Getting your day off to the right start takes on a whole new meaning when dealing with back pain.
When you wake up in the morning your body needs help to meet the demands of the new day. Energy stored in your liver has been depleted by your brain and other organs. Your muscles and the rest of your body need replenishment.
But making wise choices at breakfast not only provides this needed nourishment, it can help prevent a back pain flare-up… while poor choices can set you up for a miserable pain-filled day.
Here’s a brief rundown of the healthy choices your body hungers for… and just as important, which foods you should avoid.
Avoid Refined Grains, High-Sugar, and High-Fat Foods
Everyone hates a list of “don’t eat this, don’t eat that.” I’m going to give you a short list anyhow. If you’re trying to kick back pain to the curb, there’s a few things you should simply keep off the breakfast table.
First of all, before you consume that package of toaster pastries or box of sweetened cereal, read the label. You’ll find most of these products are loaded with sugar, fat, or both. Even foods like breakfast sausage have sugar added these days.
When deciding on your breakfast, look at the grams of fat and grams of sugar per serving. Refined white flour loaded with sugar and fat are nothing more than junk food. Throw out the junk food instead of your back for a change.
Drive-thrus are another convenient way to set yourself up for pain. Precious few items served by fast-food chains are worthy of your personal breakfast menu.
What’s really so wrong with these breakfast foods? In a word: inflammation.
Eat too many inflammatory foods for breakfast and you’re much more likely to hit a back pain brick wall as systemic inflammation overloads your body’s capacity to deal with it.
Of course, these breakfast junk foods aren’t very favorable for your gut, either. And a bulging waistline is just one more risk factor for back pain.
Include Omega 3 Fats, Protein, and Fiber in Your Breakfast
Let’s face it, you’re probably not going to get rid of all the sugary and fatty foods in your breakfast, are you? But you can at least minimize them. And, you can eat foods to counteract their inflammatory effects.
Now here’s some good news. Not all fat is bad. In fact, certain types of fatty acids like Omega-3 will actually help your body modulate inflammation.
Foods like canned salmon, sardines, and walnuts, all rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, can actually help ease your back pain. For a back-friendly breakfast, try a sprouted wheat bagel with organic cream cheese topped with smoked salmon. Or try adding flax seeds to your smoothie or walnuts to your yogurt to boost your intake of Omega-3s.
You also need protein in your diet to help repair damaged tissue and to build and strengthen muscle. Protein also helps build stronger, healthier cartilage. Foods like nuts, eggs (yes – eat the yolk), cottage cheese, and lean bacon are good high-protein choices. Combine cottage cheese with fresh pineapple for a protein-packed, back pain fighting breakfast choice.
By the way, did you know that even a minor case of constipation can lead to back pain? Help prevent constipation by adding some extra fiber to your breakfast. Oatmeal and bran cereals are great sources. So are fruits like pears, apples, figs and strawberries.
Drink Water, Avoid Too Much Caffeine and Dehydration
A cup of coffee in the morning isn’t going to kill you. But research shows that drinking several cups of coffee every day serves as a diuretic, making you urinate more frequently possibly leading to chronic dehydration.
When your body is deficient of water it lacks the fluid necessary for the discs between your vertebrae to cushion movement in your back.
All day long, fluid is squeezed from your vertebral discs due to the stress of gravity and activity. Your body relies upon adequate hydration to restore these lost fluids while you sleep each night. That’s why even mild chronic dehydration can put you at greater risk of a herniated disc.
So drink an extra glass of water and less coffee at breakfast. The extra water you drink will help clean out toxins, hydrate tissues and organs, and regulate your body temperature throughout the day.
Perfect Opportunity for Proper Nutrition
Breakfast provides you the opportunity to include the important food groups you need to get your day off to a healthy start.
Skip the refined grains, sugary foods, and saturated fats that promote inflammation, obesity, and chronic back pain. Instead, reach for the Omega-3 fats, protein, fiber, and a healthy supply of water and chances are you’ll help stop back pain it its tracks.
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