Eating for a Healthy Spine
By Sara Butler
Living a healthy lifestyle includes many different factors. Exercise and nutrition are a big part of healthy living. While you’re probably familiar with how to exercise to support a healthy spine, you may not be as familiar with how to eat for a healthy spine. Your diet should contain essential nutrition to help your body function at its very best. Here are a few tips from the chiropractors at The Joint that will help you eat well to support a healthy spine -- because chiropractors do more than fix back pain!
You probably know through some pretty nifty advertising that milk is good for your bones. So, it shouldn’t surprise you that a healthy spine needs proper amounts of calcium. This mineral helps your body to maintain bone mass at every point in your life, which becomes even more important as you age since bones tend to become more brittle. Calcium also helps to prevent the bone disease osteoporosis, the cause of many cases of spinal fractures in the aging population.
Consider adding some of these foods to your diet for sufficient levels of calcium:
- Dairy – Milk, yogurt, and cheese are great sources of calcium
- Legumes – Black beans, tofu, peanuts, and baked beans should go on your list
- Leafy vegetables – Broccoli, collard greens, kale, and spinach will give your calcium levels a boost
- Fish – Sardines and salmon are full of calcium
Vitamin D and calcium go together because your body needs Vitamin D in order to absorb calcium properly. So make sure to prioritize Vitamin D along with calcium in your healthy diet. The chiropractors at The Joint recommend you get Vitamin D through:
- Eating eggs (and yolks)
- Spending a little time the sun each day
- Drink milk fortified with Vitamin D
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a very important role in the health of your spine. Your body needs it in order for the muscles to properly contract and relax. It also helps to maintain muscle mass right along with bone density. It also happens to be helpful to your body in order to help it use protein properly. You can find magnesium in:
- Whole grains – Magnesium is present in brown rice, whole-grain pasta, and whole wheat bread
- Seeds – For a punch of magnesium, add sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds to your diet
- Beans – Pinto beans, black beans, and chickpeas are great sources of calcium
- Vegetables – Here’s kale, spinach, and broccoli again! You can’t go wrong
- Fruits – Add some kiwi, avocado, and bananas to your diet to get magnesium
Proper nutrition supports a healthy body, including the spine. So make sure you're getting all you need! If you have questions, the chiropractors at The Joint are an excellent resource.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fairfax, Va.