Reduce Inflammation through Diet

Reduce BACK PAIN by reducing inflammation in your body.

It is worth checking if you have the below nutrients and vitamins in your diet as these can help lower your pain levels by reducing the inflammation in your body and encouraging tissue repair.  However, it is important to check any contraindications – particularly if you are taking blood thinners or Warfarin.   Do also note to be cautious taking Turmeric as well *:

  • Curcumin

Curumin is a potent anti-inflammatory, but it doesn’t have the side effects and risks of ibuprofen. , (Important note: curcumin is contraindicated if you are taking a blood thinner, which may be prescribed post-surgery or for heart conditions.)

Recommended dosage is 1,500mg three times a day with food,  4.5g (4,500 mg) per day is a relatively high dose, but doses of up to 8g per day have been shown to be safe for short periods.

  • Bone broth

Bone broth is full of collagen, supporting soft- and hard-tissue repair (and great for the skin too!). Homemade broth is preferable, there are many recipes available online and you can buy natural stock in the supermarket.   I personally cook a chicken in a brick which keeps all the wonderful natural juice as the chicken cooks, as well as keeping the oven clean!  You then have a complete meal for the family as well as the stock, which I make into a gravy.

Recommended Dosage:  one cup twice a day on your food.

  • Oily fish/Omega 3

Omega 3 is natural anti-inflammatory which may help reduce pain and discomfort.

Dosage.  For an Omega 3 supplement look for a 500 EPA/350 DHA ratio-if not on Warfarin. Please check with your doctor first if taking medication.  There are also non-fish omega oil supplements on the market, for vegetarians.

  • Multivitamin supplement

Vitamins and minerals work in synergy and may help provide nutrients lacking in the diet; they also provide the co-factors necessary for proper mechanical function. Insufficiencies in the following key micronutrients are implicated in various joint disorders:

  • Vitamin D – reduces the inflammatory response
  • Magnesium and potassium.  A deficiency in these can increase muscular pain and a maganese deficiency, in particular, may be linked to Carpal Tunnel Syndrom
  • Calcium and magnesium.   The ratio needs to be kept in balance to help reduce muscle cramps
  • Vitamin C, to help rid the body of a build-up of toxins, causing an inflammatory response in the body
  • B vitamins.  

In this day and age, we are prone to feeling continuous stress, which in turn leads our muscles to tense up, leading to back pain. B vitamins can help with stress by working with brain chemistry and balancing neurotransmitters, thus aiding us in achieving balance over stress.

  • B3:  A deficiency in B3 can cause depression, irritability, stress and mood disturbances.
  • B6 can help the body manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which aids in the body’s ability to cope with depression, stress and anxiety. Vitamin B6 may also help boost the immune system during times of anxiety.
  • B9 and Folic Acid.  Folic Acid is an essential vitamin needed for energy. The body is unable to produce folic acid on its own. If there is a deficiency in folic acid, people may experience depression and fatigue which may produce higher levels of stress
  • B12 could be called the memory vitamin because the organ that depends on it the most is the brain. B12 deficiencies may cause mental confusion, neurological changes and make it difficult to cope with stress. This water-based vitamin is significant in the creation of the sleep hormone melatonin and the mood hormone serotonin.

B vitamins are vital for optimal mental health and stress. Water soluble, they need to be replenished on a daily basis. Sources rich in B vitamins include cereals and grains, meats, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, peas, beans and vegetables. Taking a B-complex vitamin, which contains most the major B vitamins, might be the best option to help reduce stress.

  • Reduce red meat consumption

Studies show that the arachidonic acid present in red meat (beef, lamb, pork) contributes to increased inflammation and consequently pain in joints and muscles.

*Note, I am not a nutritionist but this is advice given by nutritionists over the years of personally fighting a build-up of inflammation in the body. Similar advice is given for inflammation in the intestine and gut too, so helps with IBS.   Find what works for you, and note that, anecdotally it takes around 6 weeks to start to notice the full effect of the benefits, so be patient.

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