In this week’s blog from Orthomedical India, we shall look in to the Diet which is required for a healthy back with inputs from an article from Cleveland Clinic. When people think about ways to manage back pain, nutrition is not the first thing that comes to mind. But what you eat impacts your back health. Nourishing your body with foods that reduce inflammation can really help you feel better much sooner.

Stop Fanning the Flames

Much of our pain comes from inflammation. Foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, simple sugars and white flour actually trigger inflammation throughout our bodies through a complex series of biochemical and hormonal processes. Left unchecked, inflammation runs rampant through your body, causing all kinds of problems — including arthritis (an inflammation of your joints) and, believe it or not, low back pain.

Your first line of defence is to reduce the number of pro-inflammatory foods you eat, which means cutting back significantly on red meat, highly processed foods and foods with added sugars (and very little nutrients), white bread, white pasta, white rice, whole-fat dairy, sugary drinks and snacks,  fried foods, anything with “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients

While cutting down on inflammation-causing foods, you’ll want to increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods. The best way to do this is to focus on eating antioxidant-rich foods, lean protein, whole grains and heart-healthy fat.

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Most meals should centre on vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, fruits, herbs and spices.  Poultry and eggs can be eaten every other day. Keep portion sizes to three or four ounces, always remove the skin before eating, and alternate between egg whites and whole eggs. Meats and sweets should be avoided whenever possible, or at least limited to once per week.

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Keep Your Back Bones Strong

Your bones start losing mass once you hit your twenties, which can really weaken the vertebrae in your spine. Excessive weakness and brittleness is known as osteoporosis. Banking enough calcium early in life helps prevent osteoporosis. But even later in life, calcium can help you maintain bone mass. Women should get 1,200 to 1,500 mg of calcium a day. Men need 800 to 1,000 mg. Good choices: calcium-fortified foods, including fat-free milk and dairy, calcium-fortified orange juice, whole-grain breads and soy milk. The goal is to get as much as you can with food and then supplement the rest.

Drink Up

Proper hydration is key for every single process our body performs — from digesting food to fighting off disease. Dehydration creates a whole bunch of problems, from fatigue to headaches. 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. Downing glass after glass of water can’t stave off all disc problems. However, making sure your body has a steady stream of fluid coming in (you’ll know you’re well hydrated if your urine is clear to light yellow instead of a dark yellow) may help keep that cushioning intact. 


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