Nutrient Rich Foods Chronic Pain Patients Should Include in Their Diet

The Role of Nutrients in Chronic Pain Management

Chronic pain has the ability to take over your life and change it drastically. Often times, medication and physical therapy are not enough to help you piece your life back together. To deal with pain, you need to lead a healthy life in order to better your mood and circumstance. One of the primary ways to achieve this is by eating healthy. This article serves to inform you about foods that can supplement your health and help you manage your pain.


The first food item may come as a bit of a surprise to many. Often times, physicians recommend avoiding coffee or anything beverage that involves caffeine. This is primarily due to the insomnia and fatigue most chronic pain patients undergo. However, if insomnia is not your biggest issue when it comes to your chronic pain, low doses of caffeine may be beneficial. Caffeine has the ability to decrease one’s perception of pain, primarily when doing a physical task. Caffeine can be consumed in many different forms, including soda and chocolate. It is important to remember to consider your overall health and nutrition during consumption. Thus, talk to your physician about what foods and caffeine dosages are right for you.


Many patients experience nausea as a side-effect of chronic pain. This is particularly the case when the patient is tapering off their opioid medication and is experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Ginger is recommended to ease nausea. However, it is also known to help fight inflammation. This trait will make it particularly beneficial for arthritis patients who experience inflammation in their joints. Ginger is a root that is often used in Asian cooking. Adding it to your tea is also another way for you to consume it and ease your pain in the long run.

Whole Grains

When trying to adjust yourself to a healthier lifestyle, a popular technique is monitoring your starch and carbohydrate intake. Similarly, when managing chronic pain and fighting inflammation, reducing or terminating your consumption of refined grains such as white bread, rice and cereal can help you greatly. What is even more important is adding whole grains to your diet. Opting for whole wheat bread instead of white bread or regular pasta for whole grain pasta can be your first stepping stone. Whole grains are rich in fiber. Fiber is known to be essential for your body’s digestive system, but can also reduce the concentration of C-reactive proteins in your body. This particular protein is linked with inflammation, so by decreasing its levels you are fighting inflammation.

Leafy Greens

An example of inflammatory molecules that exist in the body are cytokines. Vitamin E is thought to be a protecting agent of this particular molecule. Thus, eating Vitamin E rich foods are great methods of managing inflammation.

A suggested item that is rich with this molecule are dark leafy greens like kale, spinach,  and collard greens. Such vegetables are also rich in iron and calcium which will also benefit your overall health.

Olive Oil

Oil is a big part of everyone’s diet. Eliminating bad sources of oil will be successful to your overall health. A life without greasy food will allow you to live a more wholesome and active life. This does not mean all oils are bad for you. Substituting your everyday cooking oil, such as canola oil, with olive oil can be extremely beneficial for chronic pain patients. Just like ginger, olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties, helping fight inflammation that can increase your perception of pain. Using olive oil in your pastas, salad dressings, and a substitute for your other cooking oils are healthy and beneficial methods of consumption. Extra-virgin olive oil is often a better investment.

Fatty Fish

The addition of omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial to fighting inflammation. Though this health supplement is often taken in tablet or capsule form, it can also be found in healthy food options. Salmon, and other fatty fish such as mackerel and tuna, are rich with omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, fish like other meats have calcitonin which also have anti-inflammatory properties.


Inflammation due to arthritis can also be treated by the ingestion of turmeric, a yellow-colored spice that is often used in Indian cooking. Since the ancient times, turmeric has been used in South Asia to treat inflammation and cure illness. Pairing it with ginger is a great way to add it into your dishes.

Nuts and Berries

Another chemical compound that has anti-inflammatory benefits is resveratrol. This compound is often found in nuts, berries, grapes. Resveratrol inhibits cells to responding to inflammatory signals.

As a chronic pain patient you should take caution when making changes to your lifestyle. If you are planning on inducing a drastic change in your diet make sure you talk to your physician to confirm you are making a decision most adequate to your condition. Overall, a healthy lifestyle is important in order to ease your pain and help you live in comfort.

Continue Reading