James N. Dillard, author of The Chronic Pain Solution says, “No matter how well you prescribe medication, chronic sufferers don’t get complete relief.”
“It is an enormous problem, and the medical community is doing a bad job in solving it,” he says.
However, research is starting to revert back to food and the health benefits it can offer.
Botanist, James Duke explains how he believes there is almost always a natural alternative offering the same benefits that pharmaceuticals offer. Despite this, just eating the foods listed below will not be a miracle treatment, a balanced diet is advised to improve health.
Below are five foods that are thought to be ‘natural healers’:
Cranberry juice – believed to target ulcers if consuming one cup daily.
Whilst antibiotics are the usual treatment for ulcers, drinking cranberry juice is thought to help prevent them from developing. Ulcers are a result of a pathogen called H. Pylori, this attacks the lining of the stomach or small intestine – cranberry juice can help stop the pathogen from harming the stomach lining.
Shop-bought cranberry juice can be filled with sugar, therefore becoming inflammatory. Make sure to pick up a bottle of 100% natural juice.
Salmon, herring or sardines – thought to target achy joints with two to three servings per week.
Eating fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury can help relieve backache and pains. Omega-3s help by improving the blood flow and reducing inflammation. Research has shown that a dose of fish oil can help improve mood and is beneficial for cardiovascular protection.
Yoghurt – studies found yoghurt can target IBS symptoms.
Pain in the stomach and intestine is a common symptom for people with irritable bowel syndrome, but it has been found that the bacteria living in certain yoghurts can help reduce inflammation in the intestine. However, not all yoghurts contain probiotics so do look for a label specifying “live and active cultures” or similar.
Turmeric – used as an Ayurvedic medicine to improve digestion and relieve pain.
Researchers have found other reasons to like this popular curry spice; it is rich in a substance called curcumin and this holds anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can help protect the body from joint inflammation and tissue weakening, as well as preserve nerve cell function. If you don’t fancy curry, you can easily get your dose from sprinkling the spice on salads, in soups or on cooked vegetables!
Coffee – Recent studies found a dose of caffeine can relieve headaches.
Andrew Weil from the Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine says, “Caffeine helps reduce pain by narrowing the dilated blood vessels that develop with headaches.”
But be warned, if you are a regular coffee drinker, the caffeine can have the opposite effect. If you are used to having a lot of coffee, reducing your intake may leave you with withdrawal headaches!