No pain, no gain. These might be the words playing on your mind when trying to do a few more push ups. And sure, it’s true when it comes to improving your stamina but let me guess, pain is an unwanted visitor when it comes to your health.
Whether you suffer from an occasional headache, backaches or menstrual pains, there are natural painkillers you can use to make the aches go away.
The pills in your cabinet were originally derived from plants, so why not going directly to the source?
When you use foods as the natural solution to pain, you’ll avoid nasty side effects and nourish the whole body without having to detoxify later. It’s a win-win situation, right, so let’s go for it!
Where pain starts
Pain starts deep inside your cells. In the place, where you want to target if you’re looking for long lasting relief.
What’s driving it? Inflammation!
Even at times you don’t suspect it, like during menstruation, or when you have a sudden backache, it is the pro-inflammatory chemicals, prostaglandines, that forces you to reach for a painkiller. They are produced by the affected tissue and they are the real deal when it comes to pain.
Prostaglandines can give you painful cramps or limit your movement. When they are released into the blood, you can also feel nauseous and get headaches. All the symptoms which turn the world upside down and change your mood from high to the point zero.
Solution to the fire
You can take a pill for immediate relief. Honestly, at times when the pain becomes excruciating, painkillers become the best solution. But how about using natural plant foods and spices to disarm the pain generators before they even hit?
It may feel tempting to hurry to the nearest shop to get some superfoods but if you want to get rid of the pain at its root, start with eliminating the inflammation drivers. What are they? Meat, dairy and eggs. Yes, all the foods high in saturated fats and processed sugary foods are the biggest causes.
Every time you eat them the environment inside your body changes supporting inflammation. It’s like you ignite a painful fire inside your cells. Then depending on how sensitive you are and where your weaker spot is, the pain hits. It can be your head, back, knee, intestines or the lining of your uterus where you start feeling tension and painful cramps.
But, when you keep enjoying bean curries, stews, chillies, some delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, you’re fuelling yourself with plant powers that put the fire out. The healing effect of plant foods brings you peace and most importantly, relief.
Are you feeling now like flooding your body with some anti-inflammatory goodies? Let’s start with ginger!
I love this spice. It’s soothing yet gives you a kick in any dish you make, while being an effective natural painkiller. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds gingerols working at the cellular level, nipping the pain at the bud.
This translates also into your blood vessels because when they are inflamed they don’t work properly. They often get constricted not allowing enough oxygen and nutrients to flow to the tissue. Result? Spasms, headaches or sudden pain in your back.
Taking all the powers of gingerols into account there is no wonder they help with stomach cramps, nausea, soothe digestion, menstrual cramps or severe headaches.
And when you turn to science, studies confirm that powdered ginger reduces the time and severity of menstrual cramps (study). It helps you also if you suffer from migraines because it can be as effective as medication when the attack hits (study).
How to use ginger?
You may love it fresh or prefer it in its powdered form. Either way there are many options on how to use this wonder food in your kitchen. For some inspiration check out these options:
- Use up to 2 tbsp of freshly grated ginger in curries or any other meal (Curried Lentils recipe)
- Spice up your smoothie with a 2 inch piece of ginger root (Berry Ginger Booster recipe)
- Make a fresh lemonade with 1 tbs of grated ginger and some mint leaves
- Make tea from a 2 inch of fresh ginger cut into pieces and nibble on the root after it has brewed
- Add 1/2 tsp of ginger spice to your porridge
- Add 2 tsp of powdered ginger to sweet goodies like carrot cakes, muffins or banana bread
Use these tips next time when making something to eat and the next meal and the one after that. As you build one anti-inflammatory meal on top of the other, you’ll start feeling much better. The pain will slowly reduce and eventually go away altogether.
And because it’s all about sharing, I’d love to hear back from you! Tell me in the comments below:
Which one of the ginger-loading strategies are you going to try?
As always thank you so much for sharing!