Chronic pain lasts for months or even for years. It has no preventive role and it disrupts the sufferer’s everyday activities. It radically reduces the quality of life. Chronic pain is not a symptom, but an independent disease. If acute pain is our best friend, chronic pain is our greatest enemy.
Luckily, you are not defenseless when it comes to chronic pain. A simple change in your diet and better food choices can make a huge difference. It is good to point out that there is food that can increase chronic pain and the food that can help you ease this pain.
The following is a list of these foods.
Foods That Can Cause Chronic Pain
1. Fried foods. It is true that fried foods taste good and that the oils used in this process are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, but eating this kind of food regularly is wrong. Omega-6 fatty acids can be useful, but only if they are consumed at the same level as omega-3 fatty acids. Most people don’t keep this balance and that’s why many of them experience inflammation or even chronic pain.
2. Beer. You can find many articles claiming that beer is healthy. Unlike other alcoholic beverages, beer does contain some useful ingredients. However, if you drink beer in high amounts you will significantly increase the chance of getting gout. The reason behind this is simple – high level of purines found in beer. Avoid drinking more than two beers a week.
3. Processed foods. It is sometimes very useful to eat food that comes from a box or a can. You only need to open the package and you can have a dinner or lunch. However, it is also good to point out that processed food can lead to chronic pain and inflammation. It contains trans fats, gluten, omega-6 fatty acids etc.
4. Gluten. We have mentioned gluten as one of the factors that can cause chronic pain, but this ingredient has different effects on different people. Many gluten-sensitive people should definitely avoid this ingredient. Processed food, rye, barley and wheat are some of the foods where you can find gluten.
5. Aspartame. Although this artificial sweetener (also known as NutraSweet) is better than using sugar in large quantities, its consumption can lead to chronic pain and headaches.
6. Trans fats. Trans fats are polyunsaturated vegetable oils that are processed in order to be stable at room temperature. There are many negative effects of using trans fats and one of them is their contribution to the appearance of chronic pain.
7. Sugar. High amounts of sugar in the diet will increase the amount of the final products of glycation (Advanced glycation end) which are formed by binding of glucose molecules to the protein. The proteins become solid and rigid, which leads to pain.
8. Foods to which you are sensitive or allergic. If you eat food to which you are allergic, you will destabilize your insulin and low blood sugar levels, which increases inflammation. The most common allergens are gluten, wheat, dairy products, potatoes and sugar.
9. Caffeine. Caffeine and some other stimulants are often used when people lack energy. They have good short-term results, but unfortunately, consuming them in large quantities can lead to inflammation and chronic pain.
10. Junk food. Junk food should be avoided, not only to protect yourself from chronic pain, but also to keep your body healthy.
Foods That Can Alleviate Chronic Pain
1. Avocado. These exotic fruits have many different vitamins, but what makes them especially good for chronic pain is the presence of vitamin K.
2. Raw walnuts. Raw walnuts contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. As we have mentioned before, people need to keep the balance between omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids all the time. We usually have higher amount of omega-6 fatty acids in the body, so that’s why we need to find good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Dark leafy greens. Kale, spinach, Swiss chard and collards are some example of leafy greens that can help you with chronic pain. They don’t have a special taste, but they have high amount of antioxidants. They will help the body fight free radicals and make you feel better.
4. Sea vegetables. Fucoidans are the most important ingredient of sea vegetables at least when it comes to chronic pain. In addition, there are low amounts of iron and vitamin B in these vegetables.
5. Ginger. Ginger is especially useful for chronic pain, which appears in the muscles. According to some studies, ginger can relieve osteoarthritis and stomach pain too. Ginger also kills ovarian and prostate cancer cells by 56% more than chemo.
6. Acai berries. Just like leafy greens, Acai berries are rich in antioxidants. In addition, they have omega-3 fatty acids, which make them a real chronic pain killer.
7. Turmeric. This is something that tastes good and brings positive results against chronic pain. Turmeric is especially helpful for stomach pain and pain caused by osteoarthritis. Science also confirms that turmeric is effective as well as many other drugs. Also you can taste this Turmeric Smoothie Recipe.
8. Cherries. Latest studies have confirmed that cherries and cherry juice is rich in antioxidants. Cherry juice has provided best results for patients suffering from osteoarthritis. The only downside is that cherries have a short season, but keep in mind that you can always find them in a frozen form and make a delicious smoothies instead.
9. Flax Seed. These seeds have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. As previously mentioned, omega-3 fatty acids have positive effects against inflammation, which ultimately means that they are good against chronic pain. You can use flaxseed in salads and soups.
10. Red grapes. Finally, you can use this tasty fruit. Red grapes contain resveratrol. This chemical compound is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. The same chemical compound can be found in peanuts and berries. Several studies proved that resveratrol protects cells from inflammation. Some experts suggest using a combination of red grapes and turmeric for the best results.