Can Diet Help Sciatica? - Your Back Pain Relief

Can Diet Help Sciatica?

Sciatica is a health condition associated with numbness, pain and weakness along the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back all the way down to the legs.

Sciatica is caused by various factors including injury, disk damage and spinal stenosis. On occasion, sciatica is caused by bone spurs.

Sciatica may require medical treatment. However, most of the time, lifestyle changes including exercise and diet are effective ways of managing sciatica.

Diet and Sciatica

Many health conditions improve with dietary changes. When you experience sciatica, adopting a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods is important.

Anti-inflammatory foods are rich in antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation in the body. If you are experiencing sciatica, it is a good idea to look at your diet.

Cold Water Fish

Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are rich in Omega 3 Essential Oil. This is a long-chained oil which our bodies can’t manufacture, but it is essential for our health and well-being

The only way we can obtain Omega 3 is by taking a supplement or eating cold water fish.

When you are experiencing sciatica, you should try to eat at least one portion of cold-water fish a day. Fresh fish is the best, but eating tinned and frozen fish is also helpful.

If you can’t source cold water fish, you should add an Omega 3 Fish Oil supplement to your diet. Both salmon and cod liver oil are great for reducing inflammation.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In Mediterranean countries, doctors have always recommended patients add extra virgin olive oil to their diet.

Although it has been recognised that olive oil has health benefits, scientists were unsure what compounds in olive oil help to reduce inflammation.

Thanks to modern science, we have learned virgin olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal. This is a healthy fat with very similar properties to the popular drug ibuprofen.

Not only does oleocanthal reduce inflammation in joints, muscles and tendons. It also reduces harmful cholesterol.

Olive oil is one of nature’s richest sources of antioxidants. To get the health benefits olive oil offers, add it liberally to your salads and bread.

It is thought garlic helps boost the healthy compounds found in olive oil.

Berries Reduce Inflammation

Fruit is good for you, but if you are experiencing sciatica or any other inflammatory condition, you should watch what fruits you eat.

For instance, citrus fruit is rich in citric acid. Instead of reducing inflammation, citric acid can increase inflammation or cause it.

When you have sciatica, it is best to stay away from acidic fruits including oranges, lemons and grapefruit.

Instead, you should add berries to your diet. Berries are packed with healthy antioxidants that reduce inflammation and boost the health of cell membranes.

Stronger cell membranes mean free radicals and oxidants are less likely to penetrate the cell wall.

Antioxidants are represented by different colours. Eating a wide range of different coloured berries means you add a wider variety of antioxidants to your diet.

All berries are good for you including red and black currants that you can grow in your garden. Blackberries and blueberries are super rich in iron which also helps to reduce inflammation.

Raspberries, lingonberries and cranberries are other useful sources of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

Berries that have been frozen quickly are just as good for you as fresh berries.

Cruciferous Vegetables

An anti-inflammatory diet for sciatica is not complete without the addition of cruciferous vegetables. Fortunately, cruciferous vegetables are easy to grow. They grow well in different temperature zones and also perform well in polytunnels.

Cruciferous vegetables are easy to find in supermarkets and are relatively cheap. They contain a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called sulforaphane.

So far we have learned sulforaphane improves the health of the immune and appears to remove harmful particles from the blood. Cruciferous vegetables are also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fibers.

Phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables fight off inflammation and are believed to prevent chronic diseases.

Cruciferous vegetables include:

● Cabbage
● Cauliflower
● Broccoli
● Swede
● Kale
● Brussel sprouts
● Bok choy
● Collard greens
● Watercress
● Radishes
● Kohlrabi
● Turnips

You can eat them raw, and add them to soup and stews. Steaming cruciferous vegetables retains more of their healthy properties.

What You Should Not Eat

Of course, some foods can affect your sciatica in a negative way.

As with other inflammatory conditions, sciatica can be made worse by eating the wrong foods.

If you would like to better manage your inflammatory response, you should stay away from or reduce your intake of certain foods.

They include processed meat, red meat and fast food. Processed food includes fresh pasta so be careful when you go shopping for groceries.

Any food rich in carbohydrates which turns to sugar in the body increases inflammation. That includes rice, bread and sweet treats such as cakes and cookies.

Eating fiber is important when you are trying to reduce inflammation. Fiber acts as a broom in the body sweeping away free radicals and oxidants. It is also thought fiber helps to remove viruses and bacteria.

Healthy grains that are good for you include quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat. Before we started to eat a lot of potatoes, buckwheat was an important part of our diet.

A vegetable we used to eat a lot of instead of potatoes is celery root or celeriac as it is also called. It is packed with nutrients which can’t be obtained from potatoes. Sweet potatoes are also very good for you when you are trying to reduce inflammation.

Final Thoughts

Diet and reducing inflammation go hand in hand. If you are experiencing sciatica, it is a good idea to clean out your larder.

Replace any unhealthy food items with foods and supplements that can help you reduce your inflammatory response.

Not only will the right foods help you to remedy sciatica, but they can also help to boost your general health. Sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet has many health benefits.

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