Sciatica pain can be debilitating. The good news is that it can be manageable if you eat the right kind of foods. To be specific, avoiding certain foods, such as saturated fats, can prevent flare-ups. So, what is the connection between saturated fats and sciatica pain?
Saturated Fats and Sciatica Pain
Just like trans fats, consuming a lot of saturated fats can make sciatica pain worse. The reason is that this type of fat can increase inflammation. As such, the American Heart Association recommends that we limit our consumption of saturated fats to less than 7% per day. Additionally, you can also replace saturated fats with omega-3 fatty acids.
The common sources of saturated fats are:
- Red Meat
- Fried Foods
- Processed Foods
- High-fat Dairy Products
- Egg Yolks
Now that you know the connection between saturated fats and sciatica pain, it is best to limit your intake of its common sources. Instead, you can opt for healthy alternatives, which includes the following:
1. Olive Oil
If you have sciatica, it is best to avoid vegetable oils such as canola oil and sunflower oil. The reason is that these products contain trans fat, which can cause inflammation. Instead, you can use extra virgin olive oil.
Keep in mind that extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols, compounds that can fight inflammation. The best part is that there are various ways to enjoy this healthful oil. You can drizzle it over your favorite salad recipe and use it for sautéing vegetables. Additionally, it can also be used as a marinade and a dip for your bread.
2. Coconut Oil
Like olive oil, coconut oil also contains healthful compounds that can fight inflammation. To reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of this oil, you can either add it to your meals or apply it topically. When applied to your skin, it can also help relieve pain.
There are several ways to use coconut oil for cooking. Most people use it for baking, but you can also use it to stir-fry your vegetables.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Fats are essential for the proper functioning of your body. However, saturated fats are not your only choice. As mentioned, you can also opt for omega-3 fatty acids because they can help reduce inflammation. The best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids are nuts and seeds.
Aside from omega-3 fatty acids, nuts and seeds also contain magnesium. This essential nutrient can help control muscle spasms and ease sciatica pain.
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