Seafood for back pain: It’s better to go wild

Seafood for back pain: It’s better to go wildConsider going wild for a healthy seafood dinner tonight. Not just for the taste and quality, but because wild fish, like salmon, can help you build a better anti-inflammatory diet.

Before we get too deep, you should know that not all farm-raised seafood is bad. There’s good aquaculture and bad aquaculture — but the key is knowing where a farm-raised fish came from and how certain types of fish can affect your health.

So, should you get farm-raised or wild seafood? Let’s look at our two biggest contenders — farmed tilapia vs. salmon fresh from the water:

Put tilapia in the trash

It may not be the most gourmet seafood, but tilapia is packed with protein and relatively inexpensive, so what could be so bad? A closer look underneath the surface reveals how tilapia is one of the worst types of fish for your neck, back and overall health.

Here’s why:

  • Location makes a difference. Unless it has been farmed within the United States, Canada or another country that farms tilapia responsibly, beware of this kind of fish. According to the FDA, farm-raised tilapia from China is often rejected due to the “filthy” circumstances caused by the hazardous conditions in which the fish are raised. This can also happen in other countries that may not use best practices when farming tilapia.
  • It’s an inflammatory fish. Tilapia is low in omega-3 and high in omega-6, and unbalanced levels of these two fatty acids can cause problems. Omega-6 contains arachidonic acid, and without an equal balance of omega-3 to battle the acid’s inflammatory properties, this can cause muscle tissue inflammation.
  • Added chemicals can hurt. Antibiotics, pollutants and other man-made contaminants aren’t good for anyone to eat. Tilapia farmers that neglect best practices, like many found overseas, tend to raise the fish in unsafe environments, making them prone to illness or contamination. That’s why antibiotics are thrown into the mix. But beware. Eating fish or meat that contains antibiotics can cause people to become antibiotic resistant and more prone to serious illness.

Stick with wild salmon

The benefits of salmon stretch further than the freshwater streams in which they are found. Salmon that’s caught fresh is always best, and here’s why:

  • It doesn’t contain chemicals. There are no antibiotics or unsafe contaminants in wild salmon.
  • It prevents inflammation. Unlike tilapia, wild salmon has a great balance of omega-3 and omega-6.
  • Wild salmon tastes great. Cook Natalie’s favorite anti-inflammatory salmon recipe to get a taste!

Tilapia may be more affordable. But can you put a price on your health? Go with wild salmon to stay on top of your anti-inflammatory meals and help prevent neck and back pain. If a deeper dive into your diet hasn’t changed your chronic pain levels, it’s time to make a bigger change. Contact Laser Spine Institute to explore treatment options for your chronic neck or back pain.


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