January 24, 2017

The ABCs of Reducing Stress

by Rob Fischer

Asthma is a respiratory condition usually triggered by a stimulus that inflames and narrows the airways, making it difficult to breathe. As a result, one may feel out of breath, tightness in the chest, or fall into bouts of coughing or wheezing. Asthma is a threat to our physical health and well-being.

When we think of triggers that induce an asthmatic reaction, we most readily think of things like:

  • Prolonged, heavy exercise.
  • Cool, dry air; air pollution or pollen.
  • But stress is also a common trigger for asthma.[1]

Unfortunately, when stress triggers an asthma attack, stress and anxiety multiply, because an asthmatic reaction brings on additional stress and even fear or panic. This stress works against us, intensifying the constriction of airways and making it more difficult to breathe.

Thank God that we have inhalers under such circumstances to help us get our breathing back to normal. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to avoid more of the stress and anxiety altogether and eliminate those stress-induced asthmatic episodes?

So much of what stresses us seems to be the little things that accumulate over time. Things like: financial pressures, the neighbor’s dog that barks incessantly, a lingering cold, a broken garage door opener, and rush-hour traffic all mount to generate stress, anxiety and frustration. Then often, all it takes to break the dam is something like a flat tire or a minor spat with a co-worker. Suddenly, we find ourselves under major stress triggering a nasty asthma attack.

So, how do we maintain more of an even keel and weather the storms and stresses of life?

We cannot live stress-free, but we can learn to control the effects of stress in our lives. Click to Tweet.

Our Creator has given us a very simple approach to reducing stress. In fact, it’s so simple that I call it the ABCs of stress reduction.

ABCs of Stress Reduction

1. Acknowledge that God loves you unconditionally and that He is in control.

In perhaps the most well-known verse of the Bible, John 3:16, we read, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”[2]

God loves you more than you can possibly imagine or fathom. That fact alone is extremely comforting, quieting, and de-stressing, but there’s more. Not only are you precious to Him, but He is in sovereign control of the universe.

If you have children, think back when your child was a helpless baby. You protected and provided for that child. In fact, you probably fashioned your life around that child for its safety, growth and well-being. Acknowledge that God is in control. Because He loves you, nothing can come into your life without His say-so. That’s comforting!

2. Believe that He cares for you and will meet your needs.

The Bible instructs us: “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”[3]

Jesus also encourages us with the words, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”[4]

Obviously, the Lord expects us to work hard and to seek to provide for our family.

But when we’ve done all we can, we need to believe that He will take care of us. Trust Him that He will provide. Click to Tweet.

Years ago, my wife and I experienced God’s provision in a remarkable way that has helped bolster our trust in Him. At the time, I was a full-time student and working two part-time jobs. We were married with two small children. In spite of my efforts to provide for my family, I came home from work one evening and my wife shared with me that we had nothing in the house for supper.

Payday wasn’t for another day, and we had no credit card. We were out of money and out of food. I went outside to pray, mindlessly walking around our garden as I did. I was really having a struggle with God about our situation. I was trying very hard to provide for our little family and we lived very frugally. It wouldn’t have hurt me to go without a meal, but I didn’t want to subject my wife and children to that.

It was still early spring and only a few radishes had come up. So as I continued my conversation with God, I pulled a small handful of radishes. In my prayer, I rehearsed the Scriptures I knew that talk about God’s provision for us and I was encouraged. I didn’t know how yet, but I was convinced that God would provide supper for us that evening.

Suddenly, I looked at the small bunch of radishes in my hand and asked out loud, “What can you do with radishes?” And immediately the thought entered my head, “Make cream of radish soup.” I knew that God had just answered our prayers for supper.

I excitedly ran inside and told my wife, “Honey, we’re going to have cream of radish soup for supper tonight.” She looked at me funny and said, “I’ve never heard of cream of radish soup.” To which I responded, “I haven’t either, but it might be good!”

I set about washing and slicing the radishes, making a broth from a couple of bouillon cubes and adding some dried parsley, milk and flour. I can honestly say that the soup was quite delicious and the whole family enjoyed it. Most of all, however, we were amazed and grateful for God’s gracious provision!

3. Cast all your cares on Him.

There’s a beautiful verse in 1 Peter 5:7:“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”[5] I once had a man tell me that it was arrogant to think that God would be concerned for the petty issues of our lives.

