Top Vitamins, Nutrients, & Minerals for a Healthy Back & Spine
We all know eating healthy is good for us, yet some of us may not realize just how important good nutrition is for the health of our neck, back, and spine. In this post, we’ll be discussing the benefits of eating the right foods, with the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Read on to discover just how valuable a good diet can be when paired with other healthy lifestyle choices.
Why Nutrition is So Important for a Healthy Neck, Back, & Spine
Our bodies are comprised of what we consume on a daily basis. If we choose to consume foods which are ultra-processed and have little to no nutritional value, we run the risk of developing problems over the course of our lives. For this reason, and many more, we need to feed ourselves the right foods with the right composition of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. Without making a conscious effort to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle, your body will eventually most likely feel the effects of a poor diet.
Whole, Real Foods are Very important
Up until the past century or so, the majority of our food came from real sources with little to no processing in most parts of the world. Ironically, now it’s become a “health trend” to eat real, whole, unprocessed foods. In any case, nourishing our bodies with what Mother Nature intended us to eat from day one is the right choice when it comes to preserving our health and having the healthiest neck, back, and spine possible. Below are some of the best foods for neck, back, and spine health which can be easily incorporated into your daily dietary regimen.
Foods with Calcium
Calcium is required for adequate bone health, yet calcium alone is not the entire source of healthy bones. Calcium must be complemented with other synergistic nutrients, such as vitamin K2. Foods with higher levels of calcium consist of yogurt, cheese, milk, leafy greens, almonds, oranges, and tofu. Adequate calcium consumption, paired with synergistic nutrients, can possibly reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Foods with Magnesium
Magnesium is a key mineral for more than 300 bodily functions, and it’s also an extremely important part of healthy bone development and maintaining healthy bones once you’re a fully developed adult. Magnesium deficiencies are common throughout the modern world, primarily due to diet and lack of consuming magnesium rich foods on a regular basis. An interesting fact regarding magnesium is when your magnesium levels drop below a certain threshold, your body will pull calcium out of the bones to compensate. This can lead to weakened, brittle bones in some individuals; ultimately leading to a higher risk of injuries to the back, neck, and spine. Foods containing higher levels of magnesium consist of green/leafy vegetables, fish, seeds, beans, nuts, yogurt, whole grains, avocado, bananas, and dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa).
Foods with Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important vitamin for bone development and helps ensure your bones remain strong and stable, instead of weak and frail. Vitamin D deficiency is unfortunately quite common amongst the modern world. This could be caused by many different factors, yet it’s primarily due to not spending enough time outdoors in the sunlight and not consuming enough vitamin D rich foods. Foods containing higher levels of vitamin D consist of salmon, liver, and egg yolks. You can also choose to supplement your vitamin D with a quality vitamin D supplement.
As mentioned above, with vitamin K2 being a director for calcium, it’s one of the better ways to ensure the calcium you’re consuming is actually doing its intended job. Vitamin K2 allows for healthy bone metabolism, which is great for the neck, back, and spine. The foods where you’ll see higher levels of vitamin K2 are the healthy fats of meats, cheeses, egg yolks, and other dairy products.
Foods with Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the better known vitamins within this list. We all know vitamin C is a good vitamin to have properly incorporated into our diet, but why? Well, we’re glad you asked! Vitamin C is one of the better antioxidants out there. It also assists with collagen development. Collagen development is one of the crucial mechanisms for healthy bones, skin, joints and tendons. Without the proper development of collagen, you may run into problems at some point in your life. A proper amount of vitamin C on a daily basis can also assist with healing from injuries and keeping your vertebrae strong. Some of the foods which contain good levels of vitamin C are fruits such as kiwis, strawberries, and citrus fruits. Additionally, vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, red or green peppers, and sweet potatoes all have good levels of vitamin C. You can also supplement with vitamin C quite easily via your favorite high quality vitamin C tablet.
Proteins are the building blocks of our bodily structure, so it makes sense they’d be such an important part of our neck, back, and spine health. Daily protein consumption is necessary to continue living. Without adequate protein consumption, your body will begin to break down. Some of the best protein sources are high-quality meats, fish, fowl, and legumes.
30% of our bone material is comprised of collagen. For this reason, it’s so important to have the right levels of collagen within your diet. When you have the right levels of amino acids and vitamin C, this allows your body to incorporate collagen throughout your bones as well.
Glucosamine is an important amino acid which helps promote healthy cartilage and connective tissue. Glucosamine is very important for the health and functionality of your neck, back, and spine.
Vitamin B12 Rich Foods
Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the development of red blood cells within your bone marrow. When you have a lack of vitamin B12, it may result in anemia and in turn lead to cases of osteoporosis if not addressed properly. Vitamin B12 is not found naturally within plant-based foods, so if you adhere to a vegetarian diet, you’ll want to supplement according to your unique needs. The foods which do contain vitamin B12 consist of eggs, fish, poultry, and meat products. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese also contain vitamin B12.
Iron helps the process of collagen production and the conversion of vitamin D to its active form. Iron intake is also necessary for the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin, both crucial components of delivering oxygen throughout the body within your blood and muscles. A lack of iron may lead to anemia. Iron-rich foods consist of liver, pork, fish, red meat, poultry, green/leafy vegetables, beans, and eggs.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is quite important to all aspects of your general health. Dehydration can cause many issues to arise. Thankfully, if you become dehydrated, the simple solution is to drink a glass of water. Chronic dehydration may lead to muscle, joint, and disc issues in the neck, back, and spine. You’ll want to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid dehydration and end up experiencing undesirable symptoms. Also, adequate hydration is often associated with better health all around. So why not trade out that soda for a nice glass of fresh water?
Avoid Highly Processed Foods
Highly processed foods are quite the opposite of what one would consider a healthy diet. Processed foods offer little to no value in terms of nutrition. If you’re experiencing neck, back, or spine issues, you’ll want to create an environment within your body which is promoting healing. Ultra-processed foods do the opposite. Processed foods will often raise inflammation levels throughout your body, thus leading to an internal environment which is not conducive to general healing.
Avoid Alcohol & Cigarettes if Possible
Both alcohol and cigarettes can wreak havoc on the human body over time. It’s better to avoid both if possible to help preserve your back, neck, and spine health.
Avoid High Intake of Added Sugars
Natural sugars within fruit are much better than added sugars in foods such as soda or candy. The reason for this is with natural sugars in fruit, you have the natural fiber to help you process and digest the sugars. With food items such as candy and soda, it’s straight sugar to the system. This in turn can cause your insulin levels to rise to unhealthy levels, especially if you consume candy and soda on a regular basis.
Choosing Neurosurgery & Spine Consultants for a Healthy Back & Spine
If you’re seeking excellent care for your neck, back, and spine where we also incorporate nutrition, diet, and general wellness; you’ve found the right place! Learn more about how we can help you overcome your neck, back, and spine issues with our comprehensive care and advanced technology, right here at Neurosurgery & Spine Consultants of San Antonio.
DISCLAIMER: No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.