Eats that ease aches – What do a cup of coffee, a bowl of beans, and a couple of ibuprofen have in common? Surprising answer: They all reduce pain. Popping a pill may be easier, but it does nothing to cure the underlying cause of your pain like eating the right foods can do.
Achy joints Food Rx: Cherries, turmeric
Eating about 20 tart cherries may be as effective as taking ibuprofen for reducing pain. In a more recent study, eating about 45 cherries a day reduced the protein associated with arthritis, by 25%.
Sore Muscles Food Rx: Ginger
In a recent study, people who lifted weights experienced 25% less post-workout pain 24 hours after consuming ginger (about half a teaspoon a day for 11 days) than those taking a placebo.
Heartburn Food Rx: Beans
A study found that people who regularly ate high-fiber foods like beans were 20% less likely to report GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) symptoms, probably because fiber moves food out of the stomach faster and prevents reflux.
Digestive Pain Food Rx: Peppermint, coconut
The menthol in fresh peppermint and peppermint tea acts as a compound that relieves gas and bloating and a muscle relaxer, which can help relieve the cramping and spasms associated with occasional intestinal distress and full-blown IBS.
PMS Cramps Food Rx: Nuts
Your body may be telling you that you need brownies, but opt for trail mix when that PMS funk hits. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women with the highest intakes of riboflavin from foods such as almonds were more than a third less likely to develop PMS, including cramps and brain fog. Foods high in vitamin B6, such as pistachios, can also help reduce irritability, cramps, and fluid retention.
Headaches Food Rx: Coffee, pumpkin seeds
Your pounding head is often a result of dilated, or enlarged, blood vessels in your brain. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee can help constrict blood vessels and ease the pain; they also make painkillers work better so you can reduce your dose. But if you have the mother of all headaches—a migraine—you may be deficient in magnesium and could benefit from foods rich in this nutrient, such as pumpkin seeds. Magnesium helps calm the overexcited nerves and tense muscles that contribute to migraine pain.