4. The Rx: Salmon, Herring, Sardines
The Target: Achy back, neck, joints.
The Dose: Two to three ounce servings weekly
Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Along with a lot of other health benefits, these fatty acids also help relieve back pain. Salmon, Herring and Sardines are low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids. Neal D. Barnard, MD, author of Foods That Fight Pain, says that in a healthy back, the blood vessels located at the edge of the spinal discs supply the important nutrients to the discs whereas the discs began to degenerate if the nutrients (including oxygen) are not supplied due to diminished blood flow.
Omega-3 fatty acids help improve the blood flow and reduce the inflammation in the blood vessels and nerves. But, for the complete effects, you sometimes do need supplements as well. According to a study published in the journal of Surgical Neurology, taking 200 mg or more of DHA and EPA per day helps reduce both, back pain and neck pain. Not only this, it has other benefits as well. Joseph C. Maroon, MD, the study’s lead researcher says that any amount of fish oil taken helps protect the cardiovascular system and improves your mood too. Another study also states that people feel more pain and discomfort when they are gloomy. (A plus point, omega-3s may also reduce brain shrinkage)
5. The Rx: Cherries
The Target: Arthritis, Muscle Pain
The Dose: 45 Daily
Cherries contain compounds called anthocyanins, the same phytonutrients that are responsible for the rich blue hue in the cherries. These powerful antioxidants help reduce pain in two ways; Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, natural products chemist at Michigan State University’s College of Agricultural and Natural Resources says that not only they block the inflammation, they also inhibit the pain enzymes in our body. Just the way drugs like aspirin, naproxen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories dol.
According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, people who used to eat one bowl of cherries in breakfast experienced a 25% reduction in their inflammation. According to some other researches, players who drank 12 ounces of tart cherry juice twice daily for seven days for a distance run experienced less muscle pain as compared to those who did not drink it.