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Last month, we talked about the foods said to be associated with pain relief. Now, we’re going to look at the opposite side of the spectrum – foods you should avoid if you have frequent or chronic pain.

If you suffer from chronic pain, stay away from foods belonging to the class nightshades, says Susan Cohen, author of the national column Dear Pharmacist. Plants that are part of the Solanaceae family, nightshades are “known to ignite pain in the muscles, joints and nerves.” Common nightshades include:

  • eggplant
  • white potatoes (potato starches are found in many medications)
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • Tabasco sauce
  • goji berries
  • Cape gooseberries
  • ground cherries
  • garden huckleberries

These foods may be tasty but, according to Susan, they are responsible for “lighting the body’s pain fuse: muscle spasm, aches, joint pain, tenderness, hip pain, inflammation and stiff movement.”

So, try to avoid these foods and find substitutes (e.g. sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes) – your body will thank you!