Food remedies: can foods help your aches and pains?
Sometimes there can be illnesses or pains that medication doesn’t entirely fix; or, perhaps, you want to take a more natural route when it comes to the treatment of your pain. If so, there are plenty of different foods, spices and herbs out there that are thought to have healing, medicinal properties. Studies have shown that certain foods have the potential to cure aches by fighting inflammation, blocking pain signals and healing underlying disease.
Here we’ve found some popular healing food remedies that you can easily work into your diet if you’re looking to find some natural medicines.
Cherries have compounds called anthocyanins within them, which are powerful antioxidants designed to reduce pain by blocking inflammation and inhibiting pain enzymes - similar to how medication like aspirin works. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate a bowl of cherries for breakfast saw a reduction of 25% in a major marker of inflammation.
Ginger is well known for its healing properties, recognised as a natural remedy for everything from colds and flus to nausea. Its particular effectiveness at soothing sickness and stomach related issues is thought to come from its ability to break up intestinal gas and impact a stomach receptor that cause vomiting. However, it is also thought to have anti inflammatory properties, and can help aches, pains and migraines.
Chilli peppers contain an impressive range of chemical compounds that all share some great healing properties. The compound capsaicin is what gives the chilli its spicy flavour, but it is also known to have anti bacterial, analgesic, anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic properties. Chillis also have a whole host of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to many meals.
The menthol found within peppermint is an effective treatment for muscle spasms and digestive issues; one of the reasons that peppermint oil is widely used in the treatment of IBS. The pain-relieving properties found within mint make peppermint tea a good idea for a wide range of painful ailments; add a squeeze of lemon to the tea to make sure you’re getting as much of the goodness as possible.
Another famous natural remedy, turmeric has been used in healing applications for years. It is thought to speed up digestion, relieve pain and reduce inflammation - thanks to the curcumin substance found within the spice. Use in conjunction with black pepper, as a compound in the black pepper helps to release the curcumin from within the turmeric.
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