Back Pain and Your Diet
We all know that an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to being over weight and eventually obesity. Staying in the healthy weight range will not only support your body to stay healthy but will also support your Back, which is a main support of our body. Regular exercise is a must for keeping your back healthy and strong, however it must also be supported properly by what we consume in our daily diets.
The major dietary causes of back pain are caffeine, alcohol and sugar. These increase cortisol levels, which in turn causes connective tissue to be inflamed, causing pain, specifically back pain. These three contributor’s are all dehydrating to our body. Drinking at least eight glasses of water per day is a must as it flushes out toxins as well as keeping your body hydrated. Other cortisol increasing eating patterns include skipping meals, eating large portions and eating a restrictive diet.
It is proven that eating a diet high in inflammatory food can cause muscles to contract without relaxing if this persists over periods of time it can cause back spasms and irritations. Fibre rich foods are important to include in your diet for they’re pain-relieving properties. Foods full of Potassium can reduce swelling and boost muscular and nerve functions.
Below is a list of foods to consume and avoid to keep in a healthy weight range and support the health of your back.
List of foods to Eat for back pain:
- Water – the Number One in any diet
- High Fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables
- Magnesium rich foods
- Foods high in vitamin D
- Calcium rich foods
- Potassium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, avocado, banana, coconut water, cultured dairy
- Omega 3 Foods such as seeds and wild caught fish
- Lean Protein foods such as free range chicken, turkey, cage free eggs, fish, beans ans legumes
List of foods to avoid:
- Added and refined sugars
- Sweetened drinks and snacks
- Refined oils
- Refined grain products
- Enriched White flour products
- Processed cheese and other Processed food
- lavoured Milk based drinks
- Obviously, Alcohol and Tobacco
It is important to eat a diet based mostly on plants, using such seeds as chia and flax to fight inflammation. Herbal and Green Teas are also proven to reduce inflammation. In regards to your vegetables, the greener the better. Broccoli, Spinach and Kale come in at the top of the anti – inflammatory list for a diet for fighting Back Pain.
When looking at foods that also come in at the top of our list for anti inflammatory foods, we must mention tumeric, its anti inflammatory properties are well known for aiding pain associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis. Carrots, beetroot, berries, watermelon, pomegranate, garlic, ginger and onions are all fantastic foods loaded with nutrition and anti inflammatory agents to reduce back pain. Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables have all been proven to reduce inflammation in cartilage in the spinal column, which helps to control back pain and stiffness.
Calcium rich foods are essential for strong healthy bones, however make sure you are getting the right calcium enriched foods, we are not talking about ice cream, milkshakes and processed cheese.
Yogurt, Cheese and milk are at the top of the list whilst the dark leafy greens follow closely behind, as does some oily fish such as salmon and sardines (with bones in is better).
Magnesium is also a key mineral to support your bones, it helps relax and contract muscles, making it necessary for strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Magnesium is found in leafy green vegetables, beans, seeds fish, nuts, whole grains, bananas and avocado.
Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is found naturally in salmon , liver and egg yolks.
Vitamin K2 helps distribute calcium out of tisssue and distributing it into bone. The combination of K2 and calcium works to help the bones in the spine stay strong and healthy. Vitamin K2 is found in cheese, other dairy products, egg yolk and the healthy fat of meat.
Vitamin C for collagen formation, collagen is found in bones, muscles, tendons and our skin. It is also an antioxidant. It helps heal injuries as well as keeping the spine and vertebrae strong. Vitamin C is most commonly found in citrus fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli and spinach.
B12 is needed for the formation of our body’s bone building cells and is found in such foods as eggs, fish, poultry, meat and dairy products.
Knowing your nutrients, vitamins and eating a well rounded diet, plus staying hydrated are the keys to supporting your back through diet.