Whether it’s from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or another chronic condition, persistent pain is frustrating at best. There are many therapies available to help reduce discomfort, but one often overlooked lifestyle change is refining your diet. In particular, there are a few foods known for combatting inflammation, a key agent behind chronic pain. Try incorporating some of these foods and ingredients into your diet to see if it makes a difference with your pain levels. Here are some of the best foods to relieve chronic pain:

Soybeans

Soybeans have an anti-inflammatory effect, which could be a result of their powerful, protective phytoestrogens and omega-3 fatty acids. While soybeans are commonly found in prepared products like tofu and soy milk, you can also enjoy them as a protein-rich snack in the form of steamed edamame.

Fish

Experts have been touting the benefits of fish for decades due to the food’s many health-boosting qualities. Cold-water fish, in particular, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to curb inflammation. Reach for varieties like tuna or salmon for the greatest benefits.

Cherries

Delicious tart cherries are convenient, low-calorie snacks loaded with antioxidants. They’re also good sources of cyanidin, which has anti-inflammatory effects even stronger than that of vitamin E. The compound is known for reducing pain caused by arthritis and gout, in particular.

Turmeric

Turmeric’s most active compound, curcumin, is a potent anti-inflammatory agent which is believed to help control the symptoms of arthritis. It can also help to improve depression symptoms and even aid in the prevention of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease. Try the seasoning with your eggs, rice, or even in a smoothie.

Foods with Vitamin D

Interestingly, vitamin D deficiencies are very common among people with chronic pain. While experts are still unsure as to whether a deficiency could exacerbate existing pain or actually cause it in the first place, getting ample intake of this nutrient is clearly important for keeping discomfort at bay. With your doctor’s approval, consider taking supplements or getting vitamin D from sources such as fatty fish and egg yolks. Just try to steer clear of cow’s milk, which has inflammatory properties that may worsen pain.

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