Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah

13 Foods that Fight Pain

While many foods taste great, they are also powerful healers in a vibrant multicolor disguise. The best healing remedies also taste fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods won’t cause the nasty common side effects that most drugs cause.

1. Cherries
Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving inflammation. Only two tablespoons of the concentrated juice need to be taken daily for effective results. Sweet cherries have also been found to be effective.

2. Blackberries 3. Raspberries 4. Blueberries and 5. Strawberries
Dr. Nair later found the same anti-pain compound in berries like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries

6. Celery and Celery Seeds
James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and celery seeds, including a substance called apigenin, which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action. Add celery seeds to soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.

7. Ginger
Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body and has been widely used in India to treat pain and inflammation. A study by Indian researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced improvement. The recommended dosage of ginger is between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per day. If you’re taking medications, check with your health practitioner for possible herb-drug interactions.

8. Turmeric
Turmeric (curcuma longa) is the yellow spice commonly used in Indian curries. In research it has been shown to be a more effective anti-inflammatory than steroid medications when dealing with acute inflammation. Its main therapeutic ingredient is curcumin. Research shows that curcumin suppresses pain through a similar mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side effects). Choose a standardized extract with 1500 mg of curcumin content per day.

9. Salmon 10. Mackerel and 11. Herring
Many fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and herring also contain these valuable oils. Omega-3s convert in the body into hormone-like substances that decrease inflammation and pain. According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil is an anti-inflammatory agent. Fish oil acts directly on the immune system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines, compounds known to destroy joints. Many other studies also demonstrate that eating moderate amounts of fish or taking fish oil reduces pain and inflammation, particularly for arthritis sufferers.

12. Flax Seeds and Flax Oil
Freshly-ground flax seeds and cold-pressed flax oil, contain plentiful amounts of fatty acids known as Omega-3s. Do not cook with flax oil otherwise it will have the opposite effect-irritating the body’s tissues and causing pain.

13. Raw Walnuts and Walnut Oil
Raw walnuts and walnut oil also contain the same powerful Omega-3 fatty acids that fight pain and inflammation in the body.

When it comes to pain, food really is the best medicine.



90 responses to “13 Foods that Fight Pain

  1. LindaLou December 10, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Wow, this is a very helpful site. A lot of good information in one place. I have had some interest in natural healing, herbal medicines and that type of thing for a long while now, so I will put this on my blog as a favorite web-site.

  2. docakilah December 10, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Hi LindaLou and thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you like my blog. It’s a labor of love and I enjoy providing helpful information like this to all my readers.

    I appreciate your support and thank you in return.

    Doc Akilah

  3. Sil December 11, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Thank U.
    What we eat and dring is really our best/worst medicine. It`s up to us!

  4. choi sul December 12, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Good information could maybe downsize the amount of pills I take for athritus

    • Hazel Hutchinson December 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

      I was able to eliminate my arthritis meds (of many years) by using an anti-inflammatory diet (Book: Stop Inflamation Now) and drinking LOTS of water (Book: The Body’s Many Cries for Water). When I revert back to eating whatever I want – my body feels it. Appreciate this posting!

  5. Marion Haftel December 14, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Thanks for this great article! It is wonderful to find that foods I love are so helpful!

    • docakilah December 14, 2011 at 8:13 am

      Greetings Marion,
      I’m glad you enjoyed this article.

      I wanted people to know that food is a better choice for pain then over the counter medication.

  6. Carol Allen Anfinsen December 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Wonderful article. I have painful arthritis in my hands, knees and feet. I add ginger and cinnamon to my tea; eat lots of celery (I found myself craving it); eat lots of nuts: almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds; love salmon and curry, and take salmon oil tabs and flax seed oil every day.

    Good to know I was doing something right!

  7. Damiana Corca December 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Excellent information, thanks so much for sharing. I just checked out your clinic, I lived and practiced acupuncture in Chattanoog, TN until recently, I wish I would have known about your place before. Keep up the great work!!

    • docakilah December 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      Oh but you’re only 4 hours away and next year I’m thinking of doing some classes and lectures in your area so I’m sure our paths will cross one day. Thanks for the support.

      take care,

      doc akilah

      • Damiana Corca December 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

        Oh, I moved to Boulder, Colorado just a few months ago. If you come to Boulder or Denver please met me know! It would be an honor to meet you.

