In today’s world, there are diets that claim to fix anything. With so many “experts” out there, who should you listen to? We rely on results. The diet we’ve outlined is one of the most successful that we’ve seen in improving our patient’s pain.
No diet– no matter how drastic– will instantly get rid of your pain. That means that the best diet is one you can stick to. Baby steps are truly the way to go with food. Going cold turkey is a good way to lose steam before the changes you are making can even start to show results.
To understand what we should be eating to improve our back pain, we need to know the pain’s underlying cause. You may have heard the term inflammation thrown around referring to the cause of back pain, but do you really know what it is? Inflammation is the process our body takes to help heal itself. In this process, you might see swelling or redness, which can sometimes put pressure on the nerves of your spine. If the natural inflammation our body produces is constantly pushing on these nerves, it can be incredibly painful.
Eat More of the Good Stuff
Armed with this information, we can then look for foods with anti-inflammatory properties. That way, we can use our diet to help improve our pain. Harvard Medical School has published a great list of foods that help fight inflammation:
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
- Nuts like almonds and walnuts
- Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
- Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Try to Reduce Bad Food
Once you have increased the good foods you are eating, you will have already started eating less of the unhealthy food. Then it’s time to really start focusing on avoiding food that might encourage excess inflammation.
The same article also provides a list of foods to avoid because they can cause inflammation:
- Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
- French fries and other fried foods
- Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- Red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- Margarine, shortening, and lard
If you feel like you are able to handle jumping into the deep end, kick-start your diet by trying an ayurvedic cleanse. This can quickly reduce inflammation and ease pain. We recommend Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger. Clean combines shakes, whole organic foods and the timing of your meals to encourage your body to rid itself of the residue left by unhealthy food. This cleanse is not focused on losing weight, but on returning your body to a healthy state.
One of the biggest mistakes you could make with any diet is restricting yourself from food you enjoy too quickly. This could leave you feeling deprived and lead you to taking a step backwards. Start with what you know you can accomplish without feeling like you are missing out.
Remember, you are doing this to feel better not to make yourself miserable.