A menu change can provide relief for pain, claims an article by Dr. Neal Barnard in the February 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times.
Food Fights Pain:
1. Certain foods can cool inflammation- flax, evening primrose, borage and other natural plant oils are known to have an anti-inflammatory effect on sore joints. Ginger also appears to ease joint pain, and capsaicin (found in chiles), is often an active ingredient in joint-pain cream.
More importantly, certain foods trigger pain, such as, dairy, eggs, citrus, meat, and wheat. These foods can play major roles in migraines, sore joints, and some digestive problems.
2. Diet impacts circulation. A vegetarian diet has been seen to improve circulation in heart patients. Dr. Dean Ornish used a vegetarian diet, exercise, and lowering stress as a successful method to open arteries and ease chest pain in patients that had been on heart medication of years without improvement.
Poor circulation may also be a major contributor to back pain. In the same way meat and smoking constrict the arteries to the heart, they also limit blood to the spine. Studies have shone that back pain is not necessarily caused by heavy lifting or a lumpy mattress, but often poor circulation. (URL purchase)
3. Food can Balance Hormones. Eliminating animal products and emphasizing vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans has been know to virtually eliminate menstrual pain for many women. This menu change reduced pain severity and duration while improving PMS symptoms. A plant based diet helps the body eliminate excess estrogens which are thought to be the culprit of menstrual pain.