If you experience pain in your body whether it is arthritis, headaches or menstrual cramps this is your body’s way of telling you that you have swelling or inflammation.

There are several foods and herbs that can help your body to bring down this level of inflammation and therefore reduce your levels of pain.

Fruits and Vegetables

Eating a diet rich in a variety of both fruits and vegetables will provide your body with a wealth of antioxidants. Antioxidants are a fuel for your body that will help to better modulate inflammation. Eating a variety of colours including greens, blue/purple, reds and orange/yellow will provide a nice balance to support various pathways that help lower inflammation in the body.

Fish

Fish contain omega 3 fatty acids that have a wealth of research showing they can modulate the amount of swelling or inflammation in the body. To achieve this reduction in inflammation you need to consume around 3g of the combination of EPA and DHA daily. This can be obtained by eating fatty fish such as salmon or via supplementation. Fish oils have great research on helping with inflammation in vessels which is one of the reasons it is helpful for cardiac health. We can also see reduction in neuroinflammation seen in concussion and well as skin inflammation seen in conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Turmeric/Curcumin

Turmeric is a commonly used spice in Indian dishes. Curcumin is one of the active components found in Turmeric that has great research showing it reduces pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis as well as inflammatory bowel disorders. Curcumin also supports healthy liver function so if you are using pain medications containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) adding curcumin can help protect your liver from damage. For general support in the body cooking with more turmeric can be very helpful. If there is a substantial amount of pain using a supplement with a standardized amount of curcumin will generally have a more powerful impact.

Boswellia

Boswellia has some specific research helping with joint pain caused by osteoarthritis and also inflammation in the gut seen in inflammatory bowel disorders. Since Boswellia is able to protect the intestinal tract it can also be protective for patients who are taking anti-inflammatory medications such as Naproxen, Aleve or Advil.

There are several other herbs and nutrients that also have good research showing modulation of inflammation and pain reduction.

If you are in pain it is a great idea to book a visit with your Naturopathic doctor to help navigate the diet and supplements that would be best in your individual situation.