Food Is Medicine


After suffering a hamstring tear recently, I discovered something that I should’ve taken advantage of a long time ago. While I was on a 6-day course of prednisone to help the healing process, I had to stop taking ibuprofen. Since that was my primary pain reliever, I quickly realized I was going to need to find something else to ease my discomfort. I did a little research and found that there are many delicious and nutritious foods with anti-inflammatory properties.

So I started experimenting to see if I could find something that I could use to (at least partially) replace the ibuprofen. A quick search revealed a ton of articles on the benefits of anti-inflammatory foods. In fact, I was surprised at how many of these foods I already had in my pantry and fridge. For the record, an 800 mg dose of ibuprofen isn’t easily replaced by eating some blueberries, but it’s a good start. Here’s a quick list of some anti-inflammatory foods that I found helpful during my recovery.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods:

  • Salmon
  • Eggs (boiled or poached)
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Berries (strawberries or blueberries)
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Avocado
  • Nuts (walnuts or almonds)
  • Chia seeds
  • Whole grain bread/crackers
  • Yogurt
  • Green tea
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Dark chocolate
  • Raw oats

If you can’t find something on that list that you enjoy, you may need to reevaluate your priorities. As you can see, everything is packed with nutrition as well as flavor. These foods will also help manage muscle soreness that, if you’re like me, can be an everyday issue. Incorporating a few anti-inflammatory foods into your daily routine is an easy and delicious way to make sure you’re always feeling healthy and pain-free. Food is the first, and often the very best, medicine you should try.

*Pro tip: Before bed, prepare some overnight oats in a jar with milk or yogurt. Mix in your favorite berries, nuts, and spices, then refrigerate. The next morning you’ll have a quick and tasty breakfast ready to go. Overnight oats are an easy way to start your day with an anti-inflammatory boost.

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