Back pain is a common adult problem. A large percentage of people (almost 80%) experience this at least at least once in their adult lives. Lower back pain is common among people in the age group of 27-55 years. Sometimes, the pain is intense and debilitating pain can affect the quality of life. There are a number of causes of lower back pain – incorrect posture, lifting heavy objects, standing or sitting for long periods of time, being overweight, injuries or even wearing uncomfortable, ill-fitting shoes. Women commonly experience back pain post-pregnancy. There are some dietary choices you can make and healing foods for back pain you can try to reduce the incidence of back pain and to improve your overall health.
Include high-fibre and deep-coloured fruits and vegetables in your diet. If you are already suffering from back pain, constipation can make it worse. A healthy dose of fibre in your diet from green leafy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains will reduce constipation.
Deeply colored fruits and vegetables are a key part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Fruits and vegetables such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, cherries, berries, grapes, pomegranate, and watermelon are loaded with nutrition and will reduce back pain by fighting inflammation.
Getting enough calcium and Vitamin D will keep back pain at bay as it helps maintain bone mass and keeps osteoporosis at bay. Calcium should come from natural sources such as yogurt, milk, and cheese, as well as leafy green vegetables. Adults require about 1,000 mg of calcium daily. If your diet does not meet your daily calcium requirements, your doctor will be able to prescribe the right supplements for you.
Another mineral you need to include in your diet is potassium as it is one of the best healing foods for back pain. Deficiency in potassium can lead to muscle cramps and spasms. Include potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes and bananas in your diet.
Your diet also needs adequate protein to promote muscle and bone health. Proteins are the building blocks of our body and regular consumption of a protein-rich diet is helpful in reducing lower back pain symptoms. You can include chicken, meat, turkey or pork in your diet. If you are a vegetarian, you can include eggs, cottage cheese, tofu, soya milk, almond milk into your regular diet.
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Research has indicated that Omega 3 fatty acids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and are effective in reducing back and neck pain. You can include Omega 3 in your diet by consuming fishes like salmon, tuna or sardines. For vegetarians, Flax seeds, tofu, canola oil, walnuts, dark leafy vegetables like spinach and kale can provide a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids. In case your diet is low in Omega-3 Fatty acids, supplements are widely available and your doctor should be able to prescribe one.
Garlic is a considered to be a super food for its vast number of health benefits and one of the best healing foods for back pain. It is a member of the allium family with great medical benefits including fighting infections, protecting against heart disease, improving immunity and fighting inflammation. Inflammation is a leading cause of aches and pains and the element called ‘diallyl disulfide’ present in garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and provides a relief from arthritis and lower back aches.
You can consume raw garlic or cooked garlic. You could also crush 3-5 garlic pods and extract the juice into a bowl. Add 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of lemon to it. Mix well and consume the drink twice in a day. With regular use, it will give relief from lower back pain issues.
Homemade garlic oil acts as a topical analgesic. Fry 10 cloves of garlic in 2 oz. (60 ml) of coconut or sesame oil. Heat the oil on low heat in a frying pan, and keep the cloves of garlic in the pan until they are brown. Strain the garlic cloves away and keep the oil in a small glass jar. This can be applied on the affected area for pain relief.
A number of studies have found that turmeric has the ability to reduce inflammation in the body. The anti-inflammatory property of Turmeric comes from an active ingredient in the spice called ‘curcumin’ which blocks inflammatory pathways which trigger swelling and pain.
A person suffering from lower back pain problem can drink warm turmeric milk or water. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with warm water or milk and drink at bedtime. You also can prepare a paste of turmeric powder, milk, and honey. Massaging this paste on the area of pain for 10-15 minutes on a regular basis can provide relief from back pain. Turmeric, as we all know, is one of the best healing foods for back pain.
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There is a body of research which indicates that tart cherries can help treat gout (a painful form of arthritis that causes swollen, hot, red joints caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood). The pigment ‘anthocyanin’ that gives tart cherries their color is also responsible for their anti-inflammatory, pain-killing effect. In one study, those who drank tart cherry juice for seven days prior to an intense running event showed reduced muscle-pain after the race. Remember to look for Tart cherries as they are different from regular cherries in origin, colour, taste and health benefits.
While you eat healthily, you must also consult your doctor for a complete diagnosis for the cause of pain and exercise you could do, if any. Adding these healing foods for back pain and eating healthy will strengthen your bones and muscles and improve your overall health and unlike medicines, they are side-effect free too.
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