Fight Pain with Right Food
Healthy Living

Fight Pain with Right Food

Mehvish Hamdare profile Authored by Mehvish Hamdare on 8 Oct 2014 - 13:00.

Almost every one of us experience different kinds of physical pain due to various health conditions and resorting to painkillers is the first option we chose to get rid of pain. So what is pain? Pain is an unpleasant emotional and sensory feeling, a sign that something somewhere in your body is not right.

Acute pain is a result of a disease, inflammation, or tissue injury and is sudden in onset. Usually the cause of acute pain can be diagnosed and treated, and the pain is restricted to a period of time. Chronic pain remains for a longer period of time than acute pain and is resistant tolerant to most treatments.

What you eat has a direct impact on how you feel. The key to reduce the pain symptom, is a diet that supplies your body with the right nutrients to sustain health and prevent health disorders that cause pain. Though drugs can help treat and manage chronic pain and inflammation, what you eat, can actually directly or indirectly help reduce pain in the following ways: By reducing the damage caused by oxidative stress, controlling inflammation and help regulate body’s immune response.

Pain can sometime deter you from doing your daily routine so before reaching out to Over-the-counter painkillers, look for alternative that’s right in your kitchen. Certain foods can help fight inflammation, heal underlying disease and block pain transmitters.

Here are few foods which may help reduce pain/inflammation:


Turmeric which is widely used in our Indian cooking contains curcumin a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. In research it has been shown to be a more effective anti-inflammatory than steroid medications when dealing with acute inflammation. Several clinical trials have demonstrated curcumin’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic effects.


Caffeine has an especially powerful effect in relieving tension headaches, so you can grab a cup of coffee instead of taking drugs. Research suggests caffeine can reduce pain in those suffering from exercise-induced muscular injury and pain. One study found that when taken with a standard dose of pain reliever, that a 100mg to 130mg caffeine supplement, equal to about the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee, increased pain relief.


The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger have been known and valued for centuries. Ginger reduces the levels of pain-stimulating prostaglandin in the body and has been widely used in India for pain and inflammation management. Ginger contains gingerols, paradols and zingerone which are active ingredients to reduce pain. In a study done by Indian researchers it was found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all showed improvement.Research in the Journal of Pain published that ginger is an effective natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce pain and inflammation. Sip on some ginger tea in monsoons and winter to get relief from that recurring pain.

Fish/Fish oil

Fish like salmon and mackerel not only are good sources of protein and antioxidants but contain large amounts of essential fatty acids i.e. omega-3 fatty acid, which are anti-inflammatory. In a study conducted by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center concluded that omega-3 EFA fish oil supplements appear to be a safer alternative to NSAIDs for treatment of nonsurgical neck or back pain in selective group. Many other studies also show that eating moderate amounts of fish or consuming fish oil reduces pain and inflammation, particularly in arthritis patients.


Cherries have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that might help arthritis, and can protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. In 2006 study by the Agricultural Research Service found that cherries fight inflammation related to arthritis, heart disease and cancer. According to, sour cherries, because they contain high levels of the active ingredient cyanidin, might be 10 times stronger than aspirin in fighting inflammation without the risk of side effects.

Oranges are high in antioxidants which in turn prevent or reduce swelling, pain and stiffness.

Oranges contain beta-cryptoxanthin, a phytochemical that has been shown to decrease the development of inflammatory joint conditions.

Olive oil

Olive oil works much the same way as omega-3s do,by potentially reducing painful joint inflammation. Research has shown that olive oil does help joints feel and function better. A study in Arthritis & Rheumatism found that olive oil can inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes associated with arthritis pain. So include this oil for cooking or salad dressings.

With diet and lifestyle changes that support your health, you can help yourself beat away the pain.


*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.