Fight Back Pain: 10 Foods that help and hurt

Though millions who suffer from back pain and arthritis would love to discover that one magic secret that will take our pain away and make us feel like we are 18 again, there are none presently forthcoming. That being said, there are some good natural foods that can help us fight back pain, and several that work against what we want, which is pain relief. There aren't any foods (that we know of) that will cure arthritis, but there are some out there to make damaged joints less painful. There are also some foods and drinks that can make our backs and tender joints ache worse. Let's take a look at some foods to find, and some to avoid, at your local grocery stores and markets, to live a more joint pain free and back pain free life.

There aren't really any foods that can stop the aging process, and though there is some debate in the medical field about some foods and substances' ability to grow joint cartilage, the general consensus is that that is unlikely. But healthy food doesn't really need to reverse the aging process or to rebuild joints for us to feel better and more flexible. There are foods out there that can give us more energy, to naturally reduce inflammation, and to increase the rate of healing from events that can cause joint damage, either through injury or illness.

Here are 7 foods to seek out and consume on a regular basis to experience back pain relief:
  1. Fish and other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Doctors and holistic back specialists alike recommend products with omega-3 fatty acids as a food to fight arthritis and pain. Omega-3 fatty acids are found especially in fish, but also in products such as egg. While there are pills and foods, both animal and non-animal, that contain omega-3 fatty acids, the consensus in the medical community is that fish oils are the best.
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil, especially extra-virgin olive oil, is a great food product that people can use to cook with, because it can make food taste delicious as well as offer many great health benefits. Olive oil contains oleocanthal, which blocks enzymes that trigger the inflammatory processes. Olive oil is involved in reducing inflammation, like NSAIDs, but without the harmful side-effects such as stomach upset and eventually gastric bleeding if used on a regular basis over a long period of time.
  3. Vitamin-C rich foods. Vitamin C is one of several substances that the body needs to survive, and is only available in fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C protects collagen, a major component of connective tissue that keeps the joints, ligaments, and tendons of our back healthy and strong.
  4. Brazil nuts. Through consumption of even small amounts of Brazil nuts, we are able to absorb large amounts of selenium - 272. Selenium 272 works together with certain antioxidants to clear out and remove free radicals from the body, which are associated with the aging process.
  5. Leeks and Onions. Leeks and onions contain a substance called quercin, an antioxidant that inhibits inflammatory chemicals, much like pharmaceutical NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen do.
  6. Tart Cherries. Tart cherries can be a great filler in delicious pies, and they also contain substances with anthyocyancins, another antioxidant that reduces inflammation.
  7. Green Tea. Green Tea also reduced inflammation with an ingredient, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
Up next, foods, drinks, and other ingredients that may increase the severity of arthritis and back pain.