Five Foods that Fight Pain and Inflammation

Here are five foods we recommend to fight pain and reduce inflammation.

If chronic joint pain is something you regularly experience, you’re not the only one. According to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 14 million people reported that they suffer from severe joint pain, commonly caused by inflammation in the body. Remedies include regular exercise and supplements, but what you eat may also help. Here are five foods we recommend to fight pain and reduce inflammation:

  1. Ginger – A staple of traditional medicine, this pungent root is probably best known for its anti-nausea, stomach-soothing properties. But ginger can also fight pain, including aching joints from arthritis as well as menstrual cramps. One study found ginger capsules worked as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen at relieving period pain.
  2. Turmeric – Turmeric is that bold, orange-yellow spice that gives curry its distinct color and flavor. But it’s also a great food to incorporate into your diet to reduce inflammation. Turmeric has been found to be as effective in reducing inflammation as some anti-inflammatory medications, thanks to the compound curcumin. Curcumin contains powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
  3. Pumpkin Seeds – Pepitas are a terrific source of magnesium, a mineral that may reduce headaches and migraines. It may also help prevent and treat osteoporosis. For more magnesium, add almonds and cashews, dark green leafy vegetables (like spinach and kale), beans, and lentils to your diet.
  4. Salmon – Salmon is loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. It’s considered heart-healthy and may relieve joint tenderness if you have rheumatoid arthritis. Other varieties of cold-water fish, including tuna, sardines, and mackerel, are good choices, too.
  5. Pineapple – While pineapple is rich in vitamin C, it’s an anti-inflammatory all-star because it contains bromelian. According to one study, bromelain was as effective as ibuprofen for treating osteoarthritis pain. Research has also shown it to be effective in reducing inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis. If you want the effects of bromelain but don’t love pineapple, snack on papaya, which is also an excellent source.