Sciatica symptoms can be a bit diversified, but most of them will have something to do with excruciating pains. Managing them can be done in different ways, but longterm maintenance is just as important – you do not want any flareups, do you? A few lifestyle changes are mandatory – while temporary, adopting them in the long run could definitely help.
Most people tend to overlook what they actually eat. At this point, you probably ask yourself – can diet affect sciatica? What you eat will most likely have an impact. It could target the symptoms and aggravate them, but it may also cause the apparition of sciatica. For example, overweight individuals are more likely to get the affection.
Can diet affect sciatica?
Absolutely. The general definition of a healthy diet may vary from one individual to another, but some rules are unwritten and widely general. For example, junk foods are more likely to lead to sciatica than fruits and vegetables. Patients should certainly aim for more natural foods, but what exactly can make the difference?
When sciatica kicks in, it will most likely cause some inflammations throughout the lower part of the body. It will affect the sciatic nerve, so it makes sense to work on your diet in order to reduce inflammation. From this point of view, saturated fats are highly contraindicated because everyone knows they can cause inflammation – stay away from fat meats, processed foods, high fat dairy and fried foods.
At the same time, not all fats can be harmful for your sciatica. Healthy fats are actually recommended and can make the difference. Seafood is accepted, as well as sources of fatty acids, such as salmon or trout. If you are not into fish, you also have some vegetable sources of fatty acids, such as walnuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
How do vitamins and minerals help against sciatica?
When it comes to vitamins, you do not necessarily need to push yourself with all kinds of supplements. Instead, opt for fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins. Vitamins in the B range are ideal to keep your nerve in a good state. If you have a deficit, you may find the pains more intense, while the treatment will most likely last longer.
B vitamins can be found in a wide variety of foods. Eggs and salmon make some good choices, but mushrooms also come with good amounts of vitamins.
Then, you will need some magnesium in your diet too. Apart from the harsh painful sensations, sciatica will also bring in muscular spasms, not to mention cramps. Such issues arise when the sciatic nerve is too sensitive. Magnesium is highly indicated then. Opt for green leafy vegetables, seeds and all the nuts you can find.
If you are after sweet stuff, dark chocolate comes with good amounts of magnesium.
Last, but not least, think about potassium too, so stick to apricots, spinach or bananas.
Suggested article: Magnesium For Sciatica Pain – Is It Worth It?
Are supplements worth it?
Supplements for vitamins and minerals could be a good choice if you dislike any of the above mentioned foods. Getting a deficit of those minerals and vitamins will aggravate the symptoms of sciatica – plus, a constant deficit may also trigger its initial apparition or further flareups. If you struggle with a deficit, supplements make a good choice, but you do need some research before committing to such a treatment.
At the end of the day, you would rather have natural fruits and vegetables, as such dietary changes will bring in longterm benefits, rather than just help against sciatica.
What to avoid
Apart from what to eat, you should also know what to avoid. Animal products are contraindicated, unless you get oily fish. Foods based on various oils should be avoided too – margarine, sunflower oil and so on. Stay away from refined sugars, caffeine and soda drinks too.
In the end, can diet affect sciatica? Absolutely. A regular bad diet may cause it or get it to reappear. If you already have it, changing the diet is one of those lifestyle changes every specialist doctor will recommend. It could be a bit challenging, but it will help – at least on a temporary basis. If you can keep these changes further on, you will gain even more benefits.
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