Pain is a common feeling. It occurs in both children and adults as a result of injury and common illnesses.

It usually occurs when there is a distressing feeling triggered in the nervous system that makes one feel like there is a prick, tingle or burn on any part of their body. This can make one restless to the extent of shedding tears.
As a result, pain killers are usually the most thought of for immediate relief.

These, however, according to researchers come with short and long term side effects including vomiting, high risk of cardiovascular diseases and sometimes liver damage.
But guess what; simple foods in our gardens, fridges and markets can easily relieve your pain without exposing you to any side effects.

According to Wilson Kirabira of the Uganda Dietetic Association (UDA) a professional body of dietitians in Uganda, the following foods can help to release pain if eaten appropriately.

Tangerine
The orange-coloured citrus fruit closely related to mandarin orange can help relieve headache especially that which comes as a result of flu. This, he says easily brings results especially when mixed with water and other high vitamin C rich foods such as fruits.

Water
Water can help to relieve pain by helping to direct more flow of blood to the brain. The headache, Mr Kibira, says usually occurs when the brain is not receiving enough blood. The same, he says equally helps to relieve stomach aches.

Fruit Juice
This has an iron element which is also found in blood and helps the blood flow around the wound to clot easily and reduce / heal the pain. These include oranges, pineapples, mangoes, oranges which are sometimes mixed to form cocktail.

Dark leafy green vegetable
These are rich in vitamins A, C, E and K. They include among others; Salad greens, kale and spinach. Kale and spinach help the body to produce platelets which make the blood flowing around the wound to clot easily and relieve pain. As such, one who eats vegetables will have their wound heal faster and easily compared to one who does not eat them
Nakati whose scientific name is Solanumaethiopicum, is the commonest served dark green vegetable sold and prepared alongside food. It is also commonly grown in Uganda.

Beans and Cow peas
These foods help to relieve pain especially among patients suffering from Arthritis, a condition characterised by inflammation or swelling of the joints and other surrounding tissues. Cow peas and beans, Kirabira says, do not contain acids which accumulate and bring about arthritis.
However, red meat is strongly discouraged among patients with arthritis because it has acids which worsen inflammation.

Exercise
According to the Harvard Medical School website, the right set of exercises can be a long-lasting way to tame ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder pain. Practiced regularly, joint pain relief workouts might permit you to postpone — or even avoid — surgery on a problem joint that has been worsening for years by strengthening key supportive muscles and restoring flexibility.
Over time, you may find limitations you’ve learned to work around will begin to ease.

lnamagembe@ug.nationmedia.com