What Has Nutrition Got To Do With Back Pain? A Lot!

The first time you had or heard of back pain I am sure that you did not think of nutrition. What does nutrition have to do with my back pain, you may ask. Well, it turns out that what you eat and drink has as much to do with your back as much as what you do.

There are foods that can cause inflammation in the body, and inflammation is a leading cause of back pain.

Most anti inflammation drugs and pain relief pills do just what they are called. They relieve pain and stop inflammation. In most cases they do not take care of what caused the pain and inflammation at first. They also come armed with negative side effects that are highly undesirable.

A lot of studies have discovered that most natural foods have a lot of healing and preventive properties. They work effectively and do not have side effects.

It is now becoming clear that for most ailments in the body, there is one food or the other that can effectively prevent or manage it.

There are foods that are necessary for the proper function and health of your back. Take a look at the list below. Some of them are in your kitchen right now. Why not add them to your meal now?

# 1 Ginger

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Ginger is well known for soothing an upset stomach, but did you know that it has anti inflammation property?

Ginger can be added to your sauce and in your smoothie to reap the benefits. You can also grate fresh ginger into your tea.

Ginger can even be grated, ground and dried. That way you can easily take some scoops of the powder and add to your food and drinks.

# 2 Turmeric

When most people think turmeric, they think India, where it is used by women for facial treatment. Just like ginger, turmeric acts as an anti inflammation agent. Thanks to Cur cumin, a substance in Turmeric, that fights inflammation.

Turmeric is used in curry, which may be inside your kitchen now. That is what gives curry its bright yellow color.

You can add Turmeric to your smoothie or you can sprinkle it on your food to get its many benefits for your back.

# 3 Garlic

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You may be thinking now garlic? No way am I taking that. The smell literally does not only come out from my mouth when I talk, it seems to seep out from my pores. If you are wary of Garlic because of its smell, you are not alone. But it still does not change the fact that it is anti bacterial, anti fungal anti viral according Patrick Holford in 100% Health.

To get the benefits without the small, sauté it with your onion and use to cook or you can cut it into small pieces and boil it. Sieve and add honey and drink

# 4 Calcium

Calcium is very important for your back. Calcium is stored in your bones. To maintain bone mass and spine health you need to take calcium from your food daily. You can get calcium from milk, yogurt, peanuts, almonds, black beans, sesame seeds and cheese. It is also available from leafy green vegetables.

Although your body needs calcium, it does not need it in excess as it would do more harm than good to the body when it is over the body’s daily requirement. Heart diseases, plaque formation in the arteries are some of the risk involved in taking excess calcium.

Aim to take at least 500 – 1500 mg of calcium daily. If you are thinking of taking calcium supplement be sure to consult your Doctor

# 5 Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen which allows cells to be able to form into tissue according to spine-health.com. Vitamin C aids in keeping your tendons, ligaments, vertebral disc and your bone healthy and strong.

Your vertebra which is packed close together on each other, has a cushioning disc between which is partly filled with a jelly like substance. Collagen helps in cell regeneration and keeps your back healthy.

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Vitamin C can be found in oranges, grapefruits, lemon, tomatoes, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, Broccoli, strawberries and green vegetables.

# 6 Potassium

Potassium helps your muscle function properly so you can carry on your daily activity. Low potassium can be life threatening.  When potassium level is low in your body it can cause – muscle cramps, muscle fatigue, muscle Ache and palpitations according to medicinenet.com.

Banana, avocado, tomatoes and potato are some of the food that contains potassium.

# 7 Fiber:

Taking enough fiber in your food prevents constipation and keeps your bowel moving. You can get fiber from oats, garden eggs, Okra, fruits, vegetables and beans

# 8 Water:

Keeping your body adequately hydrated is not just for constipation and good skin, it is also good for your back.

How do you know you are well hydrated? Check the color of your urine. If it is dark yellow, you need to start drinking more water immediately but if it is light yellow, congrats, you are well hydrated and you will be doing your back a lot of good by keeping that way.

According to Frederick Wilson, DO, the director of Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health,

“The bones of your spine (your vertebrae) have cushions, or discs, between them. These discs are partly made up of a jelly-like substance, which is 90 percent water”

Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. This is a general guideline. Weather and other conditions may make you drink more water. Hot weather can make you drink more than your usual quantity while cold weather may make you to drink less. If you do not like the taste of water alone; you can cut slices of lemon, beetroot and cucumber and leave overnight in a refrigerator. Sieve the next day and drink throughout the day

# 9 Fish

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Omega 3 is a well known inflammation fighter and it is abundant in fish. You can also get Omega 3 from sardine, flaxseed and pumpkin seed

# 10  Magnesium

Foods rich in magnesium like banana, avocado and beans helps in maintaining bone density and muscle tone. It is also essential for the contracting and relaxing of the muscle which can help in preventing and managing back pain.

# 11  Vitamin D

Another reason you should have a little bit of sunlight, but not after 10 am is Vitamin D is important in the development of strong and healthy bones according to spine-health .com

Apart from sunshine which is free, you can get Vitamin D from fish oils and egg yolks.

Some of the foods you should avoid or eat in moderation to maintain back health include foods that might cause inflammation in the body.

You may want to limit these foods or foods containing them

Hydrogenated or Trans fat

Added sugar

Excessive intake of red meat

Remember that healthy nutrition for your spine works together with correct posture, healthy weight and exercise to prevent and maintain good health.

Start practicing good posture right now as you are reading this, add back health nutrition to it and you are on your way to a healthier back.

Author: Nkeoma DND Agu

Nkeoma DND Agu is a certified personal and corporate fitness trainer. She is also a nutrition coach. She holds certification with one of the highest certifying bodies in fitness and wellness in the US, NESTA. She helps individuals and companies to achieve weight loss, fitness and wellness goals to become healthier and more productive.

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