      • Ailec December 20, 2011 at 5:44 am

        Hello Dr Akilah!!

        My name is Ailec, used to live in SF, CA for long time. Last October I moved to Bern, Switzerland. Bern, is located at a high altitud.. my sinus is killing me….. Do you have any suggestion for nasal irrigations and to prevent it? I was unavailable to find the Neti pot here ;-(((! Thank you so much for your post… I used to work in Sports medecine clinic in Saint Francis Hospital in SF… and all the staff there are very supportive of natural food healers!!
        Happy Holidays


      • docakilah December 20, 2011 at 8:31 am

        Hi Allec,

        Just order the Neti pot online and have it shipped to your location in Switzerland.

        Happy Holidays to you too!

        Doc Akilah

  8. John Myslicki December 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    What a powerful article… putting the power of pain control back into the hands of patients. Added benefit of no nasty side effects equals WIN-WIN. Doc… you ROCK!!

  9. Helen December 15, 2011 at 5:41 am

    I once heard, or read, about using rosemary tea to combat headaches … I occasionally make a cup – just from culinary dried rosemary from the kitchen cupboard – and it often seems to have some effect. However I am perfectly prepared to accept that the warmth and comfot of the steam, or the drink itself, as well as rehydration from the drink, may be playing a large part in the treatment. Still, I thought it might be interesting to share in case others have any information or experience, or wish to try this.

    • David December 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      Hello, Helen I was told some yrs. ago that Rosemary oil was good for the relief of ear pain.
      What species of Rosemary do U use?

  10. jack crawford December 15, 2011 at 6:06 am


  11. Gandalfe December 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I have Blepharitis and it can be excruciating. Flaxseed supplements have reduced this problem to one or two outbreaks a year (instead of monthly). My eye doctor didn’t tell me about this; my wife the nurse figured it out!

  12. Leah December 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Yesterday I was in considerable pain, but after eating soup with celery in it, I felt much better. Had no idea why, but then I read this article today – interesting coincidence! Maybe you’re onto something here.

  13. Pingback: 13 Foods that Fight Pain | youngloveafter50

  14. Michelle December 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Herbs have been around forever, they grow naturally and they have been used for healing for centuries. This cure are very low cost and pharmaceutical corporation lose profit because of natural cures. This is why they work hard to suprress any natural cures. Drugs are synthetic chemical reproductions sold by the large pharmaceutical corporations at highly inflated prices.

  15. Martin Aus Berlin December 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    cannabis seeds contains omega3 and does not need to kill life!

  16. Mike December 19, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Providing our bodies with the right food is crucial. We survived for thousands of years without the big labs synthesizing unnatural drugs. Not saying there are no good man made drugs, but there’s no reason we need all of the stuff we have now.

  17. Diane Barham December 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Maybe fresh celery will help my blood pressure go down along with watching my salt intake. (?)

  18. Deepesh B. Vaidya December 19, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    wonderful Article, thanks for sharing such useful information with world….

  19. Suresh Chavan December 19, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    great WORK, Need to pass such good information,keep it up

  20. ryn December 20, 2011 at 12:05 am


  21. Evangeline Co December 20, 2011 at 1:44 am

    I have really got the muscles pain and headache and lack of exercise. I learn about the doctor’s consultant.

  22. lizr December 20, 2011 at 4:45 am

    My husband was taking multiple doses (and overdoses) of Ibuprofen every day for pain when he was working. He started taking turmeric instead and found that it was more effective. He had been very skeptical and was shocked that it worked so well. He is retired now and thankfully does not have the same soreness issues, but we both use turmeric for occasional aches and pains.

  23. Davette Brown December 20, 2011 at 5:40 am

    I didn’t know about using the sweeter berries and cherries or the celery. I need all the help I can get. :o)

  24. joane December 20, 2011 at 7:33 am

    thanks…… peace, love, light

  25. sordog1 December 20, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Great info! Have been getting some fresh ginger, flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds in my green smoothies every day. After reading this, I am inspired again to add turmeric in the mix somewhere. Integrating it taste wise is the issue. Ahhhh, a challenge!
    Shiva Steve Ordog

  26. Wendy Rock December 20, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I had pain in my legs & hips. Supplements didn’t help much, flax seeds helped initially but not for long; when I started eating salmon, the pain went away & has not returned! I eat a small piece twice a week.

