Five anti-inflammatory foods this Cinco de Mayo

cinco de mayo foodsBefore you dive into that bowl of white corn tortilla chips this Cinco de Mayo, remember — indulging in a buffet of inflammatory foods can also fire up your chronic neck or back pain. To avoid a flare up from this festive celebration, try adding these five anti-inflammatory foods to your party menu.

Lots of lime

Limes and other citrus fruits contain anti-inflammatory properties that reduce back pain, but you should think twice before reaching for that tangy margarita on Cinco de Mayo. Instead of an alcoholic beverage that can increase inflammation and aggravate chronic back pain, try this rosemary limeade mock margarita with a little bit of fizz.

1 cup fresh lime juice (from about 6 limes)

1/2 cup raw honey (to avoid refined sugar)

Peels of 2 limes

2 4-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary, plus more to serve

4 to 6 cups chilled sparkling water

Stir the lime juice with the honey in a small saucepan until the honey is completely dissolved and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat and add the lime peel and rosemary sprigs. Simmer for another minute, then turn off the heat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Strain out the lime peel and rosemary and mix with the chilled sparkling water in a pitcher. Taste and add more sparkling water if you want a lighter flavor.

Serve over ice with a small sprig of rosemary muddled into the drink.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Whole grain tortillas

Whether you’re dipping chips or making your own burritos, remember that white flour products — like flour tortillas and white rice — are refined carbohydrates that can stimulate inflammation. For tacos, switch to whole grain tortillas and brown rice to keep your back pain at bay while increasing your fiber intake. For a better anti-inflammatory dinner, try making salmon tacos that are rich in omega-3 with additional anti-inflammatory properties.

Tons of tomato

When it comes to controlling your neck or back pain this Cinco de Mayo, you don’t have to feel guilty about overloading on salsa. Red tomatoes contain lycopene, which reduces inflammation in the body. Pair that with the anti-inflammatory benefits of onions and bell peppers and you’ve got a salsa mix that may beat a back pain flare up. Try adding mango to your salsa for an inflammation-fighting twist. Olé!

Bell pepper dippers

While you’re cutting refined carbs from your Cinco de Mayo menu, remember that bell peppers aren’t only for salsa. Instead of using flour tortilla chips for that tempting table of party dips, try replacing this inflammatory food with bell peppers or other colorful veggies. These low-starch options for dipping can also be diced for tasty taco toppings.

Garlic galore

Between salsa, burritos and dips with a kick, garlic can be easily integrated into many Cinco de Mayo dishes. Garlic is high in sulfur content, which prevents the stimulation of inflammatory chemicals in your body. While it’s also packed with beneficial antioxidants and antiviral properties, garlic is a great way to spice up your party menu while helping to reduce neck or back pain.

When it comes to celebrating Cinco de Mayo with your friends and loved ones, don’t let neck or back pain ruin the party. If chronic neck or back pain has been keeping you from a fun and active life, contact our team at Laser Spine Institute for your no-cost MRI review.*

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