chronicPainStop Reaching for the Advil or Aspirin when you hurt! There are many natural alternatives to anti inflammatories you can try before the aspirin and the anti-inflammatory medication.  These foods will also simultaneously advance your health with powerful nutrients which will set the terrain to help prevent future pain and illness…and they taste incredible!

Chronic pain can deter you from doing even your routine activities.  Anyone suffering from any kind of chronic pain can surely tell you how difficult it is sometimes to get out of the bed in the morning because their back or knee or neck has “pins” in it.  Pain is a huge de-motivator and chronic pain has been linked to increased depression and cancer rates.   Inflammatory cascades also cause many adverse effects causing soft tissues and even internal organs to swell, resulting in pain, discomfort and sometimes even hospitalization.  Pain can be controlled in the long-term by dietary changes.  Using prescribed pharmaceuticals or even over the counter pain pills will always result in some type of reoccurrence in patterns since they only address symptoms and not causes.  The key is a diet filled with foods that bombard your body with the right nutrients to sustain health and prevent pain.

Here is a list of 22 anti-inflammatory foods:

1) Ginger

Ginger is one of the best ways to reduce pain the world having analgesic properties like the popular anti-inflammatory ibuprofen.  It contains a quartet, gingerold, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone which are active ingredients to reduce pain.  Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body.  A study by researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced improvement.  The recommended dosage of ginger is between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per day.  Drink Ginger Tea or place shavings in your foods.  Either way will get you relief from that recurring pain.

2) Acai Juice

A daily glass of Acai Juice is associated to help reduce pain in joints, and this is correlated with improved blood antioxidant levels.  This powerhouse, antioxidant packed berry from the Amazon is helping people feel better and increase energy levels all while detoxifying the body.

3) Coffee

Studies show that 200 milligrams of caffeine-about the amount in 16 ounces of brewed coffee, provides relief from headaches, including migraine to some extent by constricting blood vessels. But keep in mind that relying on caffeine long-term can backfire, since habitual coffee drinkers usually suffer withdrawal headaches when they cut back on the caffeine. Consume coffee moderately to advance your health.

4) Olive Oil

Olive oil is like liquid gold when it comes to fighting pain.  It is rich in antioxidant polyphenols that help to reduce common pain causing mechanism in the body.  Olive oil is also a good substitute for butter, but use it carefully as it has 120 calories per tablespoon.

5) Sage

When your throat is scratchy and irritated, try sipping on a tea made from brewed sage leaves.  It’s a remedy recommended by herbalists that has some support from clinical trials.  A 2006 study found that spraying sore throats with a sage solution gave effective pain relief compared to a placebo.

6) Raw Almonds and 7) Walnuts

Raw almonds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and anti oxidants that help reduce pain.  Add those nuts to your salad or just much on a handful as an afternoon snack.  Raw walnuts and walnut oil also contain the same powerful Omega-3 fatty acids that fight pain and inflammation in the body.  Walnuts are top of the tree when it comes to heart healthy super foods, research has shown.almonds

8) Greens

Greens like spinach, amaranth, fenufreek leaves, argula not only have high iron content, but are loaded with Vitamin K that helps maintain strong bones and healthy joints.  A study shows that older adults with ample blood levels of K were less likely to develop osteoarthritis, compared to a low-in-K control group.  However, Vitamin K also helps with blood clotting, so if you’re taking blood thinners, check with your doctor before boosting your K intake.Eat More Leafy Greens

9) Grapes

Resveratrol in grapes, and grape juice can often have an analgesic effect similar to aspirin, according to a handful of studies.  Experts, in any case, recommend one daily glass of grape juice for women.  Men can get away with more.

10) Flax Seeds and Flax Oil

Freshly-ground flax seeds and cold-pressed flax oil, contain plentiful amounts of fatty acids known as Omega-3s.  Do not cook with flax oil otherwise it will have the opposite effect-irritating the body’s tissues and causing pain.

11) Turmeric

Turmeric (curcuma longa) is the yellow spice commonly used in Indian curries.  Research shows that curcumin suppresses pain through a similar mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side effects).  Choose a standardized extract with 1500mg of curcumin content per day.

12) Salmon 13) Mackerel and 14) Herring

Many fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and herring also contain valuable oils.  Omega-3s convert in the body into hormone-like substances that reduce pain and inflammation.  According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil is an anti-inflammatory agent.  Fish oil acts directly on the immune system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines, compounds known to destroy joints.  Many other studies also demonstrate that eating moderate amounts of fish or taking fish oil reduces pain and inflammation, particularly for arthritis sufferers.oily-fish-salmon-tuna-mackerel-other

15) Celery and Celery Seeds

James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and celery seeds, including a substance called apigenin, which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action.  Add celery seeds stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.

16) Sour Cherries

Sore muscles after a workout don’t have to be a given.  British researchers recently found that people who drank 1 ounce of concentrated cherry juice twice daily for 10 days bounced back faster from their workout (an intensive leg-resistance training session on day 8) than those who skipped the juice.  Researchers think it’s because the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in tart cherries-and other dark red and purple fruit juices like grape, pomegranate, acai, blueberry and cranberry-act as natural NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin), reducing exercise-induced muscle damage.  Only two tablespoons of concentrated juice need to be taken daily for effective results.  Sweet cherries have also been found to be effective.anti-inflammatory-fruits

17) Blackberries 18) Raspberries 19) Blueberries and 20) Strawberries

Similar anti-pain compounds have been found in berries like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.  They are excellent anti-inflammatory foods.  They increase the amounts of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age.  When heat-shock proteins are in short supply inflammation, pain and tissue damage is the result.  They are full of vitamin C, an antioxidant with powerful pain-reducing properties, according to research.  Some studies suggest vitamin C may help people experience less pain after breaking a bone or having orthopedic surgery.

21) Cayenne Pepper

Ironically, cayenne pepper turns DOWN the heat on inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compound capsaicin.

22) Honey

People can swarm to honey for its antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties. Holistic Practitioners consider it one of natures best all around remedies.Honey


Let thy food be your medicine and thy medicine thy food.” Hippocrates’

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of which Alternatives for Anti Inflammatories that you can use. While not a food, but an amazing alternative modality: The ML830 Cold Laser Reduces Inflammation, most acute inflammatory conditions respond to 830Laser treatment immediately. For additional help with reducing your pain & inflammation please call us at (828) 348-1780 to speak with a Licensed Therapist.  We are the leaders in Physical Therapy and Revolutionary Techniques for pain relief in the Asheville area.

Christopher Taylor, PT

Chris Taylor is the Founding Physical Therapist at PHYSIO Physical Therapy and Wellness Asheville. He has been voted Best Physical Therapist in Western North Carolina every year by the Mountain XPress Reader Poll. His experience includes being a patient himself which deepens his understanding of each aspect of the rehab process. He has lived and worked in 11 states which contributes to the treatment style he has developed which breaks the mold. Become a better You today! #KeepAshevilleActive