Foods For Pain Management

Eating a wide variety of healthy foods provides a good foundation for improving overall health and combating illness. A balanced, nutrient rich diet is a key component of managing any health issue, including chronic pain. According to the CDC, ( a balanced diet means:

Although a generally healthy diet is of most importance, there are some foods that have certain properties that can be helpful for painful conditions, and are often prescribed in therapeutic doses by naturopathic doctors. Try adding these foods and spices to your healthy diet, and see if you feel any benefits:


This spice, a staple in curries and mustards, contains a compound called curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Studies have demonstrated curcumin to be helpful in for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


This delicious fruit contains a mixture of enzymes called bromelain, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. In therapeutic doses, it has been shown to cut down on muscle soreness and improve functionality and reduce pain for those suffering from knee pain.


The Omega-3 fatty acids contained in walnuts help to form cell membranes in the body, as well as molecules called anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Both naturopathic and Western medical have shown the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids for pain conditions, including the reduction of inflammation and pain.


This flavorful root can be used to pep up dishes and drinks from stir fries and sauces to teas and cookies. Although it is usually recommended for digestive problems, it has also been shown to have pain management properties. Studies suggest that it can be especially helpful for treating migraines in their early phases and menstrual pain.

While they are safe in foods, in high doses such as found in supplement form, some compounds can have contraindications or may interfere with medications. Like any self-help techniques for managing pain, be sure to let your pain management physician know if you begin using supplements. A healthy diet is the best compliment to following your doctor’s advice.

Source: Pain Procedures in Clinical Practice, Third Edition.

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