If you’ve got a sweet tooth, we’ve got some delicious Italian pastries to satisfy it. Some are simple, while others feature nuts, fruits or chocolate. Okay, this is another odd-ball article topic here, but please bear with me. Have you ever wondered if the coffee you grab in the morning on the way to work might be causing your back pain and sciatica? Well, of course there are foods that you can eat that either hurt or help inflammation in your body, which may contribute to back pain. Foods like junk food, fast food, red meats, fried foods, pastries, and cakes are of course not good for you.
The Best Italian Pastries
These foods are loaded with trans fat, saturated fats, and have a high glycemic index. All of which will only exacerbate inflammation and make your back pain worse. On the other end of the spectrum there are foods like walnuts, blueberries, salmon, cod, and other fruits which are extremely good for your health. But where does coffee fit into this spectrum? Now, of course there are extremely sugary, high-calorie coffees that you can get at coffee shop chains.
- Cannoli: These crunchy tubes of fried pastry dough are typically filled with ricotta cheese or mascarpone. The filling is often flavored with vanilla or orange flower water and cinnamon. Sometimes these pastries are dipped in chocolate-or the open ends are coated with chocolate chips, pistachios or candied citrus peel. Cannoli come from the Palermo and Messina areas of Sicily.
- 7-layer rainbow cookies: These Italian favorites, which are sometimes called Venetian or Napoleon cookies, contain brightly colored layers of almond-flavored sponge cake. The layers are filled with apricot and/or raspberry jam, and there’s a dark chocolate coating.
- Biscotti: You’ve probably tried these dry, sweet and crunchy cookie-like sticks. They come in all different flavors-apple caramel, salted caramel, chocolate-and one side is typically coated in chocolate or a type of sweet icing.
- Amaretti: This is the Italian name for macaroons, meaning “little bitter things.” These small cookies, which were first created in Venice during the Renaissance, are made from sugar, flour, eggs and ground almonds or almond paste. They may contain chocolate or other flavors and are crunchy on the outside and soft inside. They are great by themselves, but they can also be ground up and sprinkled on desserts.
- Pizzelle: This traditional waffle cookie is typically flavored with anise or anisette or vanilla or lemon zest. It is often made for holidays like Christmas and Easter and usually contains fillings like cannoli cream or a hazelnut spread. Pizzelle, which can be crunchy or soft depending on how they are made, originate from the Abruzzo region of Italy.
- Tiramisu: Did you know that “tiramisu” means “pick me up” or “lift me up”? This delicious dessert is made from espresso-soaked ladyfingers. It’s layered with whipped eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese flavored with cocoa. Compared to other Italian desserts, this one is relatively new. Most sources say it was first created in the 1960s in the Veneto region of Italy.
- Panna Cotta: This beautiful, simple dish is made with unflavored gelatin, whole milk, whipping cream, honey and sugar. It can be flavored with rum, coffee or vanilla. Panna cotta is especially tasty when it’s topped with red fruits like raspberries, strawberries or sweet cherries. The dessert is said to come from the northern Italian region of Piedmont.
These types of coffees have high glycemic indices and many of them contain a high amount of saturated fats in them. These coffees are definitely not good for your inflammation and your back pain. But what about straight black coffee without all the sugar and other goodies that turn a breakfast drink into more of a dessert? Well, black coffee is a lot better for you and it doesn’t really have the “not good for you” ingredients. But it also doesn’t have any of the good ingredients either. However, I’m sure you’re aware that coffee has caffeine in it. If you’ve ever had to write a college term paper the night before it was due, you’ve probably used this to your advantage.
But did you know that caffeine can actually elevate levels of anxiety that you experience? This is why people that get the jitters from too much coffee seem a little jumpier than normal. Essentially the coffee is putting them on edge and sending their bodies into the fight or flight condition.