Everyone knows that healthy eating is an important part of your overall health. However, this does not stop some people from eating in a way that is detrimental. For some, it is a lack of knowledge about nutrition, and for others, they simply don’t concern themselves about their diet. However, if you want to live a long and healthy life, you need to make sure you are getting the important nutrients you need for your body to function. This applies to all your body parts, including your spine. When you suffer from neck or back pain (or a variety of other conditions), it could be that improving your diet could have a positive impact on your spine, reducing your pain levels. Your spine, along with the bones, tendons, and muscles supporting it, needs certain vitamins and nutrients to keep your body supported and in shape. When you are changing your diet to improve your spine health, here are the most important nutrients to keep in mind.

Essential Nutrients for Spine Health

Healthy eating as a whole will help with spine health, but there are certain nutrients that are especially important to make sure you are getting in your diet.

Calcium

You already know that calcium is essential for healthy bones, so it is probably not surprising to you that it is the most important nutrient for your spine. Throughout your life, the calcium you consume plays an important role in helping you maintain bone density. As you age, your bones progressively become more brittle, so maintaining your bone density is of the utmost importance. Calcium is an important nutrient for preventing osteoporosis, which weakens the bones, often leading to spinal fractures. Prevent spinal fractures by prioritizing calcium. While you can take calcium supplements, the best way to consume any nutrient is through healthy eating. Healthy, calcium-rich foods include:

  • Low-fat dairy: low-sugar yogurt, milk, cheese
  • Dark, leafy veggies: spinach, broccoli, kale
  • Legumes – peanuts, pinto beans, tofu
  • Fish – salmon, sardines

Vitamin D

Vitamin D and calcium are a team; without vitamin D, the body will not properly absorb calcium. This means that as much as you prioritize calcium, you also need to make sure you are getting vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is unfortunately very common, but there are some simple ways you can get the vitamin D you need, including:

  • Egg yolks
  • Vitamin D-fortified milk
  • Vitamin D supplements
  • Sunlight

Magnesium

Magnesium is a macro-mineral that you need for a functioning spine. Magnesium plays a role in muscles and bones; it helps muscles relax and contract, and it aids in bone density. Additionally, it helps your body use protein optimally. Magnesium can be found in a wide variety of healthy foods, including:

  • Fruits: bananas, avocado, kiwi, bananas
  • Whole grains: brown rice, whole-wheat bread
  • Beans: black beans, white beans, pinto beans
  • Seeds: sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Vegetables: broccoli, kale, collard greens

Vitamin A

When it comes to your immune system, vitamin A is your best friend. It helps your fight disease, repair tissue, and grow bones. That being said, it is also important not to eat excess vitamin A; this can cause bone fractures. To get vitamin A in your diet, opt for foods that are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by your body. Some beta-carotene rich foods are:

  • Orange fruits: oranges, apricots, tangerines
  • Liver
  • Low-fat dairy: milk, cheese, eggs
  • Veggies: carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach

Iron

Iron is essential for the production of myoglobin, a muscle part that supports the spine. It is also good for your overall health because it helps your body absorb oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Iron is found in many foods, including:

  • Red meat
  • Seafood
  • Lentils, beans, soy
  • Eggs
  • Veggies: spinach, kale, broccoli
  • Poultry

Vitamin C

Everyone knows vitamin C is good for a cold, but it also is integral to making collagen in the body, which makes up tissue. If you have any spinal problems like torn ligaments, it’s important to prioritize vitamin C. Vitamin C is found in abundance in a variety of foods, including:

  • Fruits: strawberries, kiwi, oranges, grapefruits
  • Veggies: green peppers, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, spinach

Beyond eating well, there are a lot of ways you can help your spinal health, such as by visiting a chiropractic office. If you need to see a chiropractor in Murfreesboro, we can help. Contact Barfield Chiropractic today to schedule an appointment!