People are often surprised that, even with respect to back pain, nutrition can have both a positive or negative effect.
Nutrition is usually thought of in a positive manner. However, one can suffer from poor, bad or sub-optimal nutrition, as well as benefit from good, proper or optimal nutrition. So obviously you can fall anywhere along that continuum.
Nutrition can be classified as macro-nutrition and micro nutrition.
From a macro perspective it involves the ingestion of food based on fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Micro-nutrition consist of vitamins and minerals and other food components such as phytochemicals, antioxidants, etc. that are neither vitamins or minerals, but nevertheless can have a positive influence on health and well-being.
A poor diet (nutrition) can cause or contribute to diseases. For example, a diet lacking in vitamin C will cause scurvy. Or a diet that contributes an excess of calories will cause obesity and it's related diseases of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
As in all aspects of life, balance is the key and what life functions best at.
With certain diseases, the addition of extra nutrients or food substances can have a positive effect, often reversing disease processes or helping to manage them. An example of this is the addition of fish oil or essential fatty acids (Omega 3) for inflammation, calcium and vitamin D and other bone nutrients for osteoporosis, herbs or herbal supplementation such as turmeric, boswellia and ginger for inflammation.
Only the macro-nutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates) are capable of supplying needed energy. This energy is measured as calories or kilo-calories. Fat supplies two times the energy per gram than does protein or carbohydrates.
Nutrients can be classified as either essential or nonessential.
Bear in mind that a specific food, even if it is considered to be a very nutritious food, can still be harmful to an individual. An example is consuming a food that we are allergic to, even though this food can be a rich source of nutrients.
People can be allergic to dairy, eggs, certain seafood, wheat or corn or any other food for that matter. When consumed they cause immunological or other chemical reactions in the body. If allergic or hypersensitive to them, they can produce such ailments as arthritis, asthma, rhinitis, gastrointestinal symptoms, headaches and an array of other ailments or conditions. They have also been shown to be able to worsen an existing health problem
So the old saying "one man's meat is another man's poison" can be very applicable.
The ingestion of certain foods can also create pro-inflammatory responses or, the opposite, anti-inflammatory responses. It has been demonstrated that the digestive end-products of foods can produce an acid (inflammatory) or alkaline (anti-inflammatory) state.
When considering back pain nutrition in your arsenal, the identification of food allergies or hypersensitivities can be a very daunting task. There are no absolute testing procedures you can use to determine all that you may be reactive to. It is best to employ several testing methods to help ascertain if food allergies are a problem.
When it comes to back pain nutrition, it is best to approach it with the concept that optimal nutrition will have a beneficial impact on lower back pain.
Keep in mind that any food, nutrient deficiency or sub-optimal diet can adversely affect your overall health, low back pain or other ailments.
By including the above
nutritional suggestions in your lifestyle you will be encouraging your body to avoid being in a chronic inflammatory state due.
The damaging effects of chronic inflammation and nutrient stresses can be accumulative over a lifetime. The sooner you start implementing these strategies the better.