Sciatica is commonly characterized by a collection of symptoms, such as pain, discomfort, tingling sensations and numbness, frequently caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve. In a variety of circumstances, the cause of a patient’s sciatic nerve pain may be due to inflammation, even without any underlying health issues. Many healthcare professionals will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and/or medications to help treat sciatica. However, these can only do so much when it comes to treating the source of sciatica. The type of foods you eat also plays a fundamental role in reducing overall inflammation in the human body. Below, we will describe what a comprehensive diet food plan should include to help improve sciatic nerve pain symptoms.
Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Sciatica
There are many types of anti-inflammatory foods which can help ease pain, discomfort, and swelling, which may ultimately be beneficial for sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain. The best anti-inflammatory foods include:
- Spices: Several varieties of spices contain antioxidants which can help reduce the human body’s inflammatory response. Rosemary, cloves, ginger, and turmeric can help reduce inflammation.
- Dark leafy greens: Vegetables such as collard greens, Swiss chard, kale, and spinach also contain antioxidants which can help fight against cellular damage, among other health issues like sciatica.
- Green tea: Japanese matcha tea contains 17 times more antioxidants than wild blueberries, another food which is also rich in antioxidants. These anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce sciatic nerve pain.
- Fermented vegetables: Gut health is essential to help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods, such as natto, kimchi, miso, pickles, and sauerkraut, are excellent choices. You may also eat fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir, to help reduce inflammation.
When purchasing any of the anti-inflammatory foods listed above, make sure they come from organic providers to help minimize your risk of consuming pesticides and other harmful toxins. As for the dairy foods listed above, make sure they come from healthy, grass-fed cows to make sure that you’re consuming a nutritious, high-quality product. The milk harvested from cows raised in concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, often contain antibiotics and other additives which can affect your overall well-being.
Eat Foods Rich in B Vitamins
The vitamin B family is fundamental for the structure and function of the human body because it helps regulate the nervous system. Vitamin B deficiencies can cause transmitters to start working inefficiently which may slow down the sciatica recovery process. Below are some of the key B vitamins you should consume, including:
- Vitamin B6: Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 can help support the metabolism of the human body’s neurotransmitters. Foods rich in this nutrient include grass-fed meat, fish, bananas, and legumes.
- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 plays an essential role in maintaining the health of myelin, or the fatty substance which wraps around nerve fibers to speed up neurotransmitter communications. Foods rich in this nutrient include pasture-raised chicken and eggs, wild-caught fatty fish and grass-fed dairy products.
- Folate: This vital vitamin is crucial for the production of neurotransmitters. Vegetables are good sources of folate and the best choices include asparagus, broccoli, bok choy, romaine lettuce, and cauliflower.
Eat Foods to Promote Muscle Repair
In a variety of circumstances, muscle health issues can cause sciatica, such as piriformis syndrome. Add foods into your sciatica diet food plan treatment which can help nourish and repair your muscles properly in order to help prevent injuries and/or aggravated conditions. Some of the best foods for muscle repair include:
- Nuts and seeds: These two popular snack options contain plant-based omega-3 fatty acids which can tremendously help reduce inflammation as well as provide protein for muscle synthesis and growth.
- Wild-caught salmon: Wild-caught salmon can greatly increase your omega-3 intake. It also contains a good source of lean protein to promote muscle-building for overall muscle repair, health, and wellness.
- Tart cherries: These small fruits should be a part of your diet food plan as they may help decrease pain, discomfort, and inflammation, according to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
- Pasture-raised eggs: Eggs contain generous amounts of protein which can ultimately help repair and strengthen your muscles to reduce sciatica symptoms, as well as increase energy production.
Make sure to eat only moderate amounts of protein on a daily basis, preferably 1 gram for every kilogram of your lean body mass, according to healthcare professionals. This will lower the risk of stimulating mTOR, or mammalian target of rapamycin, which is associated with cancer when protein is consumed excessively.
Sciatica is a collection of symptoms characterized by pain, discomfort, tingling sensations, and/or numbness, among other common symptoms. Sciatica, also known as sciatic nerve pain, is generally caused by a variety of underlying health issues, however, research studies have demonstrated that inflammation caused by an improper nutrition can also cause sciatic nerve pain. Following a sciatica diet food plan treatment can help improve sciatic nerve pain. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
Mix and Match Diet Food Plan
With the numerous food choices listed in this article, you can surely put together a sciatica diet food plan treatment which can help reduce overall inflammation while simultaneously building your muscles and supporting your nervous system health. If you’re unsure of what to eat due to allergies, consult a healthcare professional. Afterward, you can come up with healthy meals which can improve your overall well-being. Sciatica is a collection of symptoms caused by the compression or impingement of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. Understanding the symptoms of sciatic nerve pain is essential towards obtaining a diagnosis in order to follow up with the best treatment. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topic Discussion: Severe Sciatica
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain attributes to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. Your spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of painful symptoms, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have these results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, through the utilization of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.
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