4 weeks ago

You Are What You Eat - So Use Good Nutrition To Beat Back Pain

Poor nutrition can cause inflammation and disc problems in your back that leave you in a world of pain, so make eating a healthy and well balanced diet a priority.

Use good nutrition to beat back pain

Eating a healthy, balanced diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables is great for keeping us fit and strong.

And it's also important for keeping us free from back pain.

Because consisting on a diet with the wrong types of food and lacking in certain vitamins and minerals can lead to:

  • A loss of bone density and degeneration in your spinal discs.
  • Inflammation in your body.

Which are both major contributors to the development of lower back pain.

So, it's really important to learn how to eat well and make this a priority to protect and strengthen your back.

And you can make a start by getting the following two things right:

  • Eating foods that are rich in the right types of vitamins and minerals to keep your bones and spinal discs healthy.
  • Replacing foods that cause inflammation with anti-inflammatory foods instead.

Which Vitamins And Minerals Are Good For Your Back?

Which vitamins and minerals does your back need to stay healthy?

A lack of vitamins and minerals in people's diets is a common problem today, as many of us are so busy that we are forced to grab food on the go.

Which is never good for our health.

As this type of food is usually heavily processed, lacking in nutritional value, and doesn't really do us any favours other than filling us up!

Because it can also leave us lacking in important areas, such as in certain vitamins and minerals that are vital for keeping your back strong and healthy.

So, make an effort to include foods that contain the following vitamins in your daily diet to keep your back happy and free from aches and pains.

Calcium

Keeping your calcium intake at the right level is so important if you want to stay free from back pain.

Because you need it to keep your bones strong and healthy.

And a lack of calcium in your diet can lead to a loss of bone mass, osteoporosis, brittle bones and a weakening of your vertebrae and the discs that support it.

Which all means a very high likelihood of developing back pain!

So, include a few of the following sources of calcium to your diet:

  • Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Leafy green vegetables such as kale and broccoli.
  • Oily fish such as salmon or sardines.
  • Almonds.

However, you should avoid taking calcium supplements, as too much calcium can also be damaging.

And you should be able to get enough from your diet in any case.

Magnesium

Magnesium is also good for maintaining bone mass and density.

And it also helps your muscles to contract and relax, keeping them healthy, strong, and able to support your spine.

So, you should eat certain foods that are good sources of magnesium such as:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, halibut and mackerel.
  • Chickpeas, beans and lentils.
  • Nuts such as almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts.
  • Whole grains.
  • Pumpkin and flax seeds.
  • Bananas.
  • Dark chocolate.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiencies are fairly common, especially in areas where people don't get as much natural sunlight.

Which is a problem as it's important to keep your vitamin D levels up for a number of health reasons.

But the most important one for your back is that it helps your body to absorb the calcium that will keep your bones strong and healthy.

So, if you are not blessed with much sunlight, try to get some vitamin D from your diet instead.

Now this isn't easy, as vitamin D isn't found in that many foods, but you can get it by eating the following:

  • Salmon.
  • Liver.
  • Egg yolks.
  • Cod liver oil.

And you can also take vitamin D supplements to keep yourself topped up.

However, you should consult with your doctor before taking any vitamin supplements to make sure they are safe for you.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 helps to keep your bone marrow healthy and as such is also important for bone health and growth.

And you can find it in the following:

  • Fish.
  • Eggs.
  • Poultry.
  • Dairy products.

Vitamin C

Getting enough vitamin C is great for your immune system and for fighting off things like colds and flu.

And it also helps to heal damaged muscles, tissues, and spinal discs, which helps keep your back strong, healthy, and out of pain.

So, make sure you eat plenty of fresh fruit in your diet, especially the following, to get your vitamin C fix:

  • Oranges.
  • Kiwis.
  • Strawberries.
  • Grapefruit.

As fresh fruit is the best way to get vitamin C.

But you can also get it from fruit juices if you prefer (just make sure they are 100% natural and not full of sugar).

Healing Foods For Back Pain - Eat An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

We all love a donut but too many could lead to inflammation.

When it comes to curing back pain through nutrition getting your vitamins is only one half of the battle.

Because even if we get our vitamin intake right, there may still be certain foods in our diets that can cause inflammation in the body.

And this inflammation inevitably leads to muscle tension, stiffness, and back pain.

However, by cutting out a few of these foods and replacing them with anti-inflammatory ones instead you can avoid this pain and tension and help your back stay stronger and healthier.

And the good news is that a lot of the foods that provide you with the vitamins I listed above are also anti-inflammatory.

Which foods cause inflammation?

So, what kinds of foods do you need to watch out for when it comes to inflammation?

Unfortunately it's most of the good stuff, including:

  • Any processed foods, as they contain artificial preservatives, additives, and flavorings that can trigger inflammation.
  • Sugary snacks and drinks such as soda, candy bars, and donuts.
  • Fried foods such as fried chicken, fries, and onion rings.
  • Foods containing high levels of saturated fat such as burgers, pizza, and fries.
  • Refined flour carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, pasta, and tortillas.
  • Foods containing vegetable oil such as mayonnaise and table sauces, salad dressings, crisps, and crackers.
  • Processed meats such as bacon, sausages, and sandwich meats.
  • Dairy products if you are lactose intolerant.
  • Food and drinks containing artificial sweeteners such as sugar-free yogurts or sodas.

Now I've probably just taken out everything you like to eat in one fell swoop there, but it's not a case of having to abstain completely.

Just be sensible and see certain foods as an occasional treat rather than a daily staple.

Also limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol you have every day.

This is because these are both stimulants that release higher levels of cortisol in your system.

And this extra cortisol can increase your blood sugar levels and cause inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet

OK, so now you know which foods to limit, but what do you replace them with?

The answer is any of the following, as these are all great anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Fresh vegetables, especially kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, onions, and beans.
  • Also fresh fruit such as cherries, berries, grapes, avocado, pomegranates, and watermelon.
  • Oily fish high in Omega 3 such as salmon, mackerels, sardines, and tuna.
  • Lean proteins such as chicken and turkey.
  • Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, and brazil nuts.
  • Fresh herbs, especially basil, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, garlic, oregano, and turmeric (add a dash of black pepper to help your body absorb it).
  • Green teas.

And by adding some of these foods to your diet you could cut down on your inflammation levels and really start to feel the difference.

But none of us can live like robots.

So, at the end of the day it's about being sensible with your diet and making sure it is well-balanced and providing you with all the nutrition you need to stay healthy.

And doing this will have the added benefit of keeping your weight under control too, which will ease the pressure and strain on your lower back as well.

So, start by cutting back on a few of the foods that may be causing you inflammation and see how you feel.

And if you can feel the difference after a couple of weeks then you are definitely on the right track to a life with less back pain.

Rounding Up

You are what you eat and this is especially true when it comes to the health of your back.

Because eating a poor diet lacking in the right vitamins and minerals can cause problems in your discs and inflammation in your body.

And this is a one way street to back pain.

So, take a few of the suggestions here on board and make sure you are eating a healthy and well balanced diet.

As not only will your back feel better, you'll be a lot healthier and full of energy overall too.

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Daniel

I'm a psychology graduate and a veteran of 5 spinal surgeries. I want to help people learn how to fight back against persistent back pain just like I have.