What your eating (and not eating) may be directly contributing to the back pain that keeps you up at night.
By Dawn Flemming
A lot of the inflammation in your body, including the inflammation in your back that gives you back pain can be related to what you eat.
Dana Green, MA, RD, LDN writes in Everyday Health that:
If you’re looking for foods that reduce back pain and are loaded with nutrition, try carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, cherries, berries, grapes and red wine, pomegranate, and watermelon, she says. Herbs and spices, including basil, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, garlic, curcumin, onions, oregano, and turmeric tend to be especially rich in anti-inflammatory agents, so season generously. Also, drink healthy herb teas and true teas (green, oolong, and white).
Sugary and processed foods on the other hand lead to inflammation and thereby exacerbate your inflammatory back pain. According to Teeter, sugar is one of the main culprits:
Most people are aware that consuming too much sugar contributes to weight gain and a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and depression, but in recent years researchers have also found it can contribute to back and joint pain. When we consume too much of it, our body releases insulin and stress hormones. Those, in turn, trigger the inflammation process. Inflammation leads to chronic pain. The places where we have the least amount of blood circulation are at greatest risk of inflammation – that is why our joints and back can be so dramatically impacted by sugar consumption.
But don’t be fooled that just by cutting out added sugar you will be out of the woods.
The following foods include (but do not exhaust) a list of items that are in your house that may be exacerbating your inflammatory back pain:
Pasta, bread or bagels
Cereals and instant oatmeal
Sugary drinks and sodas
So what’s the take-away here? Eat colorful fruits and veggies. Add seeds like chia seeds to your diet. Avoid processed and sugary foods. Avoid “white” carbs like pasta.
Finally, get some exercise, drink lots of water, manage your stress and sleep and wake-up at a consistent time. You will see how all of these may contribute to helping with your inflammatory back pain.
But before you take on any dietary or activity-based changes, please make sure to consult with your doctor.
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.