Eating for Spine Health

Best Food for Spinal Health

Back problems are some of the most commonly reported ailments to board-certified physicians today. Forming healthy habits and utilizing preventative measures is a good way for people to avoid developing painful spinal conditions. Eating the right foods and avoiding meals that have high fat and little or no nutrition is a great start to achieving optimal spine health.

Calcium

The vertebral column is comprised mainly of bone. As people age, the spine tends to degenerate from wear and tear and conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Incorporating calcium-rich foods into daily meals is crucial as well as avoiding substances that hinder calcium uptake. Culprits that rob the body of the important mineral include caffeine, excess salt and the phosphoric acid that is prevalent in carbonated drinks. Foods rich in calcium include:

  • Dairy products
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Fortified grains and juice

Vitamin D

A diet that contains plenty of calcium is of little use unless an ample amount of vitamin D is consumed. Vitamin D is fat-soluble nutrient that binds with calcium in the gut and enables the mineral to be absorbed by the circulatory system. The body naturally produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but recent concerns about sun damage and skin cancer have resulted in a decrease in sun exposure in the general population. Vitamin D deficiency is a growing problem, and many patients are being prescribed supplements in order to boost their levels of the vitamin. Foods that are a good source of vitamin D include:

  • Oily fish
  • Fortified products
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products

An Incremental Approach

When an individual decides to make dietary changes, it is important to remove unhealthy choices and integrate nutrient-rich selections gradually. People who attempt to radically overhaul their meals tend to feel as if they are suffering and quickly revert back to their old, comfortable ways. A reasonable approach to enhancing the diet is to alter one meal a day for a few weeks and gradually replace empty calories with nutritious foods.

If you’ve exhausted conservative treatments for treating chronic back pain, it might be time to consider seeing a spine surgeon at The Spine Institute in Santa Monica, CA. Dr. Hyun Bae can help determine the root of the pain and identify the best possible treatment options for your specific needs. Request an in-person consultation today by calling (310) 828-7757.