Good nutrition is a key component for a healthy spine. Your bones, muscles, and discs can benefit from proper nourishment, such as vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium, in order to support a healthy spine. For example, anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals can help prevent and reduce back problems.
Check out some spine-friendly options below!
Calcium is regarded as one of the most influential bone minerals. It helps maintain bone mass and prevents osteoporosis. Surprisingly, green leafy vegetables are sources of calcium, as well as fish. Do note that calcium cannot be absorbed well into the body without adequate vitamin D.
Increasing your magnesium intake can potentially reduce your back pain. Since magnesium supports muscle and nerve function, a deficiency can affect the muscles supporting your spine. For breakfast, enjoy some oatmeal with yogurt and banana slices. If you want a snack later on, magnesium can be found in almonds, cashews, and peanuts. When it’s time for dinner, make yourself a rice bowl with black beans and avocado. All of this food contains high levels of magnesium.
Chia seeds, lentils, nuts, and beans offer necessary nutrients without inflammation. Many animal-based proteins are inflammatory, which can contribute to back pain. Additionally, plant-based proteins contain antioxidants and fiber.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation, while benefiting bone and tissue health. One study concluded that omega-3 dietary supplementation has potential protective effects on the progression of spinal disc degeneration. For example, various types of fish, seafood, and organ meats contain omega-3. This includes salmon, mackerel, herring, and oysters. All of these are essential to maintaining a healthy spine.
Andrews, Kelly. “Food for Thought: Diet and Nutrition for a Healthy Back.” Spine-Health, Spine-Health, 17 Mar. 2017, https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/nutrition-diet-weight-loss/food-thought-diet-and-nutrition-a-healthy-back.
Hjalmarsdottir, Freydis. “12 Foods That Are Very High in Omega-3.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 17 May 2022, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-omega-3-rich-foods#11.-Walnuts-(2,570-mg-per-serving).
NaPier, Zachary et al. “Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Reduces Intervertebral Disc Degeneration.” Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research vol. 25 9531-9537. 14 Dec. 2019, doi:10.12659/MSM.918649
Vokshoor, Amir, and Marina Chaparro. “8 Foods for Spinal Health.” SpineUniverse, 23 Aug. 2019, https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/back-pain/8-foods-spinal-health.
Wells, Brent. “Magnesium for Back Pain.” Natural Calm Canada, 29 Sept. 2019, https://naturalcalm.ca/ending-back-pain-with-the-help-of-magnesium/.