6 Foods That Can Cause Chronic Pain And 6 That Can Alleviate It

The quality of your life takes a hit when you suffer from chronic pain. Your pills aimed at reducing this pain may result in side effects, making it worse. So, what is the best way to find relief? Making dietary changes helps you inhibit chronic pain to a great extent. For that, you need to understand foods that rile up your pain and foods that fight it.

Foods That Cause Pain

1. Gluten



This protein found in wheat, rye, malt, and barley could be perpetrating your pain. If you are sensitive to gluten, ingesting it may lead to an inflammatory response from your body. As you know, inflammation causes chronic pain. Thus, adopting a gluten-free diet would be a great step towards reducing your pain.

2. Red Meat



Does this sit on your  favorite foods list? Then, it’s time to limit consumption. There is a positive association between red meat intake and inflammation. The arachidonic acid (AA), which is an omega-6 fatty acid present in red meat, is pro-inflammatory in nature, causing you pain. Moreover, red meat is a purine-rich food. Your body tends to break down purines into uric acid. If there is a high amount of uric acid in your body, it may cause gout – a common form of arthritis.

3. Aspartame



This is one of the most common artificial sweeteners in use today. It has been related to many health effects. If you suffer from a headache or exhibit digestive symptoms, chances are that aspartame ingestion is the root cause. The use of aspartame may also contribute to fibromyalgia, characterized by widespread muscle pain.

4. Dairy Products



Milk is known to be rich in several nutrients. Well, the food that keeps you stronger and healthy can sometimes wreak havoc on your health. Some people find it difficult to digest lactose, the main type of sugar in milk. This causes abdominal pain or gastrointestinal distress. Also, eating dairy products can exacerbate chronic pain because of the protein casein present in them. These proteins trigger inflammation.

5. Eggs



The pro-inflammatory agents in eggs may not be good news to all. Egg contains arachidonic acid. In some people, the breakdown of arachidonic acid leads to the formation of inflammatory prostaglandins, thus, causing joint pain. With a high concentration of fat and cholesterol, egg yolks are more dangerous. So, removing the yolk from egg would be a good idea.

6. Processed Foods



Emulsifiers, which are added to many processed foods, pave the way for gut inflammation. Besides that, the presence of high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, gluten, trans fat, artificial sweeteners, and additives make it a food that can deteriorate your health slowly.

Foods That Alleviate Pain

1. Green Leafy Vegetables



Loaded with vitamin, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, bok choy, and broccoli are great sources of nutrition. Your body effectively absorbs calcium from green leafy vegetables. These vitamin-K rich veggies are also excellent in fighting inflammation. More importantly, they contain antioxidants that can battle oxidative stress.

2. Turmeric


This spice is known for its medicinal value. Curcumin in turmeric is responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties. According to preliminary studies, turmeric could control knee pain from osteoarthritis.

3. Ginger


You may have heard about using ginger to ease nausea. But, this herb has several other benefits. It can be used to relieve nausea and stomach pain. Ginger has an inhibitory effect on inflammation, thus, reducing the pain associated with it. Even though there are claims about ginger’s ability to decrease joint pain, more research is needed to confirm it.

4. Cherries


Lucky are those who love this fruit! Cherries contain anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants. They also efficiently fight the inflammation of arthritis, cancer and heart disease. A research study has also found that cherry intake lowers the risk of gout occurrence.

5. Fatty Fish


Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are rich in omega-3s, which is an inflammation fighter. They interfere with immune cells that influence body’s inflammatory response. Thus, omega-3s improve your inflammatory conditions. Their anti-inflammatory effect can be used to relieve arthritis and other conditions related to inflammation.

6. Olive Oil


The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil make it special. It is also capable of reducing cardiovascular risks. The extra virgin oil contains oleocanthal, which has properties similar to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug (10).

Altering the pattern of your eating habits is a prudent move if you want to keep pain at bay. Identify those foods that damage your health and commit to a healthy nutrition plan.