Food For Thought: Diet And Nutrition For A Healthy Back

Proper nutrition and regular exercise are crucial components for maintaining your overall health. These components are even more important if you suffer from back problems, or if you want to prevent them. The bones and muscles of your back need proper nutrition in order to support the weight of your entire body and to perform other functions as well. You do need to include a wide variety of nutrients in your diet for optimum health, but there are some nutrients that directly benefit your back. Here are some of the nutrients you need to include in your diet for the optimum health of your back.

1. Calcium

Calcium is without a doubt one of the most important nutrients required for a healthy back. Your bones need calcium to maintain the necessary level of bone mass throughout your lifespan, especially during your old age. You need a healthy supply of calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is characterized by weak, brittle bones, which increases your risk of painful vertebral fractures in your spine. Food sources of calcium include milk and dairy products and dark, leafy vegetables. Though calcium is necessary for strong bones, it is not the only nutrient that is required. You need to balance it with other synergistic nutrients.

2. Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is crucial for strong, healthy bones as your bones will not be able to absorb calcium effectively without it. A deficiency of vitamin D causes your bones to become thin, misshapen, or brittle. Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, due to which it is necessary to get it measure with a blood test regularly. Your body produces vitamin D when you bask in the sun for a few minutes. You can also get it through foods like liver, egg yolks, and salmon.

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and it is an important mineral in the structure of the bone matrix. When the magnesium levels in your blood drop, magnesium is pulled from your bones, leading to bone loss. Magnesium is also necessary for muscle contraction and relaxation due to which it is required for strengthening the muscles that support your spine. You can get magnesium from bananas, avocados, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, dark chocolate, and green leafy vegetables.

4. Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 directs calcium out of the soft tissues into the bones. It works along with calcium to help the bones throughout your body to stay strong. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli provide you with vitamin K1, which is converted to vitamin K2 by your digestive bacteria. Vitamin K2 can be obtained from egg yolks, meats, and dairy products.

5. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is required for collagen formation. Collagen is the substance that holds the body together. It is found in the skin, muscles, tendons, and bones. It is also required by cells to aggregate and form tissues. If your back is injured, vitamin C is required for healing ligaments, tendons, muscles, and intervertebral discs. Its food sources are strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, kiwi, and citrus fruits.

6. Iron

Iron is not a key nutrient associated with bone health, but it contributes to other systems that play a role in bone development. It plays an important role in the production in the formation of collagen and the conversion of vitamin D to its active form. It can be obtained from pork, shellfish, liver, red meat, fish, poultry, green leafy vegetables, soy, eggs, lentils, and whole grains.

You need to make some lifestyle changes too if you want a healthy back. You need to drink plenty of water as it assists nutrients to travel to the major organs of your body and helps maintain the function of your joints and other structures in the spine. Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles of your back. And, avoid smoking, cola consumption, and excess alcohol consumption if you have a back injury as it may hinder the healing process.