Friday, July 19, 2013

8 Superfoods That Silence Back Pain & Fight Inflammation

Chronic back pain is debilitating, and treating the pain is even more of a pain, figuratively. If you're one of the 35 percent of Americans who suffer from back pain, then you're most likely very familiar with visiting a pain specialist, receiving physical therapy and dealing with medical billing and coding. Complement your pain treatments with a holistic approach, such as adopting superfoods into your diet that fight inflammation and lessen pain.

Jalapeño Peppers

These inflammation-fighting superfoods not only punch the palate with spicy heat but relieve pain as well. Red and green chili peppers contain a pain relief agent known as capsaisin.  This substance has demonstrated an ability to deplete the "pain neurotransmitter known as substance P, thereby hiding pain signals from the brain. Why not lessen your back pain by mixing up a spicy-cool blood orange jalapeño margarita.'s smokin' hot recipe mixes freshly squeezed blood orange juice, lime juice, Cointreau, and jalapeño-infused silver tequila. Infuse a whole pepper in a half cup of tequila, and your cocktail will take the edge off indeed.


Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon combats inflammation and helps prevent pro-inflammatory components from being produced in the body. Omega-3 fats suppress inflammation-causing cell signalers. Studies have shown that absorption of these essential fatty acids is often improved when consumed in a diet containing certain fish, rather than just taking a supplement. Put on your chef's hat and cook up jalapeño salmon burgers for the ultimate pain-relieving meal. Between two grilled pitas, the jalapeño and tabasco-seasoned salmon patties topped with avocado will make your mouth water.

Raw Spinach, Cherries and Red Grapes

Just when you thought your pain-silencing meal couldn't get any better, pair it with a red grapes and dried sour cherries spinach salad. Red grapes, cherries and raw spinach are all pain-reducing superfood ingredients.

Because red grapes contain resveratrol, these flavorful fruits can lessen back pain by protecting against cartilage damage. Resveratrol also blocks enzymes that cause tissue to regenerate. Cherries help reduce pain because the fruits contain anthocyanins, a phytonutrient which contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Anthocyanins neutralize cell-damaging free radicals and help block enzymes that trigger tissue inflammation. Raw spinach also fights systemic inflammation, both as an antioxidant-rich vegetable and additionally by alkalizing the body's pH.

Along with dried sour cherries, sliced grapes and chopped spinach, mix scallions, a thinly sliced green apple and chopped walnuts into your salad. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese, and drench the salad with an apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing with freshly ground black pepper.

Green Tea

To start your morning or while relaxing at night, sip on a cup of warm green tea. Green tea is proven to help alleviate arthritis. The powerful component EGCG helps inhibit the production of molecules that can harm bone and cartilage. Drink one to three cups of the natural substance a day. Stir in freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, lemon juice and honey for a delicious cup of citrus-honey green tea. On a hot day, mix up a pitcher of iced ginger green tea. (Turn it into a cocktail by adding prosecco!) Ginger also contains gingerol, the phytonutrient that supplies pain-relieving properties. Fresh ginger is believed to relieve pain just as well as anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen.