Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 24, 2020
As we age, it’s important that we do everything we can to help improve the health of our spines, and one oft overlooked way is through our diet and nutrient intake. In fact, a recent study found that Vitamin D deficiency was one of the leading contributing factors associated with back pain onset among post-menopasual women. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in bone development, which in turn helps prevent common spinal problems like degenerative disc disease, osteoporosis and spinal fractures. But how can you go about increasing your Vitamin D intake? We share some tips for doing just that in today’s blog.
Increasing Your Vitamin D Intake
Here are four ways to protect your spine by increasing your Vitamin D intake:
- Spend Time In The Sun – You may have heard Vitamin D called the “sunshine vitamin” because your body can actually produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Your skin has a type of cholesterol that, when exposed to UV-B radiation, becomes Vitamin D. When produced in this fashion, this type of Vitamin D can actually stay in your body longer than when the vitamin is derived from food or supplements. How much Vitamin D your body can produce via sunlight depends on a number of factors, including your age, skin complexion and your geographic location relative to the sun. Also, you want to avoid getting burned and increasing your risk of skin cancer.
- Mind Your Foot Intake – Certain foods are jam packed with Vitamin D. Options like fatty fish including salmon and tuna are full of Vitamin D, as are food like shