When you are suffering back pain there will be a level of inflammation. This inflammation is a part of your bodies healing process.
It is well known that diets high in sugar, refined grains, saturated fats, processed and fast foods increase the likelihood of contributing to, if not further compounding pain associated with inflammation in the body.
Some of you may prefer to go down the conventional medical route and get anti-inflammation medication – NSAIDS as they also known as. But more and more people prefer to use natural means of dealing with inflammation, as most medication have unwanted side-effects.
Below is a list of foods that you will see thrown around on a lot of sites…
• Bright colored and dark green leafy vegetables
• Olive oil – Shown to reduce pain
• Alternatively, use rice bran, grape seed or walnut oils
• Nuts, legumes and seeds
• Turmeric and ginger
• Omega-3 essential fatty acids – Fish, walnuts, flax and pumpkin seeds
• Blueberries – Loaded with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and anti-oxidants
• Fresh sources of lean poultry
• Seafood – Salmon, herring, mackerel
• Lean red meats – Preferably organic
• Soy proteins – Soybeans and tofu
• Fish or cod liver oil capsules daily
• Drink plenty of water and fresh juices
There are a few more but that is the common list of foods. There are foods on that list that can help in fighting inflammation naturally, but to really understand how food affects our body in fighting disease and healing itself we need to look at this in a little more depth.
Acidic Vs. Alkaline Foods
A renowned health and cancer expert Phillip Day, author of the bestseller ‘Health Wars’, explains that our body needs to be in a slightly alkaline state. This means that our blood should be slightly alkaline, in the range of 7.35 to 7.45. Below or above this range results in an imbalance of the body's pH, this can lead to various symptoms and diseases.
Phillip Day and other Nutritional experts, like Dr. Doug Graham, encourage the 80-20 principle to food, advocating that an optimal diet contains 80 percent alkaline-producing foods such as vegetables and fruits, and the remaining 20 percent are from protein and fat.
Although there are other experts like Dr. Andrew Weil who proposes that a diet can contain a higher percentage of fats and protein and still be sufficient to maintain health and vitality. They use the 60-40 principle, thus 60% of the diet should come from alkaline-producing foods.
So What Is the Significance of the Acid Vs. Alkiline Food Principles
When the body is excessively acidic, important minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium will be leached out of vital organs and bones to buffer the excess acidity. This can result in nutritional deficiencies, undermining general health.
When we look at the health and strength of our spine, then the leaching of important minerals like calcium from your spinal bone structures will have devastating effects.
The current "Western diet" is comprised, to a large extent, of acid-forming foods such as processed foods, protein, cereals and sugars. An imbalanced diet high in acidifying foods increases the pressure on the body's regulating mechanisms to maintain pH neutrality, which increases the likelihood of chronic degenerative diseases.
This also in return doesn’t allow for a proper healing process to occur, thus inflammation becomes chronic.
Healing Back Pain Successfully & Good Health
Acidosis impairs body function. It hinders the body's ability to optimally absorb minerals and nutrients, decreases total energy production in cells, and negatively influences the body's normal mechanisms of repair, maintenance, elimination and detoxification.
Acidosis leads to a favourable environment for tumor cells to thrive, and increases susceptibility to fatigue and chronic illness.
Alkaline foods function to balance acidifying foods to maintain a slightly alkaline human blood pH.
If a diet consists of highly acidic foods and does not include an adequate amount of alkaline foods, extra buffering will be required to achieve pH neutrality. According Dr. Young, this extra buffering comes from vital organs, which can cause chronic illness.
As mentioned before calcium for example will be buffered from our bones, as most people do not get an adequate amount of calcium in their diet either. This will lead thus to weakening of the spinal bone structures.
The 2 Categories of Foods
Foods are classified into 2 main categories: acid-ash and alkaline-ash. According to Phillip Day, the ideal diet should be composed of 80 percent alkaline-ash foods and 20 percent acid-ash foods to prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Acid-ash foods can be sub-categorized as: low acid, acid, and highly acid. Similarly alkaline-ash foods can be further classified as: low alkaline, alkaline, and highly alkaline.
The Category Acid-ash Foods
Acid-producing foods include:
• fish and
• refined and processed foods.
Alcohol, black tea, and artificial sweeteners are also on the list of highly acidifying foods. According to the book "Health Wars," there are also neutral foods which also have an acidifying effect on the body, such as:
• corn oil
• corn syrup
• olive oil and
• refined sugar.
The following are highly acidic foods:
• canned tuna,
• sardines, and
• processed cheese.
Peanuts and walnuts are also highly acidic and should be eaten in moderate amounts. Now if you remember I showed you a list of foods that are generally thrown around on the net as foods to help fight inflammation.
On that list are nuts, like walnuts, because of the omega 3, fish, red meat, poultry etc. This contradicts the principles explained above, as they have a acidifying effect on your body. These will not really help in reducing inflammation at all.
The Category Alkaline-ash Foods
Generally, fruits and vegetables are alkaline-ash foods. Good sources include:
• vegetable juices
• raw parsley
• barley grass
• raisins and
Nuts and seeds are mostly acidic with the exception of:
• brazil nuts
• flax seed oil
• olive oil and
• canola oil.
Grains and cereals fall under low alkaline, low acidic...
Choose alkaline-forming grains rather than acidifying types, which include:
• millet and
Herbals teas are generally alkaline, including green tea and ginger tea. Refined sugars are acidifying, however, raw honey and raw sugar are low alkaline.
Increasing your intake of whole foods and eating food in its natural form is a simple method for incorporating alkaline-forming foods into your daily diet.
If you wish to find out more about the acid vs. alkinline food principles to improve your health and help your back pain, I would highly recommend reading ‘Phillip Day – Health Wars’
So hopefully the above explains that a lot of foods thrown around on the internet as being able to help our body to reduce inflammation, a lot of those on the list are NOT having that benefit. Some are high acidifying foods for the body…
If you do enjoy them eat them in moderation as explained earlier in relation to the 80-20 rule.
Sometimes a poor diet & lifestyles can cause diseases that can mimic back pain, or at least causing pain in the back area. Maybe you have seen many health professionals, but either can’t find anything wrong or the treatments you are getting do not make a difference at all.
It may be wise if that is the case, especially when the pain becomes persistent and chronic, to have a blood test or other test to identify potential health issues like:
• Internal disease, such as kidney stones,
• blood clots
• or other
Please do not hesitate if you are not sure, better to be safe then sorry. Don’t just keep going with whatever treatment, program etc. you are doing, if after a longer period of no change it would be wise to see your doctor for some potential tests.
Anything you wish to add or have any questions please leave a comment below. Hope you enjoyed this article...