Eat for a Healthy Spine
Paying attention to what you eat on a daily basis is important. A healthy life begins with a well-balanced diet- and so does a healthy spine! A poor diet can lead to inflammation and weak bones, which inevitably leads to back pain.
Build Strong Bones
Obviously, bones make up a large portion of your spine. Without the proper intake of certain nutrients, the bones can become brittle, and lead to severe back pain. Calcium is commonly associated with bone strength, and rightfully so! You can find calcium in dairy products (like yogurt, milk, and cheese), or in dark, leafy greens (like kale and bok choy).
While calcium plays a large role in building strong bones and preventing bone diseases, it doesn’t work alone. Magnesium is another bone healthy mineral. It not only assists in maintaining bone density but aids in muscle contractions as well. Magnesium can be found in certain fruits (like bananas, avocados, and kiwi), or in those trusty dark, leafy greens!
Be Good to Your Cells
Your cells do their best to protect your body from harm, but they need your help. Your cells produce numerous amino acids and proteins that aid in the wellbeing of your spine, but without proper nutrition, they may not make enough.
When it comes to your diet, Vitamin C is a must. Think of Vitamin C as the superhero of vitamins. Not only is it an antioxidant, but it also helps in the production of collagen (which makes up about 30%of the proteins found in your body), and the production of tissue. While many people are quick to correlate Vitamin C and oranges, it can be found in many other fruits and vegetables. Strawberries, other citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes are all excellent sources of Vitamin C.
Reduce Swelling in Your Back
One of the major contributors to back pain is swelling, or inflammation. There are many foods you can eat to help reduce this issue. Foods like salmon, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cherries are all considered anti-inflammatories. Other great sources include spices like curry or ginger, which contain turmeric.
You have probably heard this before, but you need to be aware of how much water you drink on a daily basis! Proper hydration ensures the fluidity of your joints and helps keep your soft tissue malleable. Your spinal discs are primarily composed of water. In order to keep your discs healthy, you need to hydrate yourself properly. Studies recommend drinking two to three liters of water each day, and even more on days that you exercise or are highly active.
As you begin to incorporate more spine-healthy foods into your diet, remember that these will not only fight back pain, but they will benefit your overall health as well. Incorporating these vitamin and mineral packed foods, along with regular exercise, can help you either lose or maintain weight. Keeping your body at a healthy weight will help eliminate extra pressure on your spine.