Your body needs proper nutrition so that the muscles can continue to move and support the spine. If you have not eaten (or eat the wrong types of food), your back muscles may quit working—they can weaken, tighten up, and become more susceptible to fatigue-related injuries.
It should come as no surprise that some of the top offenders that feed inflammation and pain in the body come from food. Saturated, hydrogenated, and partially hydrogenated fats, fried foods, highly sugared junk foods and refined carbohydrates are all contributors to the pain and inflammation your body may be experiencing.
Take an inventory of your pantry and remove any foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients that you can’t pronounce. You may also want to consider removing white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers. These vegetables are part of the plant family called “Nightshades” and contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine. Solanine can trigger pain and inflammation in some people.
In addition to stocking your fridge with dark, leafy greens, fish and seeds, try adding more of these four power-foods into your diet to help your body fight pain.
- Turmeric. This curry spice has been used for years to relieve pain. It’s also known for having anti-inflammatory properties that can protect the body from achy joints and tissue destruction.
- Ginger. Ginger has long been a staple in Chinese medicine for a wide range of uses. In the United States, ginger tea is commonly recommended for women suffering from morning sickness – or nausea of pregnancy, and for nausea in general. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which is likely one of the reasons it is effective against pain and arthritis.
- Cherries. Cherries contain high amounts of antioxidants—called anthocyanins—that help to relieve pain. These pain-fighting antioxidants work similar to aspirin in the way that they reduce inflammation. Anthocyanins are also found in blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.
- Walnuts. Walnuts are a fantastic source of essential fatty acids, including omega-3’s, which are beneficial to heart health, cognitive function, and act against inflammation in the body. Walnuts also contain polyphenols and antioxidants—including ellagic acid—shown to fight cancer and support the immune system.