But he was wrong! The context of that verse is all about humbling ourselves before God and reminds us that He is opposed to the proud. Then God explains that one of the ways we demonstrate humility toward Him is by casting our cares on Him, because He cares for us! (See 1 Peter 5:5-7.)

Finally, let the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6-7 encourage you, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”[6]

Acknowledge that God loves you unconditionally and that He is in control.

Believe that He cares for you and will meet your needs.

And cast all your cares on Him.

Those are the simple ABCs of stress reduction and reducing your stress can improve your asthma!

From time to time, as a reminder of God’s goodness and provision, we still serve cream of radish soup. I’d like to share that recipe with you here (with a few minor modifications since that night long ago). I hope you enjoy it and I pray it serves as a reminder to you of God’s love and care for you just as it has for us.

cream of radish soupCream of Radish Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (12) red radishes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups organic milk
  • 1/4 cup flour or 1/4 cup corn starch
  • Tablespoon butter
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  • dash dried basil

Directions

  • Clean and slice radishes into disks about 1/16” to 1/8” thick.
  • Bring chicken broth to a boil in a sauce pan and add sliced radishes, salt, pepper and basil. Then simmer.
  • In a shaker, combine cold milk and flour and shake until well blended. Set milk and flour aside.
  • Test radishes for being done. They should be firmly soft, not mushy.
  • When radishes are done, pour milk and flour mix into the pan, and add butter, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to prevent it from boiling. When the broth begins to thicken the soup is done.

Guten Appetit!

Need encouragement? Share YOUR story of God’s miraculous and detailed provision!

 If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Rob_FischerRob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.

 

Sources:
[1] WebMD, “Stress and Asthma,” March 27, 2014, http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/stress-asthma.
[2] Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
[3] Matthew 7:11, Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
[4] Matthew 6:25-26 (NIV).
[5] NIV.
[6] NLT.

Help Me To Sleep Naturally

Solving Your Sleep Issues Naturally

We’ve all had nights when we didn’t sleep well.  However, millions of people spend night after night struggling for a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough quality sleep can take quite a toll on our state of mind and rob your body of overall health.

Sleep is extremely important.  It is during this time that our body naturally heals and repairs itself.  Without the time to recoup and restore, inadequate sleep takes years of your life. Many of our body’s detoxification processes occur during sleep, as well.

Waking Up At The Same Time Every Night?

Do you wake up the same time every night, night after night?  Well, your body just may be trying to tell you something.  According to the Chinese Body Clock or the Meridian Clock, each organ has a peak flow time lasting 2 hours. Checking the time you wake up on the Meridian Clock can give you an idea where an imbalance might be in your body.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of your body’s processes from 9 P.M. to 7 A.M.

9 – 11 P.M. Triple HeaterYour endocrine system is adjusting the homeostasis of your body.

11 P.M. – 1 A.M. GallbladderThis is the initial cleansing of all your tissues, processing of cholesterol and enhancement of brain functioning.

2 – 4 A.M. LiverCleansing of your blood and processing of wastes.

4 – 6 A.M. LungsRespiration, oxygenation, and expulsion of waste gases.

6 – 8 A.M. Large IntestinePeak blood flow to the intestines.  This is also why many people have their first bowel movements in the morning.

 

Once your are able to identify the organ that may be connected to your repeated waking, there are couple things you may want to consider:

  1. Acupuncture to align the imbalances of that particular meridian
  2. Taking an herbal cleansing supplement designed for that specific organ

Here is a great example. If you wake up around 3 A.M. every night, you may want to consider taking a liver cleanse supplement.

Can’t Fall Asleep?

Most people with sleep issues have trouble initially falling asleep.  Often we are the culprits of our own sleeplessness – and are totally unaware of it. But, before you try any sleeping pills or supplements, there are several simple steps you can try to encourage falling asleep naturally. It can be really simple to incorporate these steps into your daily life.

  1. No caffeine after lunch.

This includes soda and chocolate! Many people are sensitive to caffeine’s stimulating effects for hours after ingestion.

  1. Don’t exercise within 3 hours of your bedtime.

This stimulates your blood flow and heart rate, which can keep you awake and alert for hours.

  1. Shut the TV or computer off and hour before your bedtime.

The lit screen actually stimulates the brain making it harder to wind down.

  1. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning.

This puts your body clock on a schedule.

If these four steps don’t solve your problem, you may want to try some safe, natural sleep inducing supplements. I will go into more detail about those later.

