National Pain Week – Food as Medicine


Article by Megan from Too Tasty to Throw.

Given this week is National Pain Week for Chronic Pain and other illnesses, we thought it would be a good opportunity to show some love to those of you suffering chronic pain and have a look at how using the ‘whole’ of your fruit and vegetables to reduce waste can help relieve symptoms….

Welcome the humble lemon peel. Costing just under $1 and easy to pop in your bag and carry around with you, its benefits are under appreciated. Indeed, the health rewards from drinking its insides (lemon juice) to help fight colds and flu and also to detoxify the system are well known. But did you know that the peel has up to 10 times more vitamins and minerals than the juice itself? It is rich in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene, folate, magnesium, potassium, pectin and fibre, that help your body to repair and heal and also they help relieve chronic pain. To elaborate, benefits include:

  • Fighting joint pain – Lemon peel is rich in vitamin C , with more than twice as much as the juice itself. Vitamin C has a healing action within the body and helps in the formation of protein that is important for the formation of ligaments, tendons and skin and to fight joint pain.
  • Relieving and repairing pain felt from injuries – Vitamin C present in bones repairs the damaged cartilages that connect bones and also help to heal wounds and relieve pain due to injury. Lemon peel keeps your bones, cartilages and even teeth in good health.
  • Fighting pain from a weakened immune system – Vitamin C in lemon peel also helps relieve the pain of sore throats and cold / flu and to boost immunity.
  • Reducing and preventing pain from various bone conditions – The high amount of vitamin c and calcium in lemon peels helps prevent and reduce pain from osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory polyarthritis and other bone conditions.
  • Fighting cancer and eradicating toxins – Lemon peels help eradicate toxic elements in the body, helping fight the pain felt from cancer by assisting in eradicating from the body carcinogenic elements and curbing the division of cancerous cells. Lemon peels consist of components known as salvestrol Q40 and limonene, which are known to fight against cancerous cells in the body. Also, the flavenoids in the peel are effective when curbing the division of cancerous cells
  • Minimising pain felt from high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetic heart disease – digesting lemon peels helps lower the LDL cholesterol through its polyphenol flavonoids and Vitamin C / P help clear blood vessels.

So, if we know the benefits to relieve pain, how do we go about using the peel? Well, it is easier than it might first seem. Simply freeze a lemon whole and grate over your meals, in your drinks and on your soups / stews for a zesty flavour and some awesome pain relief / other benefits as above. You can also dry the peel and add it to your meat marinades.

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Also, for some inspiration, try the recipes below:

Lemon Peel Joint Pain Recipe:

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. 2 large lemons
  3. Eucalyptus leaves
  4. A jar with lid
  5. Clean gauze

Place the peel in a jar with the eucalyptus oil and add enough oil to cover. Close the jar tightly and leave the mixture to sit for two weeks. After this time, add some of the remedy to some gauze and apply to the painful area – ideally overnight so it can soak in. You should experience benefits almost immediately.

Lemon Peel Tea Recipe:

  1. 1 litre of water
  2. 2 lemon peels and the juice

Bring lemon peel and water to the boil for 15 minutes. Then take from heat and add the juice and potentially some honey to taste. Great for pain relief in leg and arm joints.

Lemon Peel Marinade Recipe:

  1. Zest and juice of half a lemon
  2. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  3. 1/4 cup oil
  4. 2 onions
  5. 2 garlic cloves
  6. 1 inch ginger
  7. 2 tbsp honey

Whisk ingredients together until honey is dissolved. Marinate your meat in it for up to 5 hours.


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