Consuming a balanced and varied diet is beneficial for your entire body, including your spine. Nourishing your spine with the proper nutrients can help prevent back pain and improve your body’s ability to heal itself.
Would you say that your diet is healthy and you probably meet the recommendations for most micronutrients? If you answered yes, you’re one of few in the US. Below are some of the most important nutrients for your spine health and the percentage of American adults that don’t consume the recommended daily intake.
- Calcium – 49%
- Vitamin D – 95%
- Magnesium – 61%
- Vitamin C – 43%
- Vitamin B12 – 4%
Aside from vitamin B12, it looks as though many Americans aren’t consuming enough of the nutrients essential to your spine’s health. Keep reading to learn more about the five micronutrients listed above, how they impact your spine health, and which foods they’re found in.
Calcium & Vitamin D
Did you know that calcium and vitamin D go hand-in-hand? Calcium is essential for bone health and maintaining bone mass, and vitamin D is needed for the body to properly absorb calcium. You can find calcium in most dairy products, dark leafy greens, and legumes. Fatty fish, egg yolks, and the sun’s rays are common sources of vitamin D.
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Magnesium is a key mineral in bones and is also necessary for many of the body’s functions. When you don’t consume enough magnesium, the body takes magnesium from your bones to perform various bodily functions. This leaves your spine deficient and vulnerable to back pain.
Magnesium is found in most dark leafy greens, beans, nuts, and dark chocolate.
Your body requires vitamin C to form collagen. Collagen is found throughout the body in the bones, muscles, skin, and even tendons. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, meaning it is vital for your body’s healing process.
You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
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Your body needs vitamin B12 to form bone-building cells and red blood cells in bone marrow. Animal proteins such as eggs, fish, meat, and dairy are the most common sources of vitamin B12.
So, next time you sit down for a meal, take a moment to think about the micronutrients you’re consuming. Being mindful of what you’re eating will go a long way in preventing and alleviating back pain.