The cause of sciatica and back pain can vary from person to person. In some cases, the cause of the pain is inflammation even without any disc compression. Anti-inflammatory medications are sometimes recommended for treatment. What you eat can also play a role in reducing inflammation in your body. Read ahead to find out which foods can help you feel better if you suspect inflammation is contributing to your back pain.
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory effects such as reducing swelling in sinusitis, sore throat, and arthritis. Pineapple enzymes have also been used successfully to treat rheumatoid arthritis and to speed up tissue repair.
Parsley contains compounds known as flavonoids that are abundant in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and plants. Flavonoids have many healthful benefits including the ability to fight inflammation. Apigenin is one of the flavonoids found in parsley and has been shown to reduce inflammation in both lupus and arthritis.
Celery also contains the anti-inflammatory flavonoid apigenin. In addition, celery is high in fiber and is extremely low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. It is a very good source of folate, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Onions contain a compound known as quercetin, which is well known as a potent anti-inflammatory agent according to the Royal Society of Chemistry. Incorporating more onions into your diet is very simple since they can be prepared in multiple ways and added to many different recipes.
Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. Broccoli is a close relative to Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. Sulforaphane, a major component of broccoli, is known to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties according to the Journal of Preventive Nutrition and Food Science. Broccoli is also low in calories and rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, if you want to fight inflammation, drink tea. Green, black, oolong, and white teas all contain plant-based compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Even though these teas taste different, they all come from the same plant. Green and white teas have the highest polyphenol levels. Herbal teas come from other plants with varying antioxidant levels.
Blueberries are the favorite anti-inflammatory food of registered dietitian Eleanor Baker. In an email interview she explained why: “Blueberries are an excellent source of the anti-inflammatory phytochemical, anthocyanin. You can enjoy them fresh while they are in season or frozen out of season for optimal nutrient content.”