Dangers of Sleeping Pills

Millions of Americans are on prescription sleeping pills to help them sleep. Most of these drugs are highly addictive and hard to stop taking once started because your body ends up needing the drug to relax. In the beginning, prescription sleeping pills may seem wonderful because they are strong and work so well.  However, once you quit, your sleeping issues will most likely be worse than before.

The side-effects of these sleeping pills are terrible.  Many cause stomach and digestive issues, lowered sex drive and daytime grogginess.  Drugs like Ambien, cause abnormal behaviors while sleeping.  Some people walk, eat, and even drive while asleep!

My mother-in-law took Ambien to sleep while on a diet.  She would wake each morning to open bags of chips and cookies with crumbs scattered all over the floor.  She was sleep eating and had no memory of it! She was ruining her diet in the night! Thank God she didn’t get into the car and drive! Furthermore, these aren’t the worst of the side-effects!

A new study shows that sleeping pills increase your risk of death and cancer. Those who took 18 or fewer pills a year increased their risk of death 3.5 times more than those who didn’t take any at all.  Those who took more than 132 pills a year increased their risk of death by 5 times and also increased their risk of cancer by 35%! [1]

Over-the-counter sleeping pills are just as terrible for you.  I know many people who have done a lot of damage to their livers by taking Tylenol P.M. They come to me for help because they can’t sleep without it.  Sadly, in their desperation to sleep, they caused a dramatic decline in their health.  There is no such thing as a safe sleeping drug.

Natural Sleeping Supplements

Nature has provided some great sleeping remedies for those who need an extra boost to help with relaxation. I have seen these supplements change people’s lives, including my own.  Many had been addicted to prescription meds and needed something to help train their body to sleep without drugs.  Listed below are what I’ve seen work best for my clients and even for myself.[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’ ]

Melatonin

This is by far the most popular of sleep supplements.  Melatonin is actually a sleep hormone that our body naturally produces.  It doesn’t actually induce sleep, but helps the brain signal to the body that it is time to wind down.  Do not use melatonin during the day, because it would then disturb your day/night body clock cycle.  If it typically takes you more than an hour to fall asleep, then try taking a time-release melatonin. Take 2-3 mg to start. For those who wake in the night, keep a sublingual melatonin by your bed.  Sublinguals dissolve and go right into your bloodstream for quick results.

For more information and tips about buying melatonin, please visit the Home Cure That Work product review on melatonin supplements to know which ones are safe for consumption. We’ve done the research for you so you can sleep peacefully at night.

Valerian

If you have problems with sleep onset, or you wake up feeling unrested, valerian may be the herb for you.  It tastes terrible so I recommend avoiding the tea and tincture and taking the pill form.  A dose of 400-900 mg can help ease anxiety and create the relaxation your body needs to fall asleep at night.  Some people feel results immediately, but for others it can take a week or two to get valerian’s full effects.

GABA

GABA is an amino acid neurotransmitter that stimulates relaxation and sleep. It is also responsible for good mood and a positive self-image.  Many people, especially those who have anxiety attacks, have a GABA deficiency.  For those who can’t sleep because they feel “wound up” or full of anxiety, GABA would be a great choice.  It works so well that many call it “Nature’s Tranquilizer.” I recommend taking 500-1000 mg before bed to promote sleep.  You can also take 250-500 mg during the day to help with daytime anxiety and stress.

L-Tryptophan

L-Tryptophan is an amino acid that plays a part in the synthesis of both serotonin (your feel good neurotransmitter) and melatonin (your sleep hormone).  It supports restful sleep, relaxation and positive mood.  L-Tryptophan is what I personally use myself and it has worked wonders.

I have never had a problem falling asleep and staying asleep each night.  However, I wasn’t going into my deep REM sleep cycles like I should. I had three kids back-to-back and spent those years getting up for feedings, so my body had trained itself to not go into a deep restful sleep.  L-Tryptophan helped me tremendously and I have recommended it ever since.  It also gave me a more positive mood during the day due to the increase of serotonin.  500-1500mg before bed is the typical recommended dosage.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. It is great for easing those tense muscles so that you can truly relax and sleep.  It is also fantastic for restless legs, which keep many people from sleeping well.  I prefer magnesium in the powder form.  It seems to absorb better and faster.  Calm is a fantastic brand of powdered magnesium.  You can mix it in hot or cold water for a relaxing nightcap.