  27. Daniel White December 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Thank you for watching out for humanity!

  28. Balsillie & Associates December 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Found your blog through a Facebook post, and glad I did.

  29. Kristen Gustafson December 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    cannabis is also very good for pain – eating it, cooking with it or adding it to healing salve are three very effective ways of addressing pain. cannabis tincture is also effective for pain .

    • David December 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

      Good comments, especially about cannabis, can’t use it cause the legal situition. My Dad told me 45 yrs. ago they used it in his home town in Mexico, no legal problems there.

  30. janet riley December 20, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks! Great info!
    I’ve been needing to find something to replace the anti-inflammatory meds I’ve used to control the pain associated with my Rheumatoid and Osteo arthritis. Having problems with recurrent gastric ulcers so had to quit taking Aleve and don’t want to take pain meds. Thank you so much!

  31. Althea December 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    This is amazing information! I love that this is compiled in one place. Great place to reference to. Thanks so much for sharing with us!!!

  32. rolf December 21, 2011 at 1:09 am

    also look for Butterfly Pea (Clitorea ternatea) who is very good for the boddy..

  33. amy snow December 21, 2011 at 10:16 am

    please place my on your emailer

  34. Donna Vogel December 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Thanks so much. We are too pill oriented when there are many things that work as well or better without the risks and side effects. I also recommend ice. It works better than any anti-inflammatory manufactured pill. If a company is advertising something, it means there is profit motive going on, not pain relief for us. I have chronic, daily, pain and take no pharmaceuticals. This gives me more tools in my toolbox.

  35. nickilisacole December 21, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Great tips, thank you for sharing! I recently heard on the radio that Olive Oil & Ibuprofin have an anti-inflammatory property in common. In sum, “Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center and coworkers have discovered that those back-of-the-throat receptors recognize a anti-inflammatory agent in EVOO called oleocanthal. The chemical is a potent inhibitor of an inflammatory enzyme called COX (cyclooxygenase). And that’s just how ibuprofen works to reduce inflammation.” In the radio story it was pointed out that a Mediterranean diet, heavy in olive oil, has long been recognized for its variety of health benefits.

  36. lennyluo December 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    By the way, an old family remedy for leg cramps is to drink pickle juice straight for immediate relief, or to eat mustard. I guess it has something to do with providing potassium to the body.

  37. Pingback: 13 Foods that Fight Pain | Ready For The Shift

  38. lucid8 December 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Loved reading this because I consume a lot of the stuff mentioned here, guess I am healthier than I thought.

  39. Rowtie Singh December 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    hi help me my son is 3 years since age 3 months he is suffering from recurrent mouth ulcers lesions also lowered immune with lowered neutrophils within the last year he became anemic with 1 + microcytosis and 2 + hypochromia. we were vegetarians but by doctors orders we r now vegans but no soy allowed a trial to see if there is food allergies he is on antibiotics everyday to reduce the aggresession of the lesions. my questions what has inflammatory properties to help him with the ulcers he is yet to be diagnosed i am presently raising funds you can go to this link on facebook and see the pictures and read the info he is a mystery so farhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-Sweet-Suryaa-Singh/261353957216365 many thanks

    • docakilah December 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm

      I highly suggest you take your son to a Naturopathic Doctor in your area. The fact that he’s taking antibiotics everyday is SCARY because this will cause even more health problems in the future.

    • Kitty December 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      I was just hospitalized for two weeks for mouth ulcers. They not only covered my mouth, by my throat and vocal cords. I couldn’t eat, drink or talk. Needless to say, I became very dehydrated. Turned out, it was Crohn’s Disease. I was already aware I had Crohn’s in my intestines, but it was the first time it showed up in another part of my body. Turns out, I am one of the rare 5% of Crohn’s patients who have it in every part of their body. It sounds like your son has the same symptoms I have. I’m doing much better now, but it definitely has taken a lot of meds and the right foods to get better. Best of luck.

  40. JC Barrow (@jcCOA_DC) December 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I like that this article spells out one of the many uses of these foods – continuous education is critical to maintain health and well-being

  41. HURLCO December 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Personally, I prefer opiates. Hey, someone had to say it. :_)
    However, the fallout of tissue dependence and getting crazy had a most deleterious impact on the quality of my life. So, I’ve Rolling In The Deep with ginger, C, B-12, Cayenne & D for the myriad of ailments besetting a 57 year old Irishman who beat the living hell out of his temple during years of debauchery.
    Thanks for the post Doc.

