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12 Major Food Cures For Physical Pain

12 Major Food Cures For Physical Pain

For millennia, human beings have treated physical ailments with herbs and food cures, long before there were grocery stores stocked with ibuprofen and antacids. While modern medicine certainly has its benefits, sometimes the best solution is a natural one. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

Here’s a look at tried-and-true remedies for common aches and pains. This list provides food cures that target the cause of pain, and heal the body from within.

1.  Aching Joints

Fruit Salad

    Pineapple – When joint pain flares up, reach for a fresh pineapple. This fruit contains an enzyme called bromelain, which helps the body process nutrients, reduce inflammation, and support joint function. Dice up a pineapple to make a fruit salad and add a healthy punch to relieve joint pain.

    RECIPE:

    1. Rinse apple, strawberries, grapes, and blackberries.
    2. Mix 2 cups of diced fresh pineapple, 2 diced bananas, 1 diced cored Fuji apple, 1 cup of diced cantaloupe, 1 cup of diced strawberries, 1 cup of seedless grapes, and 1 cup of blueberries. Serve in 1-cup portions.

    2.  Stomach Aches

    Ginger Mint Tea

      Homemade Ginger Mint Tea – Stomachaches caused by motion sickness, nausea, indigestion, and gas can be relieved with ginger. Containing a substance that relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract, ginger allays the symptoms of stomach pain. Mint also relieves stomach cramps and bloating, and the combination of both ginger and mint will settle your stomach quickly.

      RECIPE:

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      1. Slice 1 inch of peeled ginger into thin medallions
      2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add slices and 2 mint leaves, and simmer for 20 minutes.
      3. Pour in a cup and add honey and lemon to taste. Serve.

      3.  Leg Cramps

      Spinach White Bean Salad

        Spinach White Bean Salad – For any muscle cramps, this salad is packed with essential nutrients to ward off the pain and reinvigorate your muscles with the vitamins they’re lacking: potassium, magnesium, and protein.

        RECIPE:

        1. For each serving, slice 1 Roma tomato, 1 hardboiled egg, and 1/8 red onion. Add to 2 cups of washed baby spinach.
        2. Add 1/2 cup of washed and drained white beans.
        3. Add desired dressing and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Toss. Serve.

        4.  Heartburn

        Banana Oatmeal

          Banana Almond Oatmeal – Heartburn is caused by acid reflux rising and irritating the esophagus, but there are foods to neutralize the acid and relieve the pain. Banana oatmeal cooked with almond milk combines three key ingredients for combatting heartburn: high-fiber oatmeal to absorb the acid, alkaline acidic neutralizer almond milk, and low-acidic bananas that will coat your throat and provide relief.

          RECIPE:

          1. Whisk in saucepan 1 cup of almond milk, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of almond extract, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and half of a mashed banana. Bring to a boil.
          2. Add 1/2 cup of rolled oats and simmer until oats are tender, 5-7 minutes.
          3. Pour oatmeal in a bowl, and slice up remaining half of banana. Serve.

          5.  Urinary Tract Infection

          Blueberries

            Unsweetened Probiotic Yogurt with Blueberries – The compounds in the probiotic yogurt help fight infection and reestablish the healthy bacterial balance. Unsweetened is best, as simple sugars can negate yogurt’s benefits. Mix in blueberries, which are loaded with antioxidants and have been shown to prevent E. Coli bacteria, a frequent cause of UTIs, from adhering to the bladder wall.

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            RECIPE:

            1. Prepare 1 cup of probiotic yogurt and stir in 1/2 cup blueberries. Serve.
            2. Eat 2 to 3 times daily until symptoms improve.

            6.  Muscle Inflammation 

            Trail Mix

              Trail Mix – When you’re on the go but need a snack, pack up a trail mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and dark chocolate to relieve aches caused by muscle inflammation. Walnuts lower the body’s C-reactive protein which causes inflammation. Almonds and cashews contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are also anti-inflammatory, while dried fruits and dark chocolate carry anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are packed with vitamins and healthy fats, and add a subtle variety to the mix. This is the perfect post-workout snack when you’re feeling the burn.

              RECIPE:

              1. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of walnuts, 2 cups of cashews, 1 cup of slivered toasted almonds, 1 cup of dried apricots, 1 cup of dried papaya, 1 cup dried pineapple, 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds, and 1 cup of dark chocolate chips.
              2. Divide into 1/2- to 1-cup servings and store in small Ziploc bags. Serve.

