Have you been experiencing back pain recently and aren’t really sure what the cause is? Well, as it turns out, your diet can have a huge impact on the overall health of your body, including your spine. For a lot of people, the first thing that comes to mind when keeping your spine healthy is exercise and medication, but simply adding in specific foods to an everyday diet can help keep a spine healthy too! Though it is always wise to seek professional help if you are experiencing pain that is unmanageable or constant, there are still ways that you can implement certain foods into your diet that can either help change the overall condition of your spine or help prevent certain issues from even happening in the first place.
As we age, the density of our bones decrease, making them more prone to fracture. Calcium is the building block for our bones, so getting enough calcium in your diet will help ensure that you are giving your body the essential building blocks to maintain healthy bones. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get more calcium in your diet. Generally, people assume dairy is the best way to get your daily calcium intake but there are a lot of other ways as well!
- Almonds – 1 oz. (22 nuts) has 8% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
- Sardines and salmon
- Seeds such as poppy, sesame, celery and chia seeds.
- Legumes such as black beans, peanuts and baked beans
Not only is salmon high in calcium, but it has many other beneficial health factors that make it great for the support of a healthy spine. Salmon is a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help promote both bone and tissue health. They also help fight against inflammation. If you don’t mind adding a little seafood to your diet, salmon is a great healthy choice!
Vegetables in general are a great nutritional addition to any diet, so be sure to incorporate them to help improve your overall health. Leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, and spinach are also a great calcium boost but many vegetables contain other nutrients essential for one’s health and help fight inflammation. As a rule of thumb, vegetables with darker, stronger natural pigments work best for added nutritional value.
Fruits are also a wonderful addition to the diet that can help support strong spinal health. Fruits such as kiwi, avocados, and bananas are high in nutrients like magnesium, which as we will see in a moment is important in the functioning of muscular health. Additionally, orange colored fruits are known to be high in vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining damaged tissues in the body and the formation of bones. Try to add fruits like nectarines, cantaloupes, and apricots to help support your overall spinal health. In general, just like with vegetables, fruits that are naturally higher in pigment are going to be most nutritious.
Magnesium is another mineral that plays a major role in the health of your spine. The body needs magnesium in order to properly constrict and relax the muscles. It also helps to maintain muscle mass and bone density, all of which are very important for the spine and the muscles around it. There are several ways you can get more magnesium into your diet.
- Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole grain pasta
- Magnesium supplements
- Seeds such as sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, or flax seeds
- Beans such as pinto beans, chickpeas, and black beans
- Fruits and vegetables are also great sources of magnesium
I am sure we have all heard about vitamin D before and how important it is for our health. Vitamin D and calcium often go hand in hand because your body needs Vitamin D in order to absorb calcium properly. When someone is deficient in calcium, they are usually deficient in vitamin D as well, and vise versa. So it is important to make sure you are getting enough of both in your diet. Here are a few ways to get more vitamin D.
- Eggs, including the yolk
- Spend a little time in the sun
- Vitamin D supplements
Iron is another nutrient that plays a huge role in the overall health of our body. It is responsible for things like oxygen exchange in our blood cells, the production of collagen, and production of myoglobin. Myoglobin is important for the building of strong muscles, which include the muscles around the spine. Since iron is also responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body, it also helps support the overall health of the tissues in the body and the spine. Many foods are naturally high in iron.
- Red meat, liver, poultry, pork
- Leafy green vegetables once again make the list
Herbs and Spices
Believe it or not, many herbs and spices can play an important role in the overall health of our body and spine. For instance, turmeric, a spice commonly found in Indian cuisine, is shown to help fix damaged tissue. Cinnamon, rosemary, basil, and ginger, along with many others, are shown to help fight inflammation. Consider buying some nice ginger tea or adding a dash of turmeric to your meal. Not only can you help make food more tasty, but it can help support the health of your body and spine.
These are just a few of the ways that you can implement different foods into your everyday diet that will help support the overall health of your body and your spine. Having a strong spine is important to being able to have a long and healthy life. If you have been experiencing spinal issues or any back pain, please make an appointment with us today. Let our specialists at Thrive Chiropractic help set a course that will get you back on track to leading a pain free life. Visit us online, give us a call, or stop in at our Boise location to set an appointment today. We hope to see you soon!