestive soothing properties of ginger but you may not know that it’s an effective painkiller, too. A six week study from the University of Miami found that patients with chronic knee pain experienced relief from soreness on standing and after walking after taking ginger extract. Other studies show that ginger may help with muscle soreness as well. That’s because it blocks an enzyme involved in the inflammatory process.
You don’t need to consume a lot of ginger to see the positive effects. Just a two or three tablespoons a day will suffice. Add ginger to teas, soups, or stir-fry for delicious pain relief.
Soy is another great soother of knee pain. It’s possible to cut pain from osteoarthritis up to 30 percent plus slash your use of pain medication significantly simply by consuming 40 grams of soy protein each day for three months. It’s the isoflavones in soy that deliver anti-inflammatory properties. Finding tasty sources for soy is easy these days, including soy milk, soy burgers, and soy hot dogs. Even simple edamame is a great option.
If you’re a coffee drinker you may already know that a good hot cup of caffeinated coffee is often great for knocking out a nagging headache. Most cold and headache medicines contain caffeine as an enhancer, but it has powerful pain-reducing properties on its own. Moderate doses of caffeine, such as what you’d find in two cups of coffee, can boost your workout and also reduce muscle soreness by around 50 percent.
The powerful resveratrol antioxidant found in red grapes blocks the enzymes that contribute to cartilage damage often found in patients with back pain. So if you have a sore back or other type of cartilage damage, filling up with resveratrol-rich foods (blueberries and cranberries contain the antioxidant, too) can possibly bring you sweet relief. A glass of red wine is one of the best ways to consume resveratrol because it’s more easily absorbed that way.
There you have it – five delicious, nutritious food and beverages that will not only boost your overall health but will soothe your ailing joints and muscles. Bon appetit!