The muscle soreness and joint stiffness that slow women down as the weather cools won’t put a damper on your fall fun, thanks to delicious healers that work 3x better than OTC pain meds
1 CHERRY JUICE DIALS DOWN INFLAMMATION
This sweet-tart sip is loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds (called anthocyanins) that have been shown to ease muscle aches three times more effectively than aspirin. To get the benefits in a delicious mocktail, combine 4 oz. tart cherry juice (like Cheribundi, $3 for 8 oz., supermarkets), 1 tbsp. lime juice and 4 oz. seltzer. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.
2 SALMON LUBRICATES TENDONS
Enjoying a 6 oz. serving of salmon three times per week has been shown to soothe joint pain for 60 percent of people — plus cut the ache of allover joint stiffness in half. Researchers at the Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead, Massachusetts, credit the fish’s omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which keep joint tendons lubricated and supple.
4 BRUSSELS SPROUTS BOOST COLLAGEN
Crunching on 1⁄3 cup of these vegetables daily can ease aches fast. That’s because the sulfur that gives them their bitter flavor plays a key role in the production of the collagen proteins that cushion joints, report researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Another boon: Sulfur dilates blood vessels to speed the delivery of healing nutrients to muscles.
3 BULGUR SPEEDS TISSUE HEALING
A delicious remedy for overworked muscles: bulgur wheat. The whole grain is rich in magnesium and potassium — minerals that work to relax muscle tension and improve the flow of nourishing blood to damaged tissues. In fact, a study in The Journal of Pain suggests that eating ⁄2 cup
1 per day can cut the incidence of muscle cramps, spasms and soreness by 33 percent.
5 COCOA TURNS OFF PAIN RECEPTORS
Here’s some sweet news: Savoring 2 oz. of dark chocolate (that’s approximately the amount in one brownie or an average candy bar) can switch off pain receptors in the brain in as little as 20 minutes. How? According to neurologists at the University of Pittsburgh, antioxidants in cocoa stimulate the release of the pain-soothing brain chemical dopamine.