By Sapna Baluni
Have you heard of a saying, “You become what you eat”? This statement stands true when it comes to spine health. The food we eat plays a vital role in maintaining a good spinal health.
Exercise and medicine may be your first thoughts when it comes to remedies for spinal issues, but you can eat your way to good health too. You must choose foods that are great for your body, particularly for your spine.
Certain foods are packed with what your back needs to remain healthy and strong. So good back health can start with making the right food choices.
Avoiding bad foods is one way to increase health. Choosing the right ones is the best way to go.
Spinal health is so important for your day-to-day interactions. So, give yourself a leg up by packing your diet with these seven healthy foods.
1. Plant-Based Proteins
The proteins you get from certain plants are great for your spine health. These proteins are different than the ones found in meat.
Stick to plant-based proteins as much as possible. Animal-based proteins can lead to inflammation.
Instead, get your protein from foods like chia seeds, lentils, and beans. Not only do they provide protein, but they also pack a nutritional punch in other ways, too. You’ll get a variety of helpful antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals as well.
If you’d still like to get some animal-based protein in your diet, go for lean picks. This means choosing chicken and fish over beef and pork.
2. Green leafy vegetables
Vegetables are good for you in general, so make sure you get a lot of them each day to improve your overall health. While healthy all around, veggies are also great for fighting back issues.
Certain vegetables contain properties that will help fight spinal issues.
Kale, broccoli, and spinach work well against inflammation. Each of these vegetables also contains nutrients that will help strengthen your spine. As the literal backbone of your body’s skeletal system, your spine can use all the nutritional help it can get.
As a rule of thumb, veggies with strong natural pigments are best.
If you’re not opposed to seafood, add some salmon to your diet regularly. Salmon is a great source of lean protein, as well as well as another helpful nutrient: omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids promote bone and tissue health. They also fight against inflammation, just like those leafy green vegetables mentioned above.
An additional bonus is that salmon is delicious and can be prepared in numerous ways. So, next time you are thinking of your spinal health, have a serving of salmon! They’ll spice up your menu and benefit your back at the same time.
4. Dairy Products
Calcium is super important for maintaining and improving bone health. The easiest way to get extra calcium in your diet without taking a supplement. Increase your dairy intake.
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt are a rich source of calcium and vitamin D to build and maintain healthy bones and prevents nerve injuries. A glass of milk every day can provide you with the required amount of calcium to keep your bones healthy and reduce the symptoms of osteoporosis.
Like with many other food groups, though, you can overdo it with dairy. Don’t binge on your favorite cheese with the excuse of needing the extra calcium. Be smart about how you eat dairy products so you don’t get too much fat or cholesterol in your diet.
Calcium can be found in other foods, too. Among them are those leafy green vegetables.
5. Herbs and Spices
Many herbs and spices are great for promoting spinal health. Turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine, including curry dishes, helps fix damaged tissue.
There are herbs that fight inflammation as well. These include cinnamon, rosemary, basil, and ginger. In addition to herbs, nuts like almonds and walnuts are full of fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins. They fight against inflammations and promote bone health.
Add these and other healthy spices and herbs to your recipes throughout the day. Or use them to create a healthy, delicious herbal tea. Herbal teas help strengthen your immune system, reduce inflammation, and taste great at the same time.
Just like vegetables, you should go for the highly pigmented types here. And like dairy, you don’t want to overdo it. Remember, fruit is sugar, so eating too much can be more of a detriment to your health than a benefit.
While you need to be responsible when eating fruits, they have many health benefits.
Fruits like blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries are excellent sources of vitamin C and antioxidants that protect tissues and removes toxins from your body. It also helps to prevent spinal and central nervous system damage.
So, add those berries to breakfasts, dinners, lunches, you name it. You can even use them as dessert.
Whether you’re a fan of avocados or not, they’re great for your spine. They’re full of healthy fats that your body needs as well as fiber and potassium. These things make avocados great for your health overall.
Whether it’s good fat or not, avocados are fatty foods, so make sure you don’t overdo it.
If you don’t like avocados, try using them in ways you haven’t before. In recent years tons of recipes have emerged for avocado toast, addition to a smoothie and other tasty meals. You don’t have to limit yourself to a plain slice with a salad or a guacamole dip.
One of the greatest things about avocados? They help to reduce back pain.
Just keep in mind that just as important as which foods to eat is which foods to avoid. Try to steer clear of foods high in saturated fats or added sugars like sweetened beverages, highly processed white grains, or fried foods to help prevent inflammation
Be sure to pay attention to your overall nutritional intake and make sure that you are eating a range of healthful foods.