Top 5 Foods for Summer
By: Dr. Peter Abaci, founder of Painreliefrevolution.com
Well, it’s summer—which means the sun is out, the days are longer, and we all should be getting out more to exercise, walk, bike, and just goof off. This is a good time to loosen up those joints and tight muscles and start moving. Spring also offers us some great seasonal food options to reduce inflammation so that we can exercise more comfortably. Here are some suggestions of what to look for that is fresh right now:
1- Cherries: The darkly pigmented cherries, in particular, carry large quantities of powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These anthocyanins help protects us from cancer, dementia, heart disease and chronic pain by inhibiting inflammation at a cellular level. Cherries are also high in melatonin, which in addition to regulating sleep may also protect the body from cancer. One animal study found them to be just as effective as the anti-inflammatory medication, indomethacin, and another found cherry juice reduced muscle pain in long-distance runners. Eating twenty cherries provides approximately 25 milligrams of anthocyanins which is considered enough to shut down the enzymes causing inflammation in the body’s tissues.
2- Salmon: It is salmon fishing season in many local waters right now which means this is a great time to enjoy this well-known source of omega-3-fatty acids and vitamin D. Omega-3-fatty acids contain potent anti-inflammatory properties and research has been positive in finding reductions in muscle, nerve, and joint pain with omega-3-fatty acid supplementation. Vitamin D deficiency is now common in our indoor culture, and vitamin D deficiency is now considered a common factor contributing to muscle aches and pains.
3- Hot Peppers: The hotter peppers offer the advantage of providing high dosages of vitamin C and capsaicin. Capsaicin can have multiple medicinal qualities from improving digestion to lowering blood pressure, but it is also a potent antioxidant that can reduce joint pain and inflammation. Capsaicin cream has become a popular topical agent to treat joint and nerve pain.
4- Apricots: The apricot season is here but it doesn’t last long so don’t miss out. Apricots are a great source of vitamin C and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is another valuable anti-oxidant that also helps with vision and immune function.
5- Radicchio: For you foodies out there, radicchio is a salad favorite in northern Italy, and it is chalked full of healthy nutrients. That includes anti-oxidants like flavonoids and a compound called lactucopicrin that may have a pain relieving effect. Radicchio is also high in B vitamins and vitamin K which means it helps support nerve and bone health.
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