Your diet plays an important role in your overall health, so it’s only natural to wonder how much of an impact it has on your spinal health. Can a good diet be the ticket to preventing back pain and potential injuries?
To an extent – yes! Your diet does very much affect your spinal health. What you eat and drink alone can’t stave off back problems, but it can improve the overall health of your spine. The healthier you are, the better you can prevent potential health problems. Healthy eating allows you to enjoy a stronger spine, especially when combined with other strategies, such as maintaining good posture, lifting properly, sleeping in a good position, and more.
Here’s what you need to know about how much your nutrition can affect your spinal health.
How Much Of A Role Does Your Nutrition Play In Your Spinal Health?
Your body needs proper nutrients in order to function to its fullest potential. While eating healthy can be challenging in our go-go-go world, poor nutrition can lead to many adverse health effects, such as weight gain, weakened muscles and bones, increased inflammation and irritation, and more.
It also impacts your spine.
There’s not a direct pipeline between that slice of pizza and aching back pain. What you eat won’t directly result in back issues – but it is important to eat well and to ensure that you are consuming the nutrients you need for optimal spinal health.
What Nutrients Are Good For Your Spine?
Alright, so, proper nutrition = a stronger spine. Got it – but what nutrients should you watch out for? Different foods provide different benefits, so what types of foods should you incorporate into your diet in order to enjoy optimal benefits for your spine?
- Calcium. Your bones need calcium in order to be both strong and flexible. If you do not consume enough calcium, your bones can end up weakening as they lose density. While dairy is the most commonly known source of calcium, it can also be found in nuts, leafy greens, and more.
- Magnesium. This also helps to build strong bones. Unfortunately, many Americans do not consume as much magnesium as they should, in spite of the fact that about 50% of your body’s magnesium is in your bones. You can find magnesium in nuts, dark chocolate, supplements, and more.
- Iron. Iron is important to the production of collagen and to absorbing Vitamin D. You can find iron in meat and in beans, as well as down the supplement aisle of your local grocery store.
- Vitamin D. This nutrient helps to keep your bones, and ergo, your spine, healthy. It is also needed to absorb calcium and to help with cell growth, immune function, and nerve function. You can get this from sunlight, a supplement, eggs, and more.
- Fatty acids. These help to reduce inflammation, which helps with easier mobility. They do this by assisting your connective tissues, body fluids, and bones. You can find them in nuts, salmon, olive oil, produce, and more.
- Protein. Protein is a building block for healthy bones and body structure. It also helps with digestion and your immune system. You can find protein in meat, nuts, and more.
These are but some of the nutrients that can positively affect your spinal health. Depending on your particular body and whether or not you have allergies or food sensitivities, you may need to make adjustments in order to find a diet that works well for you, personally.
Are There Any Foods You Should Avoid For A Healthy Back?
In truth, there’s no such thing as a “bad” food. Food is just food, and there’s nothing wrong with a treat here and there. Everything can have negative effects when consumed in excess.
That said, you typically want to limit consumption of overly processed foods. These tend to be low in nutritional value, which leads to your spine not getting the nutrients it needs in order to be healthy.
You also want to be careful with foods that can trigger inflammation, as this can lead to back pain. Sugar and red meat are two examples of this. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should avoid these foods, unless your doctor tells you to, but just that you want to be careful not to have too much of them.
The key to a diet that can positively affect your spinal health is creating one that is healthy, balanced, and realistic. If you’re mostly eating healthy foods, chances are that your body is benefiting from all the nutrients you’re giving it.
Ogden Chiropractic can help you formulate a nutritional plan that works for you and your body. Contact us today to learn more.