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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 July 10, 2020

                          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                          Boundaries are limits

                          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                          • When do you feel disrespected?
                          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                          • When do you want to be alone?
                          • How much space do you need?

                          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                          Sample language:

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                          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                          Final Thoughts

                          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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