Pain Prevention: 5 Essential Foods You Need to Introduce Now


Turmeric is the king of our antioxidant anti-inflammatory spices. In clinical studies, turmeric extracts reduced oxidative stress, inflammation, pain and swelling in inflammatory joint conditions.[1]Turmeric also shows therapeutic potential in many other chronic diseases.[2],[3] Tip: - Turmeric is poorly absorbed so add a little to food often. It is best absorbed with black pepper.[1] Add grated turmeric to porridge, soups, casseroles, avocado, humus and whatever else takes your fancy. Try a Turmeric chai almond milk latte instead of a coffee (Bring water/milk to boil add chopped turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon and add almond milk to taste).


The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger have been known and valued for centuries and are now backed up by modern scientific studies.[4] Ginger works in the body in a similar way to NSAIDs.[4],[5] Ginger has been shown to be helpful in osteoarthritis[5],[6] and menstrual pain.[7] Be mindful that ginger is a blood-thinner, so caution is needed with patients taking anticoagulants.[5] Tip: - Grate a centimetre square of ginger into a tea pot or clean coffee plunger, add some slices of lemon, lime or orange. Add hot water and sip – also enjoy cold. Tip: - Try a bit of cinnamon, another wonderful antioxidant, on porridge or in buckwheat pancakes instead of sugar to add flavour. It’s also known to help with blood sugar regulation.[8]

Omega 3 Foods

Sources of Omega 3 include fish, walnuts, flaxseed (linseed), chia seeds. Choose grass-fed meats and kangaroo for a relatively higher level of omega 3 than grain-fed domesticated cattle.[9] Daily omega 3 intake is linked to reductions in inflammation,[10],[11] pain and could help to maintain cardiovascular health and have a preventative effect in other chronic diseases.2,11 Tip: - Have at least two serves of small oily fish a week, such as sardines or mackerel. Add two dessert spoons of ground flaxseed and some walnuts to muesli, porridge or smoothies for fibre, protein and omega 3s.


Celery preparations have been used extensively for several millennia as a natural therapy for acute and chronic painful or inflammatory conditions.[12] Recently, extracts from celery have been studied in the laboratory and have shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.[12],[13] Tip: Try celery and ginger juice with ice and mint for a refreshing, cooling and calming drink.

Teas (to calm the body and the mind)

Mint and fennel tea are soothing to the digestive system.[14] Add liquorice for sweetness. Liquorice is also a great herb with anti-inflammatory effects. Use liquorice with caution if there is a history of hypertension.[15] Chamomile helps with sleep, reduces anxiety and is also anti-inflammatory, especially to the digestive system.[16] Passion flower, valerian, hops and lemon balm are great for sleep and anxiety.[17] Green tea is high in antioxidants and a gentle pick me up.[18]


References [1] Chin KY. The spice for joint inflammation: anti-inflammatory role of curcumin in treating osteoarthritis. Drug design, development and therapy. 2016;10:3029-42. PubMed PMID: 27703331. Pubmed Central PMCID: 5036591 [2] De Gregori M, Muscoli C, Schatman ME, Stallone T, Intelligente F, Rondanelli M, et al. Combining pain therapy with lifestyle: the role of personalized nutrition and nutritional supplements according to the SIMPAR Feed Your Destiny approach. Journal of pain research. 2016;9:1179-89. PubMed PMID: 27994480. Pubmed Central PMCID: 5153285. [3] Aggarwal BB, Harikumar KB. Potential therapeutic effects of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent, against neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 2009 Jan;41(1):40-59. PubMed PMID: 18662800. Pubmed Central PMCID: 2637808. [4] Grzanna R, Lindmark L, Frondoza CG. Ginger--an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions. Journal of medicinal food. 2005 Summer;8(2):125-32. PubMed PMID: 16117603. [5] Bartels EM, Folmer VN, Bliddal H, Altman RD, Juhl C, Tarp S, et al. Efficacy and safety of ginger in osteoarthritis patients: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Osteoarthritis and cartilage. 2015 Jan;23(1):13-21. PubMed PMID: 25300574. [6] Altman RD, Marcussen KC. Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis and rheumatism. 2001 Nov;44(11):2531-8. PubMed PMID: 11710709. [7] Ozgoli G, Goli M, Moattar F. Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine. 2009 Feb;15(2):129-32. PubMed PMID: 19216660. [8] Dugoua JJ1, Seely D, Perri D, Cooley K, Forelli T, Mills E, Koren G. From type 2 diabetes to antioxidant activity: a systematic review of the safety and efficacy of common and cassia cinnamon bark. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Sep;85(9):837-47. [9] Daley CA, Abbott A, Doyle PS, Nader GA, Larson S. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition journal. 2010 Mar 10;9:10. PubMed PMID: 20219103. Pubmed Central PMCID: 2846864. [10] Ticinesi A, Meschi T, Lauretani F, Felis G, Franchi F, Pedrolli C, et al. Nutrition and Inflammation in Older Individuals: Focus on Vitamin D, n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Whey Proteins. Nutrients. 2016 Mar 29;8(4):186. PubMed PMID: 27043616. Pubmed Central PMCID: 4848655. [11] Li K, Huang T, Zheng J, Wu K, Li D. Effect of marine-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha: a meta-analysis. PloS one. 2014;9(2):e88103. PubMed PMID: 24505395. Pubmed Central PMCID: 3914936. [12] Powanda MC, Whitehouse MW, Rainsford KD. Celery Seed and Related Extracts with Antiarthritic, Antiulcer, and Antimicrobial Activities. Progress in drug research Fortschritte der Arzneimittelforschung Progres des recherches pharmaceutiques. 2015;70:133-53. PubMed PMID: 26462366. [13] Abdoulaye IA, Guo YJ. A Review of Recent Advances in Neuroprotective Potential of 3-N-Butylphthalide and Its Derivatives. BioMed research international. 2016;2016:5012341. PubMed PMID: 28053983. Pubmed Central PMCID: 5178327. [14] Yarnell Eric and Abascal Kathy. Spasmolytic Botanicals: Relaxing Smooth Muscle with Herbs Alternative and Complementary Therapies. June 2011, 17(3): 169-174. [15] Yang R, Yuan BC, Ma YS, Zhou S, Liu Y. The anti-inflammatory activity of licorice, a widely used Chinese herb. Pharmaceutical biology. 2017 Dec;55(1):5-18. PubMed PMID: 27650551. [16] Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: a herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Report. 2010 November 1; 3(6): 895–901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377. [17] Sarris J1, Panossian A, Schweitzer I, Stough C, Scholey A. Herbal medicine for depression, anxiety and insomnia: A review of sychopharmacology and clinical evidence. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2011 Dec;21(12):841-60. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2011.04.002. Epub 2011 May 23. [18] Fan FY, Sang LX, Jiang M. Catechins and Their Therapeutic Benefits to Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Molecules. 2017 Mar 19;22(3). PubMed PMID: 28335502.

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