Whether it’s a headache, a sore muscle, or even a broken bone, pain is one of the most debilitating feelings and yet it’s also one of the most important natural signallers in our bodies. When something hurts, when you feel pain, it means something may be wrong. With that said, as necessary as pain is it can trigger “other physical symptoms, like nausea, dizziness, weakness or drowsiness,” as well as cause “emotional effects like anger, depression, mood swings or irritability.” If pain is persistent, referred to as chronic or acute, it can “change your lifestyle and impact your job, relationships and independence.”
Therefore, no matter what type of pain or the severity of the feeling, it’s important to work on pain management.
While over-the-counter pain medications can be effective and affordable, they also come with a host of possible unwanted side effects. Long-term use of OTC pain medications has been linked to “damage [of] the liver and kidneys, increase[d] risk of heart attack or stroke, and [can] cause stomach ulcers or bleeding.”
For those seeking alternative options, there is a host of plant-based, all natural, and delicious foods that have been linked to a decrease in pain. That’s why we put together these 15 recipes from the Food Monster App that may help relieve pain. While it’s important to look at all of your options, make sure you check with your general practitioner before changing your diet, especially for those managing chronic pain.
Source: Black Bottom Cherry Pie
Cherries are not only a delicious treat, but they also have compounds called anthocyanins, which are “the same phytonutrients that give cherries their rich ruby hue.” These anthocyanins also happen to be “powerful antioxidants that work in two ways to tamp down pain:” by blocking inflammation and inhibiting pain enzymes, very similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. This Black Bottom Cherry Pie by Emily Fraser asks for a whopping eight cups of cherries!
Source: Turmeric Ginger Ice Cream
Turmeric is well-known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and healing properties due to a compound called curcumin. When doubled up with stomach-soothing ginger, such as in this Turmeric Ginger Ice Cream by Julia Winnicki, you not only get a delicious ice cream treat, but also a one-two-punch of natural pain relieving agents!
Source: Cranberry Apple Detox Juice
Cranberry juice is not only great for a healthy urinary tract, but it’s also known to help relieve certain types of pain. In particular, cranberry juice is known to help prevent the development of ulcers. With that said, it’s important to choose a low-sugar cranberry juice, such as this Cranberry Apple Detox Juice by Jesse Lane Lee which has zero added sugars and includes pectin-rich apples and pain-fighting ginger!
Source: Brussels Sprouts with Turmeric
Green leafy veggies are one of the best foods to incorporate into a pain-reducing diet due to their high levels of fiber and antioxidants. This Brussels Sprouts with Turmeric by Gabriela Lupu not only offers a helping of brussels sprouts, but it is also rich in inflammation-fighting and pain-reducing turmeric.
Source: Healthiest Peppermint Mocha
A warm cup of joe can do wonders to ease the anxiety and stress of a headache, but what about adding an additional pain-fighting agent to make it not only soothing to the mind but also the body? This Healthiest Peppermint Mocha by Caroline Doucet infuses coffee — which helps reduce headache pain by “narrowing the dilated blood vessels that develop with headaches” — with pain-fighting peppermint — loaded with menthol which helps “prevent muscle spasms” and is used to relieve headaches.
Source: Easy Mint Fudge
If coffee is not your jam, but you’re still seeking a great way to fight headaches, try this Easy Mint Fudge by Amanda Froelich. Along with menthol-rich headache fighting mint, this pain-relieving agent is also a great natural remedy for irritable bowel syndrome!
Source: Edamame Guacamole
This Edamame Guacamole by Marie Reginato is a creative way to consume soy-rich edamame! In a study performed at Oklahoma State University, participants were given either soy protein or milk-based protein. The conclusion of the study found that “pain was reduced for those who ate soy protein but not for those in the milk protein group.”
It’s all about the heat! Especially, when it comes to relieving pain. Jalapeno peppers have an ingredient called capsaicin, which relieves pain by “stimulating nerve endings and depleting a chemical that relays pain signals.” This Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Jalapeno Cream Sauce recipe by Rene Barker is a great way to get your daily dose of pain-fighting jalapeno-rich capsaicin.
Source: Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Think extra-virgin olive oil is relegated to the savory recipes? Think again! This Chocolate Olive Oil Cake by Lenia Patsi is a delightfully sweet treat that asks for three-fourths of a cup of healthy fat-fill extra-virgin olive oil. Plus, extra-virgin olive oil helps reduce inflammation and boosts heart health, both of which are agents that fight pain.
Source: Kale Burgers and Fat-Free Fries
Green, leafy veggies are simply the best option for a healthy, plant-based, balanced diet focused on fighting inflammation and reducing the feeling of pain. Yet, you don’t have to consume a salad every day. Instead, make this Kale Burgers and Fat-Free Fries by Danielle Dewar to get your daily dose of nutrient-dense, inflammation-fighting, pain-relieving kale!
Source: Cherry Almond Raisin Bars
This Cherry Almond Raisin Bars recipe by Holly Jade packs a double dose of pain-relieving agents of almonds and cherries. Plus, this recipe also provides fiber-rich flaxseed, selenium-rich brazil nuts, and optional antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.
Source: Blueberry Acai Iced Latte
Blueberries are one of those magical plant-based foods that seem to fight all the bad things. They are low in calories, nutrient-dense, jam-packed with antioxidants, and can even help protect your cholesterol! Due to this wonderful profile, blueberries also make the list as a pain-fighting agent, mostly due to their ability to reduce bodily inflammation. To get your daily dose of blueberries, try this Blueberry Acai Iced Latte by Harriet Porterfield!
Source: Ground Walnut Sausage
Walnuts are incredibly rich in heart-healthy fats, in particular, they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Not only do omega-3’s fight inflammation, but they are also linked to lower anxiety levels. This Ground Walnut Sausage by Molly Patrick is not filled with healthy walnuts (one and a half cups), but the recipe also calls for a helping of flavorful herbs and spices such as sage, thyme, basil, marjoram, fennel, rosemary, and even a kick of heat from cayenne and red pepper flakes.
Comfort food generally tops the list when you’re in pain. Why not integrate some natural, plant-based, pain-fighting agents in with that favorite recipe? This Mac and Cheese with Spinach and Tomatoes by Emma Blake uses pain-fighting spinach — another from the leafy green veggie category — as well as tomatoes — rich in anti-inflammatory properties.
Source: Orange Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
To finish off the list here is an incredibly creative and original recipe that also packs a healing punch of vitamin C and pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory agents. This Orange Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread by Namita Tiwari uses powerfully potent orange zest, along with inflammation and stomach-soothing ginger.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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