The old adage “you are what you eat” may not be literal, but there’s a lot to be said for the importance of diet. And with diet tips for spinal health, you can boost your prospects.
Every year dedicated scientists further our understanding of the intersection of diet and various aspects of our long-term health. The spine is no exception. By staying hydrated, active, and eating the right foods, you can reduce the risk of serious spinal conditions as you age.
Diet Tips for Spinal Health
Here are the top five diet tips for keeping your spine healthy.
Consuming calcium is crucial to bone health, not only as our bones grow but as they mature. By making calcium and other crucial minerals a part of your daily diet, you’re less likely to develop degenerative conditions like osteoporosis. To make sure you’re getting enough calcium on a daily basis, integrate leafy greens and dairy products as often as you can. Examples of calcium-rich foods include kale, yogurt, and orange juice fortified with calcium.
Magnesium is an important mineral found in your bones, but your body uses it for a lot of other vital processes. If you don’t consume magnesium in large enough quantities to feed those processes, then your body will draw the mineral out of your bones. This drain weakens the overall bone matrix making you more susceptible to back problems caused by a lack of bone density. To bring magnesium into your daily diet, try introducing spinach, quinoa, edamame, or whole grains into at least one meal per day.
Sadly calcium isn’t able to help your bones all by itself. Your body actually requires an additional nutrient in order to absorb calcium. This nutrient is Vitamin D3. You can get Vitamin D by going out into the Sun, but the average American doesn’t spend enough time outside to get the vitamin levels they need. Fortunately, you can also absorb it through foods. Milk in the United States is actually fortified with Vitamin D to help solve this problem. If you don’t drink a lot of milk, you can also get Vitamin D3 from salmon and egg yolks.
This vitamin works alongside calcium to keep your bones strong. It’s responsible for effectively distributing calcium into your bones. Unfortunately, Vitamin K2 is largely missing from the average person’s diet, weakening their bone metabolism and their ability to absorb calcium into their bones. To fix this issue, try adding more high-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows as well as more organ meats into your diet. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and miso also contain a variation of Vitamin K2.
Collagen is a vital component in our body’s connective tissues, and Vitamin C is essential for its formation. If you’re undergoing degenerative disc disease treatment, then you may want to have a look at your Vitamin C intake. Given collagen’s role in our spinal discs, a lack of Vitamin C could actually be making your condition worse. The good news is that Vitamin C is a relatively common nutrient in the modern world. It’s found in many fruits and vegetables. Guava, kiwis, bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes are all excellent sources.
When Diet Isn’t Cutting It
Unfortunately, diet isn’t a full-proof system. Chronic dehydration, regular strain on the spine, trauma, and genetic predisposition could all elevate your risk of developing a spinal condition. Fortunately, your spine surgeon in LA is able to help you every step of the way through your treatment process. From your initial consultation through the various stages of treatment, Dr. Yashar offers expert advice and personalized treatment plans that will maximize your comfort while minimizing your risks.