  42. Deon December 27, 2011 at 5:10 am

    This is BRILLIANT! I don’t normally take pills and value this info. We destroy our bodies with medication so let’s enjoy what God has provided – the fruit/food of His creation. Tks dr

  43. Kitty December 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Seems like a good list to follow for arthritis pain and headaches, although some of these foods (specifically the berries, celery, seeds, and nuts) will cause pain for those with inflammation in the bowls (IBS, colitis, crohn’s), so watch out there. I agree cannabis is a huge help. I’ve had crohn’s and rheumatoid arthritis for 10 years now and it is always a catch-22 when it comes to foods and meds. It helps to know what foods (and medicines!) do what. Keep up the good work.

  44. Robert Britt December 28, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Hello Doc Akilah, Great list of natural curatives and/or treatments. Love it. Any thoughts on acid reflux? I have been in contact with a company that has a Manuka Honey product and am posting some information soon on The All Health Network, but also wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks!
    Rob Britt

    • docakilah December 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      Hi Robert,
      Acid Reflux requires a personalized program based upon each individual. I have about 5 or 6 clients naturally cure themselves of Acid Reflux through my program.

  45. Pingback: 13 Foods That Fight Pain. | Dr Steve Tucker, BSc DC, Montreal Chiropractor and Yoga Instructor

  46. Girliekick December 29, 2011 at 1:57 am

    How do eating these foods benefit those with lupus? Or does it have negative effects?

  47. Scott December 30, 2011 at 2:47 am

    These foods are all so good! I could eat tonnes at a time. Thank you for the very inforamative blog, I am bookmarking it for future reference. 🙂

  48. Douglas Hotchkiss December 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

    i got plagued with shingles -then prostate malfunctions- then something like fibromyalgia and arthritis..i’ve been through the most applicable meds and found neurontin helped me alot.
    tramadol was ok by me.. and i would say cannabis has receptors that help manage pain/mood. i did a fair amount of mushrooms this year thanks to the neighbors cows and nowdays i only take alieve and benadryl. i wouldnt recommend this for just anyone, but in my quest to feel out the source of my difficulties and salvage some life i’m lead to studies on intrinsic brain connectivity,the levels of substance p in the spinal fluid, misfires in the insular cortex..which i equate to ” too much amperage” basically..-so with the ‘shrooms and cannabis ,being ” spaced out” is a good feeling.
    i feel my body and thoughts ” unclench”, let alot of hurts out.. so i can rustle up some gumption for another trudge.

  49. Douglas Hotchkiss December 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

    oh, i would add.. probiotics -good for the guts..and juniper berry tea is something i can recommend
    for when it hits below the belt. avocado, banana, coconut milk, mangos..yes- whole foods..wheatgrass- which i just cant bring myself to drink-( it should be in suppository form if you ask me.) give up coffee. nicotine. i try to have a two drink maximum policy.. i love my morning hot packs, and have to stretch all the live long day. . pace yourself. peace yourself..

  50. Andrew B January 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    You make mention of many foods, but you don’t indicate the quantity required to benefit from their consumption.

    I suffer from Ankylosing Spondylitis and live on weekly injections of Enbrel, as well as twice daily doses of Voltaren (75mg) and I still have pain (mostly from a bulging disc in my lower back). If you’re saying I can benefit further from these foods, then detail how much and how.

    I’m only 39 and have been dealing with this for over 5 years. Help!

    • docakilah January 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      If you need weekly injections of Enbrel along with two daily doses of Voltaren for pain than free “blind” advice will not help you. If you are looking for holistic remedies to naturally cure your condition then you MUST see a naturopathic doctor in your area.

      • Andrew B January 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm

        How is asking how much of each food is necessary to experience the benefits you speak of related to my medication or pain level? It is a generic question that any of your readers should be asking. Without an idea of quantity, it is like saying “take ibuprofen, it reduces inflammation”, but not giving a dosage or frequency.

      • docakilah January 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm

        Because that’s personalized service and I don’t provide free personalized service. I answer general questions only. Your question is not general, it’s to your specific needs.

        You are on some heavy meds that barely work. If the drugs you are taking are not working for you, how do you expect food to help? Your entire lifestyle has to be revised in order to reverse your condition. What you are asking is not general at all. You are seeking professional advice. So once again, seek a ND in your area and schedule an appointment.

        BTW – Everyone is different. We all have different height, weight and lifestyle. I could NEVER indicate the quantity required because everyone is different. My job is to list the foods. Your job is to find out how much you need to reap the benefits. If you don’t want to do this on your own………….hire a professional.

  51. Carolyn Korski January 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Is it possible to get the daily serving sizes of each? I only see it listed for Cherries and Turmeric. Thanks!

  52. Beverly Jane January 6, 2012 at 11:41 am

    We are so fortunate that we were directed to you through a forum we belong to. Black Cherries are on my list. I fortunately love all the spices and herbs mentioned and use all of them in my cooking most of the time. I have medical assistance after having a flat line heart attack (not told to my by the specialists that it was entirely due to high level of stress at work). Out of work 6 months. 45 per cent of my heart is working and went back to work 60 hours a week for the next 12 years. Doing well except for: Fibromyalgia (sp?). From under arms to bottom of my feet hurt so bad that I could scream and MRI also show Spinal Stenosis and two blown discs. Anything besides ginger that will help me. I use fresh ginger all the time and drink ginger tea daily two or three times. I am now 72 and still going strong except for extreme leg pain. Your response would be greatly appreciated. BJ

  53. Dannie January 9, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Its all natural and herbal way to cure pain from our body with the help of all mention spices ingredients are useful for fresh and cooking. while cherries are quite sour and sweet in taste helpful our body to control pain, stay fit and healthy. pain relief information also provided on choosedrugs.com

  54. Dannie January 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Thanks so much. We are too pill oriented when there are many things that work as well or better without the risks and side effects. I also recommend ice. It works better than any anti-inflammatory manufactured pill. If a company is advertising something, it means there is profit motive going on, not pain relief for us. I have chronic, daily, pain and take no pharmaceuticals. This gives me more tools in my toolbox.choosedrugs.com

  55. Pamila January 14, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Thank you. Great info. I know Ginger helped me when I was pregnant.


  56. The Green DIET January 17, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Congratulations for this page!

  57. Pratik January 23, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Most people unnecessary suffer pain because they fail to provide the entire range, quantity & multi-realmic quality of nutrients needed in the right mutual proportion by the pain-causing organ for self-repair every day.

    That’s where MicroVita SuperDiet pitches in. Thankyou Dr. Akilah.

  58. Phoebe Collins (please do not publish or share, my name or address. Thanks. January 25, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I may have a gout diagnosis… don’t know yet, as I am waiting on the test results… but I have painful toes and toe joints (at the ball of my right foot). Do you have any suggestion for pain reduction through foods for this? Thanks!

  59. Dana January 31, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    I have fibromyalgia and other problems. I eat everything on the list!

  60. Donna February 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    IMPORTANT: AVOID CHICKEN AND TURKEY WHEN YOU HAVE INFLAMMATION. These foods INCREASE pain! They have tryptophan, that amino acid that makes you sleepy after Thanksgiving. However, it is inflammatory. I injured my arm recently and tested this out. Within 10 minutes of eating chicken/turkey, my pain level jumped tremendously. Goji Berries reduced the pain a lot; I ate them by the handfuls.

  61. Connie February 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Hubby has a herniated disc and moderate to severe arthritis in his back and pain meds, cortisol shots, all that doesn’t work. Going to a chiropractor and was told he can’t get surgery so what to do to get him working again? He’s a CNC Operator and does heavy lifting at work and a few Drs told him to quit before but not sure what to do

  62. Tanya February 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    those with herniated discs..i had my herniated disc manipulated back into place with the very gentle methods of a physiotherapist (physical therapist) Find one who does manual manipulation…with these letters to signify proper training: FCAMPT OR FCAMT Also, not all physios, despite their training, are the same, some are much better than others. My physio had the disc back in place with 3 treatments and some follow ups.

  63. Felicity February 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Thank you for info

  64. Eldartist March 1, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Curcumin is amazing!

  65. Lotusjiao March 5, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Some food are effective for keeping health, but we should take it correctly.

    !Lotus jiao

  66. natural joint pain relief May 21, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Thanks for the information I eat Ginger all the time, I must say that it helps! I also take garlic for my immune system.

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