Teeth Grinding

One last sleep hindrance could be due to your teeth.  Many people, including myself, grind their teeth at night.  Teeth grinding, or Bruxism, is caused by stress and anxiety.  Many of the supplements above, like GABA and L-Tryptophan, reduce stress so they can also reduce teeth grinding.

However, it is wise to invest in a mouthguard as excessive grinding can cause irreversible damage to your teeth.  My orthodontist recommended buying a youth sports mouth guard.  He said that many of the “professional” ones made for teeth grinders are essentially the same thing at a much higher price.  My mouth guard cost me one dollar. As many times as I have lost it, I am thankful for how cheap it is!  Those with larger mouths can buy an adult sport mouth guard.  It takes a bit to get used to, but now I can hardly sleep without mine.

Sleep Soundly

Whatever your sleep issue you may be, there is a natural solution.  I believe quality sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and should be given priority.

Have you ever tried a natural sleep remedy before? 

I’d love to hear what you do when you can’t sleep, whether it is a cup of warm milk or counting sheep.  Share your stories below in the comments section.

 

Amanda Box is a Doctor of Naturopathy and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 10 years and currently has a Naturopathic consulting practice in Sioux Falls, SD.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic doctor to turn to for your personal needs, Dr. Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 


Foods For A Restful Sleep

Could a restful and restorative night’s sleep come down to the foods you eat? Enjoy these top 3 foods for good shut-eye and avoid these top 3 foods that steal sleep.

Having a sleep disorder is a very unhealthy way to live. You can’t focus, you look like you haven’t slept, and your decision making skills are out the window because your concentration is constantly broken.

All the coffee at Starbucks won’t bring you out of it either. What you need, friend is some good old-fashioned sleep.

Without it, you could end up with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a stroke or 2 just because you failed to give your body the restful sleep it needs and deserves to serve you for life.

Lack of sleep makes you much more than tired

Sleep deprivation can be a complicated slew of health problems that you just don’t need. In addition to all of the above, when you don’t sleep you also damage neural pathways – the neural pathways are responsible for your personal recorded history.

When you learn to ride a bike, use a computer, drive a car, play a musical instrument, or even meet people, your brain creates neural pathways that take the learning process and make it automatic. Without these pathways, you lose the ability to learn and retain the steps necessary to execute what you learn. This is especially serious where children are concerned, as their growth into adulthood is governed by the learning process.

We’re not done yet! Lack of sleep can also ruin your thyroid. The thyroid is one of the largest endocrine glands and is responsible for controlling nearly all of your body’s metabolic processes. Without proper sleep, Mr. Thyroid can run amok…because sleep is mandatory – not optional – for the proper secretion of hormones. These hormones help control your weight with metabolism. If you’re your metabolism descends, then your weight ascends – get it? Plus, these hormones are nocturnal; they only come out at night…and only when you sleep.  Sleep deprivation also raises heart rate, blood pressure creating stress. Stress causes and turns an autoimmune response into disease. Autoimmune diseases ruin a perfectly good thyroid.

Lack of appropriate slumbering hours also strains your reproductive organs. The functioning of these organs relies on hormones. Estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone are all released during sleep. They are associated with repair processes that cannot occur if you don’t regularly saw the wood. Furthermore, young people need to be especially mindful of good sleep habits. The days of the “all nighter” in preparation for the big exam are an unhealthy reference to the past. Growth and luteinizing hormones are also sleep-reliant and can only serve a maturing body when it spends 9-11 hours nightly in dreamland.

Now go get some sleep, will you?

What’s that you say? You’re you a visual learner? Okay. Well here’s a checklist showing you that you owe yourself some sleep:

If you…

  • Have trouble paying attention
  • Forget details of a conversation
  • Drop things
  • Ever go through a stop sign or red light (don’t laugh – it happens every day!)
  • Have trouble reading without feeling drowsy
  • Make frequent mistakes at work
  • Have difficulty following instructions
  • Feel over emotional
  • Have a hard time regulating your temperature

If that’s you, then you should probably help yourself to a nap instead of a Red Bull.

