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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Healthy Back: Part 2 - Good and Bad Foods For Fighting Inflammation

Posted by Illinois Back Institute on Tue, May 19, 2015 @ 04:54 PM

Free_from_back_pain2This is Part 2 in a 10 Part series about simple changes you can make to your life to help improve your back health. If you missed Part 1, Click Here!

In Part 1 we started with an overview of what this series will be covering when it comes to how and in what way you can improve the health of your back and body with small changes to your lifestyle. We also began a discussion about inflammation, and how it can be one of the biggest contributors to back pain. As a quick recap, remember that inflammation caused by the foods you eat can contribute to many symptoms, including:

  • Joint and Muscle Aches and Pains
  • Stiffness and Swelling
  • Fever and Chills
  • Headaches and Fatigue
  • Nausea and Loss of Appetite
  • And More!

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In this part we are going to discuss what foods can reduce inflammation, and what foods can cause it. In other words, basically what foods are good and bad for your back. Before we start discussing the different food categories, here are some tips of what foods to try and avoid for better health:

The first is anything high in Sugar. This may seem obvious, but a lot of people don't know or understand why sugar is such a problem. The issue is not with sugar itself, but with how much of it people are ingesting.

A little bit of sugar is fine, but many people are eating way more than their bodies can handle.

sugarTo put it in the simplest terms: when there is too much sugar in the body, it causes an increase in something called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which causes damage to proteins in the body. Then the body's immune system attacks the AGEs, and the result of that is inflammation. This is why sugar is one of the biggest causes of chronic inflammation.

Another obvious food to avoid is anything processed. These are not only high in sugar or sugar substitutes like high fructose corn syrup, but also in bad things like Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Trans Fats. Omega-6 Fatty Acids in particular cause inflammation and have been linked to arthritis and even cancer. Processed foods also tend to include no-no's like artificial compounds, additives, colors, preservatives, and all sorts of chemicals.

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The third is not so obvious, and that is caffeine. One of coffee's main affects is to increase the levels of stress hormones in your body. This increase in turn leads to an increase of insulin, which causes inflammation.

Those are the three main food items that cause inflammation. Most of the time when we say a certain food is "bad" for your back, like in the following list, it is because it is high in one or more of those three items. Conversely, foods that are "good" do not have high levels of those three items.

In Part 1 we mentioned a few of the most common foods that can cause inflammation, including Gluten, Wheat, Yeast, Eggs, and Lactose. Here is a brief list of other foods that are good and bad for your back:

Beverages

Bad - Any soft drinks, sport drinks, alcohol, coffee, or tea.

Good - Water (mineral, filtered, or distilled) or decaffeinated herbal tea

Dairy

Bad - Almost everything: butter, cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt, many more

Good - Dairy substitutes such as almond, coconut, or rice milkR-grains

Starch/Breads/Grains

Bad - Corn, wheat, rye, barley, anything containing gluten

Good - Potatoes, oats, rice

Meat, Chicken, Fish

Bad - Beef, Pork, Shellfish, Eggs, other meat related foods like hot dogs or sausage

Good - Chicken, fish, turkey

Fruit

R-bananas

Bad - Oranges (very high in sugars)

Good - Any other fruits

Vegetables

Bad - Corn

Good - All other vegetables

Bad - Peanuts and peanut butter, tofu, anything with soy

Seeds/Nuts/Legumes

Good - Almonds, cashews, pecans, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, walnuts, all legumes except soybeans

Condiments

Bad - Chocolate, ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, soy sauce

Good - Most spices (salt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, etc.) and vinegar

 

Remember, this is just Part Two in a series. Part Three will be coming soon!

The key to our treatment is solving the underlying cause. If you have Back Pain or Sciatica and you are suffering, we can help you. Call today to schedule a Free Consultation at 844-408-0462, or click on this link to schedule online:

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