Many factors can contribute to pain such as biomechanics, activity level, tissue tolerance, psychosocial factors, sleep, and also nutrition. Dietary habits are fundamental to health and well-being, and foods with certain nutrients may help individuals prevent acute and chronic pain. There are substances in foods that are known to be active antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which reduce pain.
Analgesic (pain relieving) natural compounds include flavonoids, ginger root, curcuminoids, Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and taurine. Correct intake of trace elements and minerals is strategic to reduce inflammation-related pain.
Foods containing high amounts of refined carbohydrates and Omega-6 fatty acids are considered significant factors in the development and severity of chronic pain. Modern corn-based foods have very high ratios of pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids compared to anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these fatty acids use the same converting enzymes in the body. Eating foods high in Omega-6 fatty acids increases sensitization of C-fibers, which carry the pain signals to the brain, and can increase neurogenic (nervous system) inflammatory pain. Eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce neurogenic inflammatory mediated pain because they will bind to the pain receptors and block the pain signals being sent to your brain. Some examples of foods that contain pain reducing nutrients are berries, vegetables, citrus fruits, nuts, ginger, and green tea. Examples of other anti-inflammatory trace elements are vitamin D, selenium, magnesium, and zinc.