Easy Diets for Back Pain (Eat Inflammation Fighting Foods)

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan Petitpas | Updated on 27 January 2022

A man in intense pain is holding his back while he's considering if eating a better diet could reduce inflammation.

Did you have any idea that there are easy-to-follow diets that alleviate back pain? That’s right, by simply changing diets, individuals can find relief and enjoy life to their fullest potential.  

Healing a strained or injured spine is one of the most difficult spots to treat properly. It’s vital to stay on top of back injuries and even more so given how important the spine is to our mobility. Many scientists and medical professionals advocate for anti-inflammatory techniques for back pain (and potentially pain elsewhere in your body). But what might some of these consist of, and how can you maximize these results?

Let’s get to know some anti-inflammatory options together.

Incorporate Fruits for Low Back Pain Relief

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: eating more fruit is key to a healthy diet. I’m sure it isn’t much of a surprise, but certain fruits have anti-inflammatory properties that can assist your back health and pain.

Choosing colorful fruit such as berries, red grapes, and cherries can be a great way of combating inflammation and lower back pain. These are also easier to incorporate into your daily diet. Just toss some berries (superfoods for back pain) in your morning cereal or oatmeal.

Red wine can also be a source of inflammation fighters, given that red grapes have a great many healthy vitamins and minerals. That’s right, you can maintain your nutrition and inflammatory maintenance and still drink a glass or two of wine!

Oranges can also help with weight loss and inflammation since they’re rich in vitamin C and antioxidants [1].

While it can take some time for your body to adjust to inflammatory fighting food, choosing more fruit can yield other unexpected results. They can also lower your overall weight, and losing weight may alleviate your pain.

Add Herbs & Spices

There are numerous herbs and spices that contribute to a low inflammation diet. Just taking the time to season your next meal properly can help fight off back pain.

Certain valuable spices to incorporate into your food include:

  • Turmeric (especially when combined with black pepper) 
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon

There are herbs you can use more frequently too, such as:

  • Rosemary 
  • Basil 
  • Chamomile
  • Green tea leaves

Curious how much of each of these spices you should be taking in order to reap the full benefits and properly incorporate them into your easy diets for back pain? Some specialists recommend starting with 1,000 mg of certain supplements daily, such as turmeric

Keep in mind that, although supplements are easiest to take, they also take time to see results. Incorporating these spices and herbs into your daily diet is a good place to begin, but you can also add these spices into drinks that also promote the loss of belly fat in 4 days or less [2]. And in general, the more belly fat you lose the less pain you will be in.

Incorporate Veggies Into Your Diet

Yep, you guessed it. More vegetables, specifically dark, leafy greens, are veggies that can help you lost weight and beat inflammation! But what veggies should you eat?

Some of the most recommended veggies include:

  • Kale 
  • Spinach 
  • Arugula 
  • Broccoli 
  • Chard 

While all veggies are good veggies, the darker and greener, the better for anti-inflammation and pain.

Onions can be beneficial to add to your diet, though many people have trouble processing this particular FODMAP (fermentable short chain carbs). No matter the vegetable, there are many benefits to reap from increased veggie consumption, especially if you are changing your diet with weight loss and inflammatory needs in mind. [3]

Consider Increasing Calcium Intake

We’ve been advised since childhood about the benefits of calcium. Drinking milk has been a popular method of consuming this vitamin naturally, though you need less than you think, especially as you age.

Most medical professionals advise consuming roughly 1,000 mg of calcium per day- and as a part of your diet rather than a pill. [4]

What Foods Make Your Back Stronger?

Choosing dairy, such as cheese, milk, and yogurt can be a perfect choice for anti-inflammation, but you can choose those amazing leafy green vegetables if you are dairy-free. Collard greens, bok choy, and even many types of legumes offer ample vitamins.

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing for your health, especially if you plan on taking a supplement rather than adjusting your diet. Stick to eating a serving of milk, almonds, kale, or even tofu instead, and you won’t be in danger of too much of a good thing!

Avoid Foods That Increase Inflammation

If you are the type of person that has difficulty incorporating new foods but can remove food choices with ease, you may be asking yourself what foods cause inflammation in the body? This is an important question, as continuing to eat inflammatory foods can ruin your easy diets for back pain.

