Can Food Fight Pain?

Yes! In fact, many foods have been tested in clinical trials.

It’s true: medical researchers conduct clinical trials on pain using foods and food extracts, and the results are made available to the public through the U.S. government’s PubMed service.

You can often find a medical journal review article that examines all the published trials on a particular food–and tells you the most effective ways to use the food!

One article in Arthritis Research and Therapy (2006) does this for fish oil. It notes that fish oil meets the highest level of medical evidence for treating pain in rheumatoid arthritis, and it instructs doctors on how to prescribe fish oil for pain.

The daily dose has to be quite large, far more than anyone would guess. Other studies on fish oil also emphasize that it takes several months to work, and add that pain relief then increases over time. (See the Fish Oil page for full information.)

And that’s just one example of the valuable information available to us with a little digging.

We know that foods can work against pain; we just need the same information that is available to medical researchers!

The purpose of this site is to bring that information to you. You will see the sources discussed in the text, and you can click through to the full-text journal articles from each food’s References section or from pop-up footnotes.

Different Foods for Everyone

You might be surprised to hear me say this, but exactly which foods have helped me isn’t the point! The point is that there is almost certainly a food or foods that will help reduce or eliminate your pain.

To get there, however, count on having to try more than one food or diet.

The good news is: once you get started, and get some kind of benefit, you want to try more! That was my experience.

There may be significant effort in trying new foods, changing your diet, and keeping track of what works best. That was my experience, too.

It was also the best thing I ever did. I hope it will be for you, too.



Start Here!

Vitamin D

Ask your doctor for a vitamin D test. Vitamin D deficiency causes bone, muscle, and joint pain–and even headaches. Read here

Healthy Fats

Are you getting enough of the right kinds of fats? The American diet is high in junk fats and low in essential healthy fats. The lack of essential fats causes pain.

See how fats can help in the fish oil and coconut oil pages.

Pain-Fighting Foods that May Work Quickly

TurmericGingerTart CherriesMangosteen Juice

Pain-Fighting, High-Nutrient Foods that Take Longer

Wheatgrass JuiceWhey Protein


This site is about food. Nothing on this site constitutes medical advice. Always consult your physician for diagnosis or treatment.