While your first thought to ease back pain might be to resort to pain medications and other over-the-counter solutions, back pain relief might be easier to find than you think. At ChiroCare of Florida, our doctors are always talking about the close relationship between our diets and our health, and that includes our spine’s health. As it turns out, certain foods can help ease back pain.
As you start working on your health by adding chiropractic visits to your calendar, consider incorporating these foods into your diet to help with back pain relief as well.
Types of Foods for Back Pain
The research is not all in, but there’s significant evidence that points to the anti-inflammatory properties of certain foods and their link to reducing back pain. As we know, following a healthy diet is closely related to healthy bones and organs, and ultimately a healthy body. If you’ve been experiencing back pain, adding foods into your diet that squash inflammation can help you find back pain relief.
Ginger root can be used in recipes from stir-fry dishes and gingerbread cookies, to ginger tea infusions. Ginger is rich in compounds known to reduce inflammation, which is often linked to back pain. Incorporating two to three teaspoons of ginger a day should be enough to help ease back pain.
Turmeric is experiencing a resurgence in popularity thanks to its impressive healing properties. Used for years by ancient Asian civilizations in religious ceremonies and for wellness purposes, turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice that can help ease pain. According to a study by the National Institute of Health, turmeric inhibits a specific protein that activates the body’s natural inflammatory response, which leads to achy joints.
All nuts are powerful anti-inflammatory properties. From walnuts and pecans to cashews and almonds, nuts are an easy way to include foods that help with back pain in your diet. A handful of nuts per day (a daily serving of 30 grams), should be enough to benefit from their anti-inflammatory properties.
Caffeine is the main ingredient in many over-the-counter pain medications. Common painkillers count on caffeine to reduce pain symptoms. Research from the University of Georgia discovered that drinking two cups of coffee helped reduce post-workout pain by 50 percent. However, when drinking coffee, it is essential to pair each cup of coffee with a glass of water. Coffee can have diuretic properties and lead to dehydration, which can cause the opposite effect that you are trying to achieve, and worsen your back pain.
The powerful compound present in red grapes, resveratrol, has gained popularity thanks to its antioxidant properties. But, resveratrol can also help block enzymes that contribute to tissue degeneration, which can lead to cartilage damage, and subsequently lead to back pain. Other foods rich in resveratrol include raspberries, cranberries, and red wine.
Extra virgin olive oil might have properties similar to ibuprofen. Olive oil is often a key ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, and those who follow this diet seem to have fewer health conditions, such as joint diseases, that may be related to inflammation.
Thyme is much more than a fragrant herb. Research suggests thyme is rich in compounds that interfere with the perception of pain, functioning as a natural painkiller. Thyme also functions as an anti-inflammatory aid to reduce pain.
Incorporating 40 grams of soy protein into your diet can help ease back pain by 30 percent or more. Tofu, edamame, and soy milk are some soy products that can help with back pain. Edamame is rich in isoflavones, plant hormones with anti-inflammatory properties that provide pain relief.
Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can help tame the pain associated with chronic back pain. Oily fishes work like anti-inflammatory and pain medications without side effects. Two to four meals a week that include a fatty fish such as salmon can help with back pain.
Thanks to their rich antioxidants and pain-fighting anthocyanins, cherries can help reduce inflammation levels significantly. These pain-calming antioxidants are also found in raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Including tart cherries into your daily diet can dramatically help reduce back pain symptoms.
Foods to Avoid that Cause Inflammation and Bloating
As some foods help ease back pain, other foods can exacerbate your back pain symptoms. As you want to eat more anti-inflammatory foods, you want to stay away from foods that cause bloating, inflammation, and thus pain.
To avoid aggravating your back pain symptoms, avoid these foods:
- Vegetable oils – sunflower, mixed vegetable oils, and corn
- Vegetable and margarine shortening
- All processed foods
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Foods high in saturated fats
- Full-fat dairy products
- Foods with trans-fats
Where to Eat Foods that Help Back Pain? (by City)
While you want to make sure anti-inflammatory foods are part of your daily diet, you might also want to spend a little less time in the kitchen and more time out and about. In this case, you want to make sure you visit restaurants and food chains that offer food options to ease back pain. We know these might not be marketed as such, but spotting healthy restaurants near you can help you adhere to your anti-inflammatory diet even when you’re eating out.
The Aventura lifestyle is active, healthy, and fast-paced. Looking for healthy restaurants in the Aventura area is not difficult - a quick stroll by Biscayne Boulevard and you’ll spot plenty of healthy restaurants to stop by and indulge in an anti-inflammatory meal.
Here are some spots to eat foods that help back pain in Aventura:
- Raw Republic – for a quick smoothie whenever you’re on-the-go.
- Juice and Java – from organic pasta options to specialty juices and more.
- Miami Squeeze – for a quick bite with tons of nutrients.
In Fort Lauderdale
Being beach-side, the Fort Lauderdale area has plenty of fresh and healthy options to choose from. If you visit any of these spots, browse through the menu to find dishes with the anti-inflammatory foods we mentioned earlier.
These are some of the top healthy foods spots in Fort Lauderdale:
- Fresh First – organic and gluten-free options for those looking for a small plate packed with nutrients.
- Green Bar & Kitchen – sustainable health-focused meal for those looking for delicious comfort foods.
- Myapapaya Juicery + Kitchen – stop by for a refreshing house-pressed juice and don’t forget to add those anti-inflammatory extras.
With its active lifestyle and plenty of parks for outdoor activities, Plantation is a mecca for healthy food spots. From breakfast to dinner and everything in between, there’s a healthy restaurant near you to enjoy foods that help back pain.
Explore some of the healthy food restaurants in Plantation:
- Greenwave Café – not only can you find fresh produce here, but you can also learn how to cook it or enjoy a quick bite of their healthy raw food.
- Fitlife Foods Plantation – meal prep done for you, Fitlife can help you make sure you incorporate foods that fight back pain into your diet.
- Aroa Craft Yogurt & Café – enjoy comfort food with a healthy side.
In Pompano Beach
Being so close to other major cities, Pompano Beach's healthy food options are endless. From juice bars to healthy spots for lunch, and other fit-friendly options available for you, there’s no excuse to spurn a healthy diet in Pompano Beach.
Visit some of the top healthy restaurants in Pompano Beach:
- Juice 2U – grab a juice to go with all the nutrients you’ll need for the day.
- Nikki’s Orange Kitchen – a block away from the beach, this healthy restaurant is the perfect weekend spot.
- Shishka Grill – Lebanese food not only packs tons of nutrients, but its delicious dishes also make it perfect to incorporate healthy ingredients into your diet.
Now that you know the type of foods that can help ease back pain, you can start incorporating these into your diet. At ChiroCare of Florida, we believe in a comprehensive approach to wellness, which is why our chiropractors can provide nutritional advice to help with your back pain. Contact ChiroCare of Florida today to schedule your wellness consultation.