Chronic pain and illness is a common problem and major challenge affecting millions of people worldwide. What was first thought of as a condition that only affected older people is now becoming common among individuals of all ages, including children, teenagers, and young adults!
Back pain and migraine might be topping the charts, but one can experience chronic pain anywhere in the body. Some symptoms of chronic pain and illness include inflammation, irregular sleep, fatigue, brain fog, and anxiety.
In most cases the exact cause of the pain is unknown, making it difficult to provide a comprehensive pharmaceutical treatment for the patient. Even if the root cause is an injury, tissue damage, or health condition, painkillers and prescription drugs provide only limited benefit.
Furthermore, most of these drugs have harmful side effects and are highly addictive.
The best non-drug treatment for spoonies is to heal naturally through foods that boost and stabilize natural immunity. Information about ancient medicinal use combined with the latest clinical studies have found that some foods have the ability to reduce inflammation and pain while normalizing the body’s response to internal and external stimuli.
Better known as superfoods, these foods can speed recovery, protect against further cellular damage, and are packed with healing nutrients.
Take a look at some of these superfoods here:
- Ginger – Ginger has been used for ages in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to reduce inflammation and pain.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant components in ginger promote health, scavenge free radicals, and reduce muscle pain.
Moreover, it is effective in preventing cancer as well as improving heart-related conditions and diabetes (to name only a few).
It has also been shown to be more effective than aspirin and ibuprofen at reducing inflammation without the side effects.
You can add fresh ginger to your diet in a variety of ways. For example, cut and peel a piece of ginger into your tea, or grate a small piece in your stir-fry dishes for an extra kick.
- Turmeric – Belonging to the same family as ginger, turmeric has similar properties and helps to reduce inflammation and pain while preventing cancer and normalizing cholesterol.
It has been used in traditional Indian cooking as an important ingredient in curry powder and renders the curries their typical yellow color.
Turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin, which is responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties, as shown in a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
While you can experiment with various curry recipes to include turmeric in your diet, you can also try adding it to your smoothies or warm milk. For topical use, take equal parts turmeric and coconut oil to make a smooth paste.
- Garlic – Garlic has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal (and probably the broadest spectrum of anti-microbial), properties. It has been used since ancient times to treat and prevent chronic illness.
According to a study, it contains an active substance called allicin, which is responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties.
It is important to note that garlic and has more benefits when it is organic and consumed raw or unheated.
Allicin is also known to improve immunity. In addition, garlic can be beneficial in cancer prevention, help improve cardiovascular health, and even treat the common cold.
While it is best to consume garlic raw, it might not be always possible. Allicin is released when garlic is slow pressed (read more about slow or masticating juicers here). High-speed juicers produce heat and tend to reduce the health benefits of food.
Another palatable way of consuming garlic is to chew a few cloves of garlic with honey.
(Or, just chop up the garlic, put it on a teaspoon of honey, and swallow the mixture whole, so you don’t have garlic breath for a week.)
- Salmon – Ask any nutrition expert, and they will likely tell you to eat more salmon for a healthy body.
Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is delicious and rich in omega-3 antioxidants as well as vitamin D. Omega-3 fatty acids provide strong anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition to healthy fats, salmon and other fish like mackerel also contain calcitonin, which has been proven to reduce inflammation in joints and may prevent osteoarthritis pain.
Salmon is also great for fighting depression, which is also believed to be a contributing factor in chronic illnesses.
It is recommended that you eat fish at least two to three times a week for optimum health.
- Olive Oil – One of the reasons the Mediterranean diet is considered to be the healthiest, is how rich it is in olive oil. Extra virgin oils are high in a phenolic antioxidant called oleocanthal, which greatly reduces inflammation.
A study, published in Science Daily, shows that olive oil is a non-steroidal natural anti-inflammatory agent that works in a similar way to ibuprofen.
Extra virgin olive oil is also helpful in protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation, lowering blood pressure, preventing cancer, and improving endothelial function.
Olive oil can be used as a massage oil to help relieve chronic neck and back pain. It also works great as a base oil for mixing other essential oils for massaging.
Cooking with and adding raw olive oil enhances taste as well as nutritional value. Add extra virgin olive oil to your salad dressing, and enjoy it raw for even greater benefits.
- Berries and grapes – Most berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and cherries, contain anthocyanins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory substances that help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
These tiny wonders are the easiest to include in your daily diet. You can enjoy a cup of mixed berries as a snack, or add frozen berries to your smoothies and juices.
Include dried berries in your trail mix or protein bars. You can also sprinkle them on yogurt, salad, or parfait for a healthy and tasty boost.
- Hot peppers – Hot peppers including cayenne and chili peppers contain captain. This active ingredient gives them their spiciness and is responsible for the release of endorphins that help relieve chronic pain.
According to the New York University Langone Medical Center, topical creams containing capsaicin can be used in the treatment of chronic pain. They are also used in relieving pain and tenderness from osteoarthritis, pain after surgery, lower back pain, and nerve pain from shingles.
When ingested, these peppers can help improve your digestion by reducing pain, bloating, and nausea.
Many ointments and creams now contain capsaicin and can be used topically. You can also make your own oil by mixing two parts coconut oil to one part pure ground cayenne pepper, and apply it to sore muscles and joints.
For internal consumption, add it to curries, smoothies, or just mix it with water.
When you’re living with a chronic illness, a nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory diet is your best chance to get the most out of daily life. It may even help put your condition into remission!
Learn more about how you can put your chronic illness into remission using only natural methods by clicking the banner below.