Most people don’t recognize that nutrition and pain are interrelated. The truth is, they are completely connected in every way. The bones, muscles and other structures in the spine need good nutrition and vitamins so that they are strong enough to support the body and to perform their other functions. Using the following nutritional guidelines, patients can integrate back-friendly vitamins and nutrients into their diets.
The focus of these notes is to explain how to reduce your chronic back pain with diet and nutritional supplements. Inflammation can be experienced as painful joints and/or muscles, a loss of the ability to move freely, and painful swelling. But recent research has shown that our dietary habits promote a state of chronic inflammation in your body that could leading to serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and multiple sclerosis.The food we eat is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to controlling inflammation.
What You Should NOT Have In Your Diet:
- ALL refined grain products, including
- White bread
- Whole wheat bread
- Pasta (including whole wheat pasta)
- Things coated/covered with BREADING
- Essentially anything that contains WHEAT FLOUR
- Avoid ALL processed foods.
- Avoid fast foods.
- Avoid partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) found in margarine, deep fried foods (French fries, etc.)
- Avoid sugar, from any source.
- Corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, and foods made with these oils- such as mayonnaise, tartar sauce and margarine
- Avoid meat or eggs from grain-fed animals (domesticated animal products); they are loaded with excessive saturated fats and contain too many pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. A recent study indicated that farmed-raised tilapia and catfish had unacceptable omega-6 to omega-3 ratios, while all other fish had appropriate ratios.
What You SHOULD Add To Your Diet:
- Fruits and vegetables! Whole fresh fruits, bright colored and dark green leafy vegetables. Blueberries – Loaded with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and anti-oxidants.
- CLEAN meat, from grass-fed animals, free-range chickens, and fresh or frozen wild fish/shell fish.
- Seafood – Salmon, herring, mackerel.
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids in your diet – Fish, walnuts, flax, pumpkin seeds and egg whites are also a good choice.
- Nuts: raw almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, etc.
- Spices like ginger, turmeric, garlic, dill, oregano, coriander, fennel, red chili pepper, basil, rosemary, kelp, etc. (sea salt is okay if you wish to add a little salt).
- Oils and fats: It is best to use organic oils. Use organic extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. Butter is also a healthy choice and the best butter comes from grass fed cows.
- Salad dressing: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice), mustard if you like, and spices.
- Drink lots of water and fresh juices.
- Drink organic green tea
- Alcohol: Red wine.
- Candy: Dark chocolate.
- Get a good night of sleep! (7 to 9 hours of sleep is a must for optimal health) This key to controlling systemic inflammation.
- Exercise! Stretch, walk or choose a light form of exercise that you enjoy and do this up to 3 times a week.
- Relax! Make sure you take time out to relieve any mental or emotional stress. Stress can cause tension anywhere in your body. Emotional stress is usually held onto and builds up in the neck and shoulders. All of these areas are interconnected, so tension in the neck can negatively influence back pain.
No one will be perfect with their diet – just do your best! Commit to the healthiest lifestyle you can do. One’s health is the most important thing in life because if we don’t have our health, we don’t have anything.