Deborah Madison, cookbook author and founding chef of Greens restaurant in San Francisco, recommends adding the following foods to your diet to help fight pain. Deborah Madison has also published eight award winning cookbooks including Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (Broadway, 1997) and Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madisons Kitchen (Broadway, 2006):
Pain relief for a variety of conditions, including headaches, Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
Powerful anti-inflammatory, particularly useful in the relief of pain from rheumatoid arthritis.
A popular remedy for gout. Can help relieve both chronic and acute types of pain.
A source of salicylates, naturally occurring pain compounds. Contain capsaicin, which stimulates the release of endorphins.
The true, or green version, of this spice is useful in relieving stomach pain and digestive cramps. A member of the ginger family, it offers many of the same properties.
A rich source of the chemical phenylalanine, which helps reduce and control pain.
Recipe for Healing:
RED LENTIL & VEGETABLE SOUP WITH TURMERIC & COCONUT MILK
Turmeric has been used to address pain associated with headache, gout, arthritis, swelling, and tendonitis over the years. There is a generous amount of turmeric in this red lentil and vegetable soup. Any tendency it has to become acrid is corrected by the inclusion of plenty of lime juice and creamy coconut milk.
4 tsp. ghee butter or sunflower seed oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1 celery stalk, peeled and diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup finely diced winter squash or zucchini
1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
3 tbs. cilantro stems, minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup red lentils, rinsed well
1 can light coconut milk
juice of 12 limes, or to taste
2 scallions, including an inch of the greens, thinly sliced freshly ground pepper to taste
Over medium heat, melt the butter or heat the oil in a wide soup pot. Add the vegetables and cilantro stems and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, turmeric, and cumin, and cook another 3 or 4 minutes before adding the rinsed lentils and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils have broken down and are sufficiently tender, about 20 minutes. Puree about half of them in a blender and return them to the soup. Stir in the coconut milk and return the soup to a boil. Taste for salt and add several grindings of pepper and season to taste with lime juice.
Serves 4 – 6