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7 Delicious Foods that Reduce Your Pain

Updated: Apr 22

Our diet directly affects our health, and certain foods can play a role in reducing pain. Research suggests that some foods pack as much pain-fighting power as common pain medications. Since COVID19 has kept us out of restaurants, what better opportunity to foster eating habits that prevent pain?


Ginger

Not only is this pungent root best known for its stomach-soothing properties, it can also fight pain. Ginger relieves pain by blocking an enzyme that's a key component of the inflammatory process. In one study, almost two-thirds of patients with chronic knee pain reported less soreness upon standing after taking a ginger extract.


Salmon

Loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, salmon may also tame the pain or inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, and some autoimmune diseases, including Crohn's disease. Even chronic neck- and back-pain patients can benefit. In one study, 60% of respondents experienced some relief after taking fish oil for three months, and almost as many dropped their pain drugs altogether.

Turmeric

This bright orange-yellow spice inhibits a protein called NF-kB that causes achy joints. Studies of people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis who took turmeric found they could walk better and without the side effects of taking drugs. Turmeric also seems to inhibit the destruction of joints from arthritis.

Cherries

Cherries contain high amounts of antioxidants called anthocyanins that are the key to cherries' pain-fighting power. In one study, participants who ate 45 cherries a day for 28 days reduced their inflammation levels significantly. In another study, runners who drank tart cherry juice starting 7 days before a race and on race day (12 ounces, twice daily) had significantly less muscle pain than a group who swigged a similar-tasting beverage with no natural juice.


Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal that acts in the same way ibuprofen does to relieve pain. Olive oil also has lubricin, which may help people with osteoarthritis by keeping their joints sliding smoothly. Regular consumption of olive oil may provide some long-term anti-inflammatory benefits.

Chili Peppers

Capsaicin, the compound that gives chilies their heat, is well known for its painkilling properties. The “burn” actually desensitizes neurons to produce a numbing effect. The "burn" also tricks your brain into releasing endorphins, which block pain signals.


Red Wine

The resveratrol in wine may have an effect similar to aspirin and ease disk swelling that leads to back pain.

But don't drink that whole bottle just yet, you can get resveratrol equally well by eating red grapes or sipping grape juice.

Below is a delicious pain-fighting recipe that contains all of the above ingredients. Enjoy!


SALMON WITH CHERRY WINE SAUCE



Ingredients

· 1 whole fillet {half a side of salmon} of salmon, skin removed

· 2 tablespoons Grated Ginger

· 1 teaspoon turmeric

· 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

· 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt

· 2 cups Fresh Cherries, pitted

· 1 1/2 cup Red Wine

· 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

· 2 tablespoons Honey

· 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper

· 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

· 1 tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

· Chopped Parsley, for garnish


Directions

· STEP 1 Preheat your broiler on your oven.

· STEP 2 Place the salmon on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Drizzle with olive oil and liberally season the salmon fillet with kosher salt, grated ginger, and turmeric. Allow to sit at room temperature while your oven preheats.

· STEP 3 Broil in the top rack of your oven for 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness. For me it was a solid 12 minutes.

· STEP 4 Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat add the cherries, wine, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Bring to a boil and reduce liquid by half, simmer for 10 minutes. Season with kosher salt, pepper, and red chili powder. Turn off the heat and stir in lemon juice.

· STEP 5 Remove salmon with a large fish spatula and maybe an extra hand {really, I just slid the whole fillet off of parchment paper onto a plate so it shouldn’t be that difficult} to a serving plate and pour sauce over top. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve. Enjoy!


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