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10 Foods That Fight Pain

10 Foods That Fight Pain

Sick of popping a pill every time you have a headache, cramp, or stomach pain? Nature has provided the answer for you. There are plenty of delicious foods out there that can help to cure, or at least relieve, what ails you.

Disclaimer: You’re going to read the word “anti-inflammatory” a lot. Feel free to turn it into a drinking game.

1. Cherries

    Here are some cherries that won’t be painful to pop.

    Research has shown that eating 20 tart cherries can have the same effect on pain as ibuprofen. If that isn’t enough for you, 45 of those bad boys can reduce C-reactive protein, which is related to inflammation and arthritis.

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    2. Ginger

      If you’re a fan of natural remedies, you probably already know about how helpful a pot of ginger tea can be to settle an upset stomach. However it has even more benefits! Ginger can also help fight cold symptoms as well as sooth sore muscles and reduce osteoarthritis related pain. This is because the root contains an anti-inflammatory compound called “gingerol.” In one study, patients who took ginger capsules for eleven days reported 25% less muscle related pain after performing strenuous exercise.

      3. Sage

        Sage has been proven to be effective in treating scratchy sore throats. Before attempting to rub it over the back of your throat, try brewing a simple tea.

        4. Red Grapes

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          Red grapes contain resveratrol, which is responsible their lovely colour. More importantly, this compound can block enzymes that contribute to tissue degeneration. Blueberries and cranberries also contain this resveratrol.

          5. Soy

            Soy products, such as tofu, tempeh, or straight edamame, has been shown to alleviate pain for people suffering from osteoarthritis. Research from the Oklahoma State University showed that participants who ate 40g of soy daily for three months had less pain compared to those who consumed milk based products.

            6. Tumeric

              Like I need an excuse to get my curry on.

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              Turmeric contains a compound called “curcumin.” Curcumin eases pain caused by osteoarthritis. In fact, it has shown to be as effective as ibuprofen.

              7. Salmon

                Salmon, as well as other oily fish, is high is omega-3, an extremely beneficial fatty acid. Not only is it excellent for your general health, omega-3 can reduce inflammation within your joints, and reduce the pain that’s associated with rheumatoid arthritis. As an added bonus, omega-3 is also known to settle an upset stomach, particularly when it’s caused by stress. If you don’t like the taste of fish, try taking fish or salmon oil tablets instead.

                8. Peppermint

                  That’s right, there’s more to peppermint than keeping your breath fresh, and pairing it with chocolate.

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                  Similar to ginger, peppermint can help settle your stomach and treat ailments, such as indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Additionally, peppermint is highly effective for headaches and migraines because it acts as a mild numbing agent. As a frequent headache sufferer, I recommend getting a peppermint and lavender roll-on from your local chemist and applying it your temples. Lavender contains calming properties, which makes it a fantastic partner for the peppermint.

                  9. Nuts

                    Despite the name, this one is for the ladies.

                    A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that certain kinds of nuts can alleviate the symptoms of PMS. Almonds and pistachios seem to be the best at the job due to containing riboflavin and vitamin B6. Both have been proven to help fight cramps, fluid retention, and even irritability. So if you’re craving some chocolate when Aunt Flow comes to visit, try a nut laced brownie.

                    10. Coffee

                      Believe or not, coffee can help you get rid of headaches. And no, not just the ones related to caffeine deprivation. Coffee (and other caffeinated beverages) do this by narrowing the dilated blood vessels that develop with headaches. If you weren’t already convinced that this is a magical elixir sent by the gods, it can also amplify the effects of other pain killers.

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                      Tegan Jones

                      Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                      Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                      To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                      Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                      1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                      Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                      Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                      To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                      2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                      Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                      If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                      Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                      3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                      Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                      Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                      4. Feed Your Brain

                      Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                      This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                      Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                      Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                      5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                      According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                      Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                      Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                      6. Write it Down

                      If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                      It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                      You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                      7. Listen to Music

                      Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                      8. Visual Concepts

                      In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                      Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                      Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                      9. Teach Someone Else

                      Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                      Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                      10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                      Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                      So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                      Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                      More About Boosting Memory

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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