              7.  Headaches

              Cherries

                Tart Cherry Smoothie – Headaches can be caused by a number of sources, including but not limited to: vitamin and electrolyte deficiencies, hormonal fluctuations, muscle tension, stress, low blood sugar, and dehydration. One food that can cure your headache pain regardless of cause is the cherry. Packed with melatonin and polyphenol, cherries convert to nitric oxide in the blood and serve to relax muscles and blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow. Blend them into a smoothie with other nutrient-packed ingredients, and you’ll feel healthier, hydrated, and better in no time.

                RECIPE:

                1. Blend 2 cups of seedless tart cherries, 1 cup of washed chopped kale, 1 banana, 2 cups of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
                2. Add ice and water to obtain desired consistency. Serve.

                8.  Arthritis

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                Salmon

                  Cooked Salmon – The benefits of salmon and other freshwater fish have been repeatedly reconfirmed by scientists and nutritionists alike. Salmon in particular is rich with omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and enable better joint movement for arthritis patients. Garlic, olive oil, basil, and lemon also have anti-inflammatory properties, and cooking the recipe below on a regular basis can alleviate some of the joint stiffness and allow for more mobility to ease arthritic pain.

                  RECIPE:

                  1. Create a marinade of 2 minced garlic cloves, 6 tablespoons of light olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Marinate 2 6 oz. salmon fillets for at least 1 hour.
                  2. With the oven at 375° F, place marinated fillets in aluminum foil and seal. Set in a glass dish and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until salmon easily flakes. Plate and serve.

                  9.  Sore Throats

                  Chamomile Tea

                    Chamomile tea with honey and lemon – For over 5,000 years, the properties of chamomile have been recognized and used to cure the body’s ailments. To heal a sore throat, chamomile helps kill bacteria and serves as an anti-inflammatory to soothe aches or rawness resulting from a cold or cough. Add honey for its healing properties and lemon to inhibit viruses and bacteria.

                    RECIPE:

                    1. Boil 1 cup of water.
                    2. Add 1 slice of lemon and 1 tablespoon of honey.
                    3. For an extra boost, use 2 teabags in your cup for added potency. Serve.

                    10. Skin Irritation

                    Basil

                      Basil – For sunburn, insect bites, or pimples, the naturally occurring oils and compounds found in basil can soothe and speed up healing. Basil is naturally antibacterial and disinfecting, and the camphene cools the skin, suppressing any itchiness from bites or irritation. Its cleansing properties clear out pores to cure and prevent pimples, and it boasts an anti-aging property that helps reverse damage caused by free radicals as well.

                      RECIPE:

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                      1. Crush 1 cup of fresh basil leaves and add 1 tablespoon of water for sunburns, or lemon juice for bites and pimples
                      2. Apply paste to skin for 30 minutes. Rinse off.

                      11. Tissue Inflammation

                      Guacamole

                        Chips and Guacamole – Avocados, garlic, and cayenne pepper hold properties that fight inflammation and ease pain. Avocados especially carry a concentrated amount of carotenoids, which help to protect and strengthen skin, tissue, and cells for better health and function. Mix them all together with a few other ingredients, and you have a delicious and popular snack.

                        RECIPE:

                        1. In a medium bowl, mash together 3 peeled and pitted mashed avocados, juice of 1 lime, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
                        2. Mix in 1/2 cup of diced onion, 2 diced Roma plum tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, and 1 pinch of ground cayenne pepper.
                        3. Let meld for an hour. Serve with high-fiber corn chips.

                        12. General Aches and Pains

                        Water

                          Water – Overall lethargy and malaise can often be relieved by simply drinking water. Staying properly hydrated has been shown to diminish the pain associated with migraines, muscle aches, joint stress, constipation, and other ailments. If the human body is a well-oiled machine, then water is its oil.

                          Featured photo credit: Take Back Your Health Conference 2015 Los Angeles/TakeBackYourHealthConference via flickr.com

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                          Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                          How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                          How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                          Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                          If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                          1. Breathe

                          The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                          • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                          • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                          • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                          Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                          2. Loosen up

                          After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                          Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                          3. Chew slowly

                          Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                          Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                          Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                          4. Let go

                          Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                          The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                          It’s not. Promise.

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                          Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                          Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                          21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                          5. Enjoy the journey

                          Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                          Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                          6. Look at the big picture

                          The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                          Will this matter to me…

                          • Next week?
                          • Next month?
                          • Next year?
                          • In 10 years?

                          Hint: No, it won’t.

                          I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                          Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                          7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                          You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                          Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                          8. Practice patience every day

                          Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                          • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                          • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                          • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                          Final thoughts

                          Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                          Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                          Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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