Can juicing help with pain management?


Question: “I have had 4 back surgeries and would like to start juicing as a alternative to synthetic medications. What's the best to start out with and how often should you juice on a daily basis.”

Answer:  A lot of pain is caused by inflammation of muscles, joints, tendons etc.  Therefore to treat a lot of pain, we need to look at relieving inflammation.

As far as nutrition in general is concerned, try to avoid red meats, poultry and dairy products and stick to fish – oily fish are great because they have omega fatty acids (you could eat walnuts and pumpkin seeds for these as well) which are also great for your health and can help with inflammation

I realize that staying away from these meats is difficult for many, but they contain a substance (arachidonic acid) that ultimately make inflammation worse. 

Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables which contain a lot of antioxidants (they clean up "bad" molecules in your body that are often released at sites of injury and can damage other cells).  The more "colors" the better when it comes to fruit and veg. The bright colors we see are chemicals in the produce that are hugely beneficial to our health.

For juices, anything high in antioxidants – chard, garlic, oranges,radishes, grapes, carrots & cabbage.

A great antioxidant is vitamin A, so for that, use carrots, kale, parsley, spinach, broccoli.

Vitamin C is great because it inhibits the release of histamines (something that is released at sites of injury and contributes to inflammation).  Vitamin C is great for a lot of other functions too that will help repair damaged areas.  You can get vitamin C from Kale, parsley (Make sure you don't over-do the parsley as it can be toxic in high doses. 1/2 cup a day maximum. ), citrus fruits, etc.  Plus try to get berries, bell peppers, apricots and tomatoes for something called bioflavanoids.  They work with the vitamin C.

Vitamin E is also anti-inflammatory.  Get this from spinach, watercress, carrots & tomatoes.

I'd also put some ginger root into the juicer as this contains a lot of great stuff including copper & zinc  (both are potential anti-inflammatory).  Parsley, garlic & grapes also have copper & zinc.

Also, use some turmeric in your cooking.  In asia it has been used for a long time for sprains and inflamed joints.

Pineapple might also be worth including as it contains an enzyme (bromelain) that might help with inflammation.

So, you have a lot of ingredients there. 

Medical Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and cannot offer you medical advice.  My answers to these questions are only for information purposes and cannot be construed as medical advice.   If you want to go on a juicing program, consult your doctor first.

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About Andy Williams

In a processed food culture, simply eating may not be enough. Andy Williams, B.SC., Ph.D. is a scientist with a strong interest in Juicing and how it can supply the body with the nutrients it needs to thrive in modern society. You can subscribe to his free daily paper called Juicing The Rainbow and follow him on Facebook orTwitter. You can also follow me on Google +

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