Diet and Nutrition: Keeping your back healthy

While most people believe that having a healthy back only requires elements such as exercise, proper lifting techniques, or different types of yoga poses; your diet can also have a major impact on the health of your back/spine. Incorporating these anti-inflammatory foods into your diet is simple, and with the help of a local spine surgeon on Long Island at New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates, we can assist you by making dietary recommendations!

Foods That Can Help Reduce Back Pain:

The dietary options listed here may come as a bit of a surprise for some. This is because there’s a good chance they might have been a part of your diet already and you didn’t know that it was contributing to the overall health of your back. Some of these food options include a few of the following:

  • Kale – The greener the vegetable, the better it is for your back. Whether you eat it in a salad or a smoothie, as long as you are adding kale to your diet, your back will thank you! 
  • Olive Oil – Incorporating olive oil into your diet is great for your back as it’s loaded with anti-inflammatory capabilities and antioxidants, which help ease your pain and discomfort. 
  • Dairy – The calcium in foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese can help you maintain and strengthen your bones. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, soy milk, orange juice, and tofu are also great sources of calcium that you can use!
  • Ginger – Adding ginger has been proven to reduce pain significantly in those who have arthritis due to the presence of gingerols, which are anti-inflammatories.
  • Salmon – Omega-3s have many benefits, one, in particular, is chronic pain relief. Salmon also contains calcitonin, which reduces inflammation. 
  • Turmeric – This spice contains curcumin, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. 
  • Coffee – The polyphenols in coffee are anti-inflammatories that help reduce pain. 
  • Red grapes – Resveratrol is an anti-inflammatory that can be combined with turmeric can enhance the benefits of anti-inflammatories.
  • Thyme – This can act as a natural painkiller because it reduces your pain perception. 

Most of these foods that help with back pain are anti-inflammatories that will help relieve discomfort. A spine surgeon on Long Island can help educate you on making the right lifestyle choices for your back health.

Foods to avoid for back pain:

While many foods help relieve back pain, there are some that trigger inflammation and can cause your back pain to become worse. These foods can include some of the following:

  • Sugar – The increase in inflammation can lead to many diseases. It can also counteract the effect of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Trans Fats – These are the unhealthiest fats that you can consume, especially when artificial. Similar to sugar, they can increase inflammation and lead to disease. 
  • Alcohol – When consumed in excessive amounts, alcohol can lead to increased inflammation. 
  • Processed Meat – This contains inflammatory compounds such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

If you have concerns for your spine health, you may benefit from visiting your spine surgeon on Long Island with New York Orthopaedic Spinal Associates. Contact us today!

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