Give your medicine cabinet a healthy upgrade.

Sometimes everyday foods do so much more than just feed our bodies—many are substitutes to pain-pills, thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. Think menstrual cramps, arthritis, migraine, body aches and even cuts or scrapes, there’s a food to offer relief.

Good news - all of the following mark a place of importance for themselves on the diet chart and not known to cause any side-effects, so eating and cooking with them can be good for you in general.

Salmon
This fish is loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which helps relieve tenderness of the joints in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 can also help improve blood flow and significantly reduce any inflammation in blood vessels and nerves. Besides, salmon also provides calcitonin, which the National Center for Biotechnology Information states can reduce inflammation in joints and provide relief against pain caused by osteoarthritis. For ideas to cook with salmon, head here.

(Also read: Foods that naturally help boost collagen)

Red Grapes
Red wine and grapes are known to contain resveratrol, a chemical compound that’s known to mediate anti-inflammatory effects. The Mayo Clinic reports that this compound can stop certain cells in the body from responding to the signals of inflammation, in the process fighting off the symptoms of pain. You could simply snack on a bowl of grapes or sip on some freshly prepared grape juice if red wine isn’t your poison. Apart from grapes, peanuts and cranberries too are known to be good sources of resveratrol.
Here’s a Pomelo Salad recipe starring red grapes to get you started:

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Chilli Peppers
Capsaicin, a compound that gives these peppers their heat, is known to have painkilling properties, which is why it many a time is found in pain-relieving creams and gels. Online studies published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggest that when eaten, the heat tricks the brain into releasing endorphins, which help stimulate nerve endings and block pain signals. Don’t forget to throw in a few hot peppers into your daily meals

(Also read: 10 chillies from around the world that chefs love)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
As good as over-the-counter medications, extra virgin olive oil contains an anti-inflammatory compound called oleocanthal, which works similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reducing pain and decrease inflammation. WebMD reports that olive oil can also help reduce the risk of strokes and some cancers. If you don’t already, high time you cook your veggies and meats in olive oil and even drizzle some of it on your salads. Throw in a few herbs and garlic into it and spread over your breads and toasts.

Pineapple
This tropical fruit is rich in an enzyme called bromelain, which is known to reduce inflammation and lessen pain. WebMD states that this enzyme is especially helpful in treating pain and swelling as it helps muscles to relax. The enzyme can also help reduce pain and improve knee function in people suffering from arthritis. Time to start sipping on fresh pineapple juice each day or a few slices of this juicy fruit. Head here for more ways with pineapple.

Cherries
These tiny powerhouses are a good source of anthocyanin, an antioxidant compound responsible for their ruby hue and more importantly, reduce inflammation and lessen pain. Studies have suggested that anthocyanin blocks inflammation and inhibit pain enzymes. In an online study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it was found that runners who drank cherry juice experienced less pain after running. Apart from treating yourself to glass of freshly prepared cherry juice, you could simply soak some cherries in honey or agave, and serve over kheer, ice cream or custard.

Coffee
As if we need an excuse for a coffee refill! A study conducted by the University of Georgia suggested that the caffeine in coffee can help improve athletic performance as it helps reduce exercise-induced muscular injury and pain. Coffee, when consumed in limited quantities, helps relieve pain caused by migraines and enhances the effect of certain over-the-counter pain relievers. And while coffee is one of the most common sources of caffeine, good news is that its benefits can be enjoyed in the form of tea and chocolates too.

(Also read: 7 most popular coffee styles you need to know)


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