“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates said it, and yet, even today, proper nutrition and its healing capabilities are largely overlooked. The truth is that a healthy diet can offer many of the same benefits as medication without all the negative side effects. Still, western society is far from fully embracing food as medicine. Prescription medication use continues to climb as high as 70% to combat ailments such as pain, diabetes, and high blood pressure, while natural, holistic methods go overlooked.
Imagine being able to control your pain without relying on pills. Imagine pushing the thought of surgery out of your mind once and for all. Think for a moment of how freeing it would be to just live without the constant thought of pain. While such a reality may not be achievable for some with more severe or debilitating injuries, the vast majority of back pain sufferers have such a scenario well within reach. Of course, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy all offer safe, effective methods for pain management and relief. However, it is the other piece of the holistic medicine puzzle – nutrition - that we would like to discuss further. For pain sufferers in particular, there are 5 inflammation and pain fighting foods that should be incorporated into your diet:
- Salmon – Not just salmon, but any fish high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury can help improve blood flow and reduce inflammation in nerves and blood vessels. Two or three weekly servings of 3 ounces each have been shown to help ward off back and neck pain and aching joints.
- Cherries – Cherries are packed with powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Much like NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, these antioxidants boast inflammation-reducing properties. They also block pain enzymes, keeping muscular pain and joint inflammation at bay.
- Ginger – Ginger is most recognized for its ability to alleviate nausea. Whether from seasickness or pregnancy, an upset stomach can benefit greatly from this root. However, much like cherries, ginger also offers anti-inflammatory capabilities that may help relieve arthritis, muscle soreness, and even migraines.
- Turmeric – A curry spice long recognized in other cultures for its pain-relieving and digestion-boosting benefits, turmeric can help with a number of painful conditions including colitis and arthritis. It has been shown not only to reduce inflammation and protect against tissue destruction, it also promotes healthy cell function. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a fan of curry to benefit from this one, as supplements are also available.
Inflammation is a common thread among back pain, arthritis, or headache patients. NSAIDs may help combat this, but nature also offers a host of anti-inflammatory remedies. When it comes to improving overall health and wellness, the first place any patient should look is in the kitchen.
If you currently suffer from chronic pain, a chiropractor can help not only through adjustments, but also by guiding you through other holistic care options such as acupuncture, massage, and dietary changes. If you are located in theGastonia, Denver, or Belmont, NC areas, contact SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers, and request an appointment with one of our skilled physicians.