Chronic pain is a big problem in modern society. We know this because analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs are some of the most widely used medications. Many people cannot get through their day without them.
Chronic pain is a terrible, inescapable stress, especially when the pain reduces the ability of a person to sleep. Modern pain relieving drugs, therefore definitely have their place and enable millions of people to function and live a normal life. Problems arise when pain relieving drugs cause side effects such as stomach and digestive problems, or an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Some pain relieving medication can even be highly addictive.
I’d like to make you aware that there are several inexpensive and easy ways to reduce the amount of pain you experience. The food you eat or don’t eat, as well as the vitamins and minerals you obtain through your diet and supplements can affect the level of inflammation in your body. More inflammation means more pain, so you want to keep inflammation down as much as possible.
Making these suggested changes to your diet can reduce your requirement for medication and improve your quality of life.
Here are my suggestions
Avoid the foods that cause most inflammation
If you are in pain, it usually means there is a great deal of inflammation in your body. Don’t make the inflammation even worse by consuming foods that raise it further. Sugar, gluten and dairy products are the biggest culprits, along with any food you are allergic to. Unfortunately just about any food that comes in a packet is bound to contain one of those foods. Eating less sugar, or avoiding it altogether should help reduce pain but it may also help you lose weight, help you sleep better and improve your mood. Avoiding dairy products means not consuming cow’s milk and any food that contains it. The protein in cow’s milk (casein) can cause a great deal of inflammation as well as fluid retention. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, oats, barley, spelt and several other foods. Look out for these foods on labels because gluten regularly turns up in unexpected places.
Eat more vegetables
All vegetables help to reduce inflammation and the nutrients found in them help your immune system and liver function. Try to eat one or two salads each day made of raw vegetables. It is also good to eat some cooked vegetables, whether they are steamed or in soups, stews or casseroles. Celery is particularly good for people with joint pain because it helps to make your kidneys more efficient at excreting acid and toxins. Making your own raw vegetable juices is an excellent way to up your vegetable intake. Juicing makes the nutrients easier to digest and provides them in a delicious, concentrated form. See my book Raw Juices Can Save Your Life for ideas.
Serrapeptase is an enzyme that helps to reduce pain and swelling in the body
Serrapeptase is actually a protease enzyme, which means it has the ability to digest protein. Research has shown this remarkable enzyme can help to dissolve non-living tissue in the body such as cysts, swellings, plaque and scar tissue. Serrapeptase is excellent for reducing pain in chronic injuries. We have found it to be more effective than prescription anti-inflammatory drugs for several of our patients, with none of the side effects. I recommend you take serrapeptase on an empty stomach, therefore first thing in the morning, or an hour before meals is best. Serrapeptase does thin the blood, so check with your doctor if you’re taking blood thinning drugs.
Eat healthy fats and avoid omega 6 rich vegetable oils
Eating more of the right fats can bring enormous pain relief. Good fats are strongly anti-inflammatory and eating more of them is like throwing a wet blanket over a fire. Fats to eat more of include extra virgin olive oil, avocados, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, chia seeds, organic coconut oil and oily fish. The best fats to cook with are coconut oil, olive oil and ghee because they do not get damaged by heat. It is difficult to get enough omega 3 fats through seafood, and much of it is farmed, thus doesn’t contain enough of these amazing fats. Therefore you may need to take a fish oil supplement. Seed oils are typically described as “vegetable oil” on food labels, although they don’t actually come from vegetables. Seed oils are high in omega 6 fats, which worsen inflammation and pain in the body. The oils to avoid include canola, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, rice bran, corn and soy oil.
Increase your intake of magnesium
It is very difficult to get enough magnesium through diet alone because very few foods contain significant quantities. Modern living also worsens magnesium deficiency because stress, alcohol and caffeine all deplete the body of this important mineral. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and nervous system, therefore is excellent for muscle pain and tension. It is also brilliant for headaches. Take magnesium with dinner because it should help you get a deeper, better quality sleep.
Include more spices in your cooking
Spices are not only delicious, they actually have quite significant therapeutic benefits. Cayenne pepper contains a powerful anti-inflammatory substance called capsaicin. It helps to reduce joint and muscular pain for many people. Ginger has similar benefits to anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil and Tylenol. It helps with joint pain and menstrual pain. It is great for people who experience increased pain during cold weather. Turmeric is the bright yellow spice that is commonly found in Indian cuisine. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin and it helps to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of some inflammatory chemicals called eicosanoids. Turmeric is very good for reducing pain in autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.