Dealing with chronic pain is tough. Whether you’re just feeling stiff and achey or you’re suffering with a condition like arthritis, it can get in the way of performing your usual daily activities and interfere with your quality of life. Luckily, dietary interventions may help to reduce discomfort. Experts suggest that eating beans for pain management might be something you want to consider.
Eating Beans for Pain — Why It Works
Eating beans might work for pain management because they fight one of the main causes of pain — inflammation.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to invaders, and it helps protect us from infection and disease. However, certain things like constant stress, lack of sleep, sedentary lifestyle, and poor nutrition can cause you to be constantly — or chronically — inflamed. Chronic inflammation happens when our bodies are exposed to immune-system-triggering substances like harmful chemicals, microbes, stress hormones, and pollutants. Even worse, being chronically inflamed can lead to health conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and you guessed it — pain.
Beans of all varieties may be part of a pain-reducing diet because they contain phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds act as antioxidants that fight inflammation in the body. In fact, the antioxidant compounds in beans have been found to fight inflammation associated with conditions like colorectal and intestinal cancer!
Due to their anti-inflammatory powers, experts say beans are a great addition to your diet if you often experience pain, particularly if you struggle with a condition like arthritis. Writing for the Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network, Hugh Duckworth, MD says, “Just as whole grains are important to a rheumatoid arthritis diet, so are a variety of beans and nuts. Beans like red beans and kidney beans are full of fiber and protein and can help boost the immune system and lower inflammation.”
As for which types of beans to add to your diet, red beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans are said to contain the most antioxidants. The studies mentioned above on cancer cells demonstrated that both canned beans and dry beans have anti-inflammatory effects, so start incorporating them into your diet today!
Not so experienced using beans in the kitchen? Check out this recipe for a delicious Quinoa Black Bean Cheesy Enchilada Skillet, or this Garlic-Cheddar Pinto Bean Dip. You can even try them in a dessert like in these decadent black bean brownies. Trust us, you won’t even know they’re in there!