If you…

  • Consume caffeine daily  –  you are blocking your sleep initiating amino acids
  • Are under constant stress – your heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels are climbing, preventing you from the deep-sleep benefits of REM
  • Take medication – you are chemically altering hormonal secretions that are natural sleep aids
  • Consume alcohol – you are lowering your core temperature and suppressing sleep regulating hormones along with circadian rhythm induced hormones for reproduction, growth and renal function (circadian rhythm is a biological cycle that revolves around a 24 hour period)
  • Use tobacco – you are decreasing your levels of oxygen and increasing your heart rate
  • Are going through menopause, your decrease in estrogen and progesterone can interfere with your body’s melatonin levels
  • Don’t exercise – you are storing more waste products and avoiding a vital cleansing process
  • Snore – you’re at an increased risk for sleep apnea that can lead to irreversible brain damage
  • Eat fried foods – you are increasing the production of gastric juices and putting your swallower on auto-pilot – interrupting the muscle paralysis needed during REM
  • Eat carbs or drink sugary beverages – your rise in blood sugar interrupts the circadian cycle and could result in diabetes
  • Eat high sodium foods – you disrupt electrolyte balance
  • Are pregnant – avoid all of the above causes of sleep deprivation, because your baby’s health depends on you getting enough sleep

In no time, you could settle-up with your sleep debt and get your life back on track.

See, being mindful about your diet and lifestyle will serve to fortify all of your systems and support all of your life’s events – including sleep.

So, here are…

3 foods to enjoy while repaying your sleep debt

1.  Healthy, whole foods with minerals

Minerals like magnesium and potassium can be very helpful for restorative restful sleep. Try a little snack of banana, raisins, cantaloupe or apricots.

Don’t feel like fruiting? Try a bit of avocado, artichoke, beans or nuts. These will serve you in 2 ways:

  • You get your sleepy-time minerals
  • Your brain won’t wake you up because it needs to be fed.

Just be careful not to overeat before bedtime and don’t take your snack less than 45 minutes before bed.

2.  Tryptophan

Can’t sleep? Try the “Thanksgiving Remedy.” Have a couple pieces of turkey with a glass of milk. These foods are highest in tryptophan, a natural amino acid that lullabies your mind into a peaceful nap. Other foods high in tryptophan include: tuna, oysters, clams, and soy products.

3. Tea

There are many herbal teas out there to choose from to help achieve restful sleep. Some popular favorites are peppermint, fruit, chamomile, kava kava and valerian. But, be warned: the last two are powerful sleep inducers and have a distinctive, acquired, earthy taste.

So, that’s what TO do. Here’s what NOT to do:

3 foods to avoid while repaying your sleep debt

1. Fried foods

They may be tasty…they may be comfort foods in the south…but they can cause heartburn when you’re trying to sleep. Your gastric juices are normally suppressed during sleep, but the Colonel’s extra crispy chicken will stimulate production of stomach acid, which can keep you up and in pain. Fried foods also induce a swallow reflex that interrupts your REM cycle. During REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, you experience muscle paralysis to keep you still during this crucial period in your sleep. Any automatic reflex will bring you out of it and cause unrest.

2. Carbs

Seems like we’re always poo-pooing carbs…The truth is cutting down on them or avoiding them altogether during your waking hours should be the same during the night since your blood sugar management skills are compromised. Carbs spike blood sugar levels when you sleep, which can mean double trouble for you.

3. Alcohol

What? No nightcap? Alcohol may seem like a good idea. After all, it relaxes you, takes the edge off and makes you sleepy. But, those effects wear off and your brain can wake you up in the middle of the night. Once you’re up, chances are you won’t be getting back to sleep. You may wake up with a headache, dehydration or even having to go to the bathroom. Over time, alcohol induced sleep becomes even less restful. So, you’ll be less and less focused and productive during your waking hours.

If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, your dinner could be to blame. Don’t let these foods steal your sleep from tired and weary eyes.

Be a champion sleeper

Don’t take the fast and easy escape.  Alternating between Riesling and Ambien to fight off sleeplessness will hinder sleep later and disturb dreaming once the drowsy buzz wears off. Instead, indulge in chamomile tea and a hot bath to fall asleep and stay asleep. A more natural approach to slumber will coax you mind and body to rest in your cozy bed. Your sleep pattern will improve with good quality-sleep and a peaceful mind – worth every second of shut-eye.

Soon, you’ll doze off on cue, snooze soundly for seven hours, dream blissfully and always wake up rested.

Tomorrow is the 1st day of the rest of your life. Shouldn’t you be alert and ready for it?

 

 

 

 

 

How Certain Healthy Foods Can Relieve Your Aches and Pains

New studies show some healthy foods have the ability to reduce the stings that go ouch in the night…and day

Comfort food has long been heralded as just what the name implies: gratification through nourishment. Yet, there is another synonym for comfort that is of particular interest to us here at Home Cures That Work: relief.

