In my two previous posts, ”Low Back Exercises (i)”, and ”Low Back Exercises (ii)”, I talked about some exercises that help bring relieve for people suffering from low back pain. In this post I’ll be touching a little on some foods that help relieve low back pain and some that aggravate the condition.
Many foods have been shown to reduce (or increase) inflammation, a known cause for back pain. So when you have low back pain, changing your diet may help alleviate the pain.
- Sweet potatoes
- Grapes and red wine
“Deeply colored fruits and vegetables are a key part of an anti-inflammatory diet,” says Dana Greene, MS, RD, LDN, a nutritionist in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Herbs and spices, including cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, garlic, onions, and turmeric tend to be especially rich in anti-inflammatory agents.
Dr. Perry adds that olive oil, green tea, and brightly colored fruits and vegetables have all been shown to reduce inflammation in cartilage in the spinal column, which helps to control back pain and stiffness. When eating vegetables, think the greener the better, he says.
Other good food choices for an anti-pain diet: avocados, nuts, lean proteins, such as chicken and turkey; beans; and cocoa.
- Processed foods
- Fast foods
- Saturated fats
- White bread
- Sugary drinks
- Snacks; these include chips, crackers, pastries and anything with partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients. These are often found in preservative-packed products with long shelf life.
- Fried foods
All these fuel inflamation.
Does Calcium help?
Calcium plays an important role in alleviating back pain. The bone is the body’s storage reservoir for calcium, and if you’re not getting enough of calcium, trying to keep your back pain at bay would be a difficult task. . “As you age, it is hard to maintain bone mass, which can lead to such conditions as osteopenia or osteoporosis,” Perry says. “These diseases can weaken the vertebrae in your spine. Calcium contributes to bone mass, helping you avoid those conditions.”
Studies show that if you take a high dose of calcium supplements, you increase your risk for heart problems and atherosclerosis, which involves plaque forming in your arteries. Consuming too much calcium can also cause bone fractures.
So the calcium should ideally come from natural sources. Natural food sources for calcium include yogurt, milk, and cheese, as well as green leafy vegetables.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I would love to have your feedback too, let me know what you think about the post.