Whether you have knee pain, back pain, or headaches, a quick response is to reach for the ibuprofen or any drug you can find your hands on. While these drugs may provide quick relief, over time, they can actually weaken our immunity or cause unwanted side effects.
Nature has given us many foods to help ease our pain. These foods are not only tasty, but they will help you boost immunity and heal yourself. The best part is that these foods can prevent chronic pain. Now that is a big bang for your buck!
Turmeric: This Asian spice commonly found in pre-mixed curry powder contains a powerful, non-toxic compound called curcumin. Studies found that turmeric’s anti-inflammatory effects are on a par with potent drugs such as Motrin, but yet having none of their side effects. Turmeric is also used to relieve motion sickness and prevent colds.
Shitake mushrooms: These mushrooms have been enjoyed by the Chinese and Japanese for centuries and are known for amazing immune-boosting properties plus cancer fighting agents. There’s no better way to enhance your health than to feast on a plate of stir-fried mushrooms. Yum! Try this delicious recipe:
Basmati Rice with Leeks and Shiitakes
1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cups water
10-15 shiitake mushrooms (fresh)
1 large leek, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Cook rice in rice cooker (or use directions on box)
Trim and discard stems from mushrooms. Slice the caps thinly and set aside.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, sauté leek and garlic in oil until soft. Add mushrooms, stir and continue sautéing 10 minutes or until mushrooms are brown. Remove from heat, fluff rice with fork and fold in mushroom mixture.
Green tea: The flavonoids in green tea are potent and natural anti-inflammatory compounds that have been shown in many studies to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Goji berries: These antioxidant powerhouses are high in phytonutrients that provide protection against many chronic diseases such as dementia. So start feasting on these superfoods.
Sweet Potato (just in time for fall): The sweet potato is often overshadowed by other exotic vegetables and fruits. But it is also a good source of complex carbohydrate, beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin B6 and C as well as dietary fiber. Working in concert, these nutrients are powerful antioxidants that help to heal inflammation in the body.
As always, if you are allergic to the foods listed, you must avoid them, no matter how nutritious they may be. Consuming foods that you’re sensitive to will only cause more inflammation.
Lisa Consiglio Ryan is a Certified Health and Nutrition Coach for busy, active women and their families. Areas of expertise include weight loss, stress management, detox programs , and special diets such as vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Services include private consulting and group seminars.