What Foods Worsen Back Pain?

Many inflammatory foods do not promote weight loss or contain many nutrients. These foods can help avoid for back pain:

  • Anything fried (especially when fried in mixed vegetable oil) 
  • Refined grains
  • Red meat
  • Sugary drinks or treats

The last thing you want is to negate the good effects of your anti-inflammatory foods by consuming a large amount of inflammatory foods. When changing your diet, it may help to really consider what you are putting in your body- both the good and the bad!

Add More Fish

Did you know that fish is a staple in most Blue Zone cuisines? That’s because fish is an excellent source of lean protein as well as countless vitamins, including omega-3s. [5]

Omega-3s work in tandem with high-fat meals, and have the ability of being on the list of foods for pain. They battle against inflammation that is usually caused by high-fat foods, and these inflammatory properties permeate the body less when paired with omega-3s. 

We’re talking salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, cod, trout- a great deal of fish can help with your anti-inflammation given their high omega-3 count! Plus, fish provide a lot of protein in a low-calorie package. A win-win!

Consider Other Forms of Omega-3s

For people who are vegan or disgusted by diets containing tuna, there are other options that can easily be incorporated in your morning smoothie or juice!

Some of these omega-3-rich foods for back pain can include: [6]

  • Spirulina powder 
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts 
  • Chia seeds 
  • Mixed greens 

If you don’t want to eat fish, you may consider consuming a vitamin or supplement form of omega-3s as well, as most alternatives won’t get you close. 

Omega-3s are key for anti-inflammation, especially if you are still combating a high-fat diet. If you are working your way toward weight loss or a lower-fat diet, consider more omega-3s at first. Omega-3s can help to negate harmful omega-6s and are one of the few supplements that are well-researched. 

Is Dieting The Only Way to Relieve Back Pain?

While changing your diet is a fantastic way to find back pain relief, you can make some other activities and choices to help along with this easy diet for back pain

If the injury is recent, it may be worthwhile to use an icepack to fight inflammation (but it won’t reduce belly fat). And while heating pads don’t effect weight loss either, they have been shown to increase circulation on injured areas. 

Sometimes, your back pain can be remedied by a deep and relaxing massage. You should always seek a professional in back pain relief if at all possible, as certain massage techniques are better than others

If you are in a lot of pain, take the time to seek out a physical therapy session or even a regular routine. This can be highly beneficial if your back pain is injury-related rather than simply caused by inflammation over time.

Yoga may also be an excellent source of how to cure back pain at home and you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to do yoga now since there are countless yoga apps and local classes to work on flexibility. Despite what you may think, yoga isn’t just for getting fit and bendy – performing regular stretches can assist with chronic pain. You can even find a yoga class that suits your existing level of fitness and strength. Some classes are designed for older people or people with injuries. Yoga is always possible, even if you can’t get all the way into a pose.

Pain Relief is Possible

Now that you have discovered some easy, healthy and helpful diets for lower back pain relief, it’s time to get moving again. Buy some deep green veggies, take that salmon out of the freezer, and eat with your pain in mind. Your body will thank you later and just remember, with persistence relief is possible!


[1] O’Neil, C. E., Nicklas, T. A., Rampersaud, G. C., Fulgoni, V. L. (2012, December 12). 100% orange juice consumption is associated with better diet quality, improved nutrient adequacy, decreased risk for obesity, and improved biomarkers of health in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003-2006. Nutrition journal. Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3545988/. 

[2] Hewlings, S. J., & Kalman, D. S. (2017, October 22). Curcumin: A review of its effects on human health. Foods (Basel, Switzerland). Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/. 

[3] Wikimedia Foundation. (2021, October 22). Fodmap. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FODMAP. 

[4] How much calcium do you really need? Harvard Health. (2019, September 11). Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-calcium-do-you-really-need. 

[5] Wikimedia Foundation. (2021, October 26). Blue zone. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Zone. 

[6] Omega-3 fatty acids: An essential contribution. The Nutrition Source. (2019, May 22). Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/. 

About the Author

Nathan Petitpas

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.