.

Comfort food makes us feel safe, calm and cared for. It’s a combination of memory, history and brain chemistry. Most of us are soothed by the soft, sweet, smooth, salty and unctuous — the specifics are highly personal.

In fact, this little word that means so much has inspired this month’s issue. But is there any truth in the ability to relieve pain naturally by eating? Glad you asked! Because that’s just what we’re going to find out – right here, right now.

Today, we are going beyond chocolate donuts, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cookies. They are all comfort foods, no doubt, but they have little value on your health outside of a quick boost in serotonin. Sure it makes you feel good, but carbs and starches can pack on the pounds too.

What we are talking about is actual pain relief from certain foods that are not usually associated with comfort. These are healthy food eats that appear to have some proven benefits in knocking out inflammation – even if it’s just through a mood change.

Chewing On The Possibilities – Is Soy A Breakthrough In Pain Management?

Jill Tall, PhD at Youngstown State University in Ohio, says we should not expect a prescription of tofu for pain just yet, but recognizes the potential. “I do believe that as an adjunct to traditional therapies, there are some possibilities,” Dr. Tall said. A couple of the possibilities she is talking about are soy and cherries.

A study conducted with 135 men and women has shown soy has the power to reduce pain from osteoarthritis. The control group consumed 40 grams of soy protein each day for a period of 3 months. Those taking the soy saw a reduction in the arthritic aches and pains, as well as enjoying an improved range of motion in affected joints. Men saw the greatest improvement. Though they are still not sure why soy is so effective, the basic idea is that soy contains isoflavones that have anti-inflammatory properties.

Based on the study, a practical thought comes from Srinivasa N. Raja, MD, a pain management specialist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He said you would have to eat an unrealistic amount of edamame to hit 40 grams of soy protein, so you are better off mixing a shake with soy protein powder.

Now take a closer look at cherries. Anthocyanins, which give cherries their deep, red color, are also anti-inflammatory substances. They may even be a hair better than the power of aspirin, according to Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, a food-safety researcher at Michigan State University. They do not know what the most effective dosage is, but they encourage folks to eat them at will because, pain management aside, they are good for you!

But Wait – There Is More!

In addition to soy and cherries, here are some additional healthy foods that can reduce pain:

  • Grapes
    The skin of grapes contains resveratrol, a compound proven in lab experiments to fight cancer, lower blood sugar levels and yes, reduce cell inflammation. Its benefits have been compared to a COX-2 inhibitor like Vioxx, but unlike Vioxx, there are ZERO dangerous side effects. No lawsuits have been filed and no risk of heart attack ever went up from eating too many grapes!
  • Olive Oil
    Popeye loved her – and for good reason. Adding olive oil to your diet is a great way to get the same benefit of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). It comes from an ingredient called oleocanthal that is known to keep messenger molecules called prostaglandins from causing inflammation and pain.
  • Physic Nut
    No, I am not talking about someone who is crazy for matter and its movement through the space-time continuum. This is another name for an evergreen shrub that lives in Central America and Mexico. An extract from the leaves of the physic nut – or Jatropha curcas – is a powerful pain reliever and has been used as traditional medicine for years in many parts of the world. At 200 – 400 mg doses, this extract is as successful in reducing pain as aspirin.
  • Omega-3s
    What aren’t they good for? Get them in healthy food servings of cold water fish. Also, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Whole Foods
    If not already, fruits, berries, and vegetables need to become part of your diet. For so many reasons, but 5 or more servings of green and bright colored vegetables, whole fruits, and mixed berries can specifically help reduce pain by lifting your mood.

In addition to certain anti-inflammatory effects of raw foods, feeding your body right and training it to crave the right stuff will give you the same serotonin rush that certain fattening comfort foods give you — only it will last longer. An improved mood has been shown to lower pain because feeling happy makes everything feel better!

What To Avoid

You knew this was coming…

In addition to doing the right thing to put a freeze on your pain, you should also know what not to do. If you are taking the proper, natural steps to feel better, you do not want to make your job harder by doing things that serve to exacerbate your condition.

There is nothing new here either. We have been telling you to avoid these things for years and now you have another compelling reason.

The following items can cause your aches and pains to worsen:

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*Courtesy www.optiderma.com…and from www.food.com

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