We have all experienced spinal pain at some point in our lives. It is a common, but unavoidable issue.
When the spinal discomfort is minor and only occurs occasionally, your first thoughts for its remedies may be exercises and medicines.
Believe it or not, the bones, muscles, and other components in the spine require adequate nutrition in order to support the body and fulfil its other activities.
Certain foods are loaded with the nutrition that your back requires to remain healthy and strong.
The best way to keep your bones healthy — and, in turn, maximize bone health and lessen the risk of developing osteoporosis—is by eating a healthy diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium.
That means looking for bone-boosting foods when shopping for your grocery needs.
Choosing the right foods for optimal nutrition
Eating a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients can help to alleviate back pain by nourishing the bones, muscles, discs, and other tissues in the spine.
While a balanced diet should include a variety of vitamins and nutrients, this list highlights a few healthy options that can be immediately beneficial for back pain.
Keep reading to find out some back-friendly nutrients that should be included in a daily diet to keep your spine strong and healthy.
Calcium has gotten a lot of attention as the most prominent of the bone minerals.
It is crucial for bone health and helps maintain the required level of bone mass throughout the lifespan, especially in old age.
Adequate calcium intake is especially crucial in preventing the development of osteoporosis, a condition characterised by weak and brittle bones that can lead to painful vertebral fractures in the spine.
However, calcium alone will not make strong bones and needs to be balanced with other synergistic nutrients for strong bones.
Below foods are fortified with calcium:
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- Fish (sardines and salmon)
Vitamin K2 species serves special functions in bone mineral density, moving calcium from the soft tissues to the bone.
It is required for normal bone metabolism but is usually deficient in the diet.
Vitamin K2 and calcium work together to maintain and keep the spinal bones strong and healthy.
Vitamin K1 is a plant-derived type of vitamin K that is converted to vitamin K2 by helpful gut flora.
Below foods are fortified with Vitamin K2:
- Egg yolk
Magnesium is an important mineral in the construction of the bone matrix, as well as being required for a majority of metabolic activities in the body.
When blood magnesium levels fall, magnesium is drawn from the bones. This nutrient also aids in muscle relaxation and contraction, making it essential for strengthening the muscles that support the spine.
Magnesium shortage is prevalent, and eating magnesium-rich foods can help with bone density maintenance and back pain prevention.
Below foods are fortified with magnesium:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Dark chocolate
Vitamin D3 aids in the absorption of calcium, which is essential for the development of strong and healthy bones.
Bones can be deformed, thin or brittle if vitamin D levels are low.
Vitamin D3 insufficiency is extremely likely, especially if you follow a strict vegan diet because most of the natural sources are animal-based.
Below foods are fortified with vitamin D3:
- Egg yolk
- Cow’s milk
- Cod liver oil
- Soy milk
Vitamin D has a major role in spinal health maintenance. While more studies need to be done around vitamin D and back pain, evidence from cross-sectional studies on degenerative disc diseases has demonstrated a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients undergoing spine surgery.
Below foods are fortified with vitamin D:
- Fatty Fish (salmon)
- Liver (cod liver oil)
- Egg yolks
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, the substance that holds the body together.
It is present in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons, and is an essential component of the process that allows cells to develop into tissue. It also serves as an antioxidant.
Adequate vitamin C intake is essential for the recovery of injured muscles, tendons, ligaments, and intervertebral discs, as well as the strength of the vertebrae.
Below foods are fortified with vitamin C:
- Citrus fruits (oranges, guavas, grapefruits)
- Red and green peppers
- Sweet potatoes
Because spinal health is so crucial in daily activities, maintaining it will help you in the long run.
Remember, basic workouts and a healthy diet is always better than eating unnecessary medicines.
As an add-on, make a habit of taking preventive health checkups as they can help you in getting a complete insight into your health.
This will also help you with taking measures to promote your overall well-being.