Can certain foods alleviate pain?
Watch as women's health expert and advocate Dr. Donnica Moore explains whether or not certain foods can help alleviate pain.
The typical comfort foods tend to be pro-inflammatory, which means they increase your pain.
There are no foods that can alleviate pain, but there are some approaches to how you eat-- and more importantly, how you drink--
that can help you manage your pain. Chronic pain management is a complete menu of therapeutic options.
And what we want to do is try to approach each aspect of pain management. So food, number one, most people who
have back pain, hip pain, or other joint pains do better when-- if they're overweight at all-- if they lose weight--
not if they get back to where they were in high school, but even if they only lose five to 10 pounds. This, of course, is a vicious cycle
for most people with chronic pain because they tend to have decreased mobility and decreased ability to exercise. So it's important to work with your doctor
and your physical therapist to find out what exercises are right for you and what you can do. As far as food, the typical comfort foods tend to be
pro-inflammatory, which means they increase your pain-- so all of the processed sugars, starches, cakes, cookies,
ice cream. Similarly, many people turn to alcohol for pain management. And while it may take care of the pain
initially at the outset or dull the pain, it certainly doesn't work well with your pain medicines, it certainly doesn't work well with your sleep medicines,
and it's not good for your overall health. So those are the foods to avoid. What foods should you approach and eat more of?
What we're looking for are antioxidant benefits and omega-3 fatty acids. So eat all the fish you want-- except for canned tuna,
because then we're worried about mercury. And that's a whole 'nother story. But focus on your salmon, your scallops, your halibut,
and other fish are very good-- at least two servings per week. Then look to your beans, soybeans, edamame, navy beans,
kidney beans, et cetera. And another spice that can be very helpful for decreasing
inflammation is turmeric. I put this in soups, salads, even eggs, and, of course, stir fries.
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