A well-balanced diet is the key to good health. For those experiencing back pain, eating healthy may help relieve some of the discomfort you’re experiencing.
Eat a Plant-Based Diet
When your parents told you as a kid to eat your vegetables, they had your health in mind. Filling your plate with fruits, veggies, nuts and beans can help ward off illness and keep your spine pain-free. Try eating a plant-based diet with plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, such as spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, berries, watermelon, green tea, beans and nuts, to ease your pain.
Ditch the Processed Food
Avoid packaged foods with a long list of ingredients, fast food and foods high in saturated fats. These can cause inflammation and make your back pain worse.
Get Those Vitamins
Calcium and vitamin D are crucial to bone health, but you don’t need to take supplements to get your daily dose. The Institute of Medicine says adults shouldn’t consume more than 2,000 milligrams of calcium per day. Studies show high doses of calcium from supplements can increase your risk for heart problems and bone fractures, so eat dairy products and leafy green vegetables instead. Adults also need at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily, which can come from sun exposure, fortified foods or supplements
Pack in the Protein
Protein is a key building block for bones and can heal and repair bone and connective tissue damage, helping relieve back pain. Lean meats, beans and low-fat dairy products are good whole food sources of protein.
Fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, have anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon also provides calcitonin, which has been shown in studies to reduce joint inflammation and prevent pain from osteoarthritis.
Spice Up Your Life
Spices don’t just add flavor to your foodmany of them are also anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon, garlic, ginger, oregano, rosemary and turmeric are some of the most popular spices that can relieve pain.
Turn Up the Heat
Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, is sometimes used in creams and patches to reduce pain. Research suggests that eating hot peppers may provide the same pain relieving benefits. This is due to the endorphins your brain releases after you bite into a pepper, which are intended to block pain signals.
Cheers to wine lovers! Resveratrol, a compound in the skin of red grapes, has been shown to ease disc swelling that can contribute to back pain. Doctors recommend indulging in moderation. For most adults, the healthy limit is one glass of red wine per day for women, and two glasses for men.
Find Relief at Spine Works Institute
Food can help relieve back pain, but if you need some extra care, there are other options. Spine Works Institute offers comprehensive spine care, from physical therapy and medications to minimally invasive spinal surgery. We are the first and only Spine Center of Excellence™ in Texas, offering thorough and convenient treatment to patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Call 817-616-0700 to schedule an appointment today.