You Are What You Eat: Diet and Nutrition for a Healthy Spine

Most people know the importance of good nutrition and a balanced diet when it comes to our overall health. However, many patients are not aware of the role their diet may have with respect to their back pain. Bones, muscles, disks and other parts of the spine need adequate vitamins and nutrients to stay strong. Also, certain foods have been known to reduce (or increase) inflammation, which is a common cause of back pain.

If you are experiencing back pain, it may be helpful to take a look at what you are eating. We’ll discuss a few diet tips to promote a healthy spine.

Make Sure Your Getting Enough Calcium and Vitamin D

When it comes to healthy bones, calcium is often the first word that comes to mind. Calcium is the essential mineral for maintaining a healthy bone mass and preventing vertebral fractures. Foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and dark green leafy vegetables are all great sources of calcium. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Only a small number of fatty foods, such as egg yolks and salmon, are natural sources of vitamin D.

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

The most vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables are often the most nutritious. Highly pigmented fruits, such as berries, and dark green leafy vegetables – such as kale, broccoli, spinach – are some of the most nutritious. These foods are packed with vitamins and nutrients that help support and strengthen the muscles, bones and other structures in your spine. Last, these foods help to reduce inflammation.

Eat a Diet That is Rich in Protein

Considered one of the “building blocks” of the human body, protein helps to maintain and repair the muscles, cartilage, and tissue in the spine. The best choices are lean meats such as chicken and fish, legumes, nuts, and grains.

Spice it Up

Spices, herbs, and seasonings can help to reduce inflammation. Easily added to dishes, spices can pack a big punch when you consume them throughout the day. Some of the best anti-inflammatory spices include turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, clove, cayenne, garlic, and black pepper.

Drink Lots of Water (and Less Alcohol)

Staying hydrated can help increase flexibility in the spine and allow nutrients to travel more easily to the major organs of the body. Alcohol can affect the body’s ability to absorb of calcium. Limit yourself to a glass of red wine, which has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Choose the Best Spine Surgeon

If you have additional questions about nutrition and spine health, or are suffering from back pain that is affecting your daily life, call Colorado Spine & Scoliosis today. Choosing a spine surgeon is an important decision that can be intimidating and overwhelming.

Dr. Anant Kumar specializes in adult degenerative cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine surgery, pediatric spine surgery, scoliosis, and complex spinal deformities. Dr. Kumar has the ability to draw upon his extensive training and experience to find the most effective treatment for his patients. If you are looking for a skillful and reliable spine surgeon in Colorado, schedule an appointment at Colorado Spine & Scoliosis today