The Top 7 Foods For A Healthy Spine
Most of us are aware about the effect our posture and the kind of work we do has on the state of our spine. What may come as a surprise to many of us is that good nutrition and balanced diet also plays a major role in our back health. Here are seven foods which we must include in our diet so our spine stays strong and supple for long:
- Dairy Products: Foods like yogurt, milk and cheese are rich in calcium, which is the most prominent nutrient for bone health. Calcium is essential to maintain the required level of bone mass throughout the lifespan of an individual. Calcium helps prevent the occurrence of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones which can result in fractures in the vertebrae. However, this doesn’t mean that we should stock up on calcium supplements. Studies have shown that these tablets increase the risk for heart problems. Consume calcium from natural sources.
- Green Leafy Vegetables: Apart from being rich sources of calcium, vegetables such as Kale, bok choy, spinach, broccoli and others are also important sources of magnesium. This mineral helps increase the bone density and helps in relaxing and contracting the muscles, which is necessary for strengthening and toning the muscles supporting the spine. Besides, dark, green leafy vegetables are also rich in essential vitamins like A,C,E and K that keep the bones and tissues of the spine healthy and in good shape.
- Salmon and Egg Yolks: Vitamin D and D3 help in proper absorption of calcium, thus aiding in formation of strong bones. While vitamin D can be synthesized by our body through adequate exposure to sunlight, today’s busy lifestyle typically doesn’t allow us to get spend sufficient time in the sun. Fortunately, Vitamin D can be found in some other foods like salmon, egg yolks and cod liver oil. Not consuming adequate vitamin D can result in brittle, weak and misshapen bones.
- Red and orange fruits and vegetables: Oranges, strawberries, kiwis, tomatoes, guavas, grapefruit and red and green peppers are rich in Vitamin C, a antioxidant which is necessary for the formation of collagen. This is essential for cells to form into tissues and healing complications caused due to injured tendons, vertebral discs and ligaments.
- Pineapples: Pineapple contains manganese and a protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain, which helps in preventing arthritis by fortifying the connective tissues. These nutrients also help minimize flare-ups due to inflammation, increases the strength of the spine and its joints and decreases the dependence on anti-inflammatory medications.
- Beans and meat: Kidney beans and other varieties of beans, as well as lean meat, are rich in protein, which is a key building block of the body. This nutrient is essential for maintaining, and repairing the bones, cartilage and soft tissue.
- Herbs and Spices: Basil, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric and others are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties which helps reduce the likelihood of inflammation in the spinal column. This prevents back pain and stiffness.
Apart from a healthy diet, regular exercise is also instrumental in maintaining optimum spinal health, besides of course helping in the overall physical and mental well-being of an individual.