Joint aches and muscle stiffness shouldn’t get the best of us especially during this time of the year. Luckily, it’s easy to erase summer arghs and nix pain fast by eating these six tasty foods!
Watermelon ends allover ouch.
If a busy day leaves your whole body sore, biting into a refreshing slice of watermelon could put the spring back in your step fast! Researchers at Michigan State University say this sweet treat, in peak season now, brims with a pigment, lycopene, that shuts down the damaging, inflammation-triggering COX-2 enzyme, speeding healing within 24 hours of the first delicious bite.
Peaches heal muscle soreness.
Yum! Peaches are at their sweetest, juiciest ripeness right now, and enjoying two of them daily could cut your muscle stiffness and pain by 60 percent in one week, Australian scientists say. Credit this fruit’s rich stores of vitamin C and beta-carotene, nutrients that reduce muscle inflammation plus activate tissue-healing enzymes.
Cucumbers lubricate stiff and creaky joints.
Munching on a heaping cup of fresh cucumber slices can limber up stiff, sore joints in as little as 30 minutes, and eating them daily cuts the risk of future joint pain by as much as 55 percent, University of Connecticut researchers say. The reason? Cucumbers are rich in a compound (salicylic acid) that reduces joint inflammation, plus they’re 97 percent water, so they help prevent dehydration — a stiffness trigger that’s common when the weather is hot.
Cashews prevent headaches.
Risk of head pain shoots up by 36 percent on hot summer days (blame shortfalls of magnesium, a pain-taming mineral lost in perspiration). The good news: Nibbling on 1⁄2 cup of cashews daily can halve your headache risk in one week. So say UCLA researchers, who reveal that this crunchy treat is packed with 250 mg. of muscle-relaxing magnesium.
Honey halts disruptive heartburn flares.
When barbecue fare or other summertime treats bring on heartburn, enjoying one tablespoon of honey can quash symptoms in 60 seconds — and savoring one tablespoon twice daily can cut your risk of future heartburn flares in half, New Zealand researchers report. Honey’s rich stores of anti-inflammatory enzymes coat the esophagus, shielding delicate mucous membranes from stomach acid while healing damaged tissues.
Avocados banish back pain.
Great news from researchers at the University of Arizona: Eating one avocado a day can cut your back stiffness, muscle tension, and pain by 45 percent in one week, plus boost your flexibility and mobility by 30 percent. Avocados contain 12 times more anti-inflammatory plant oils compared to other fruits, plus they’re rich in tissue-healing plant compounds, oleic acid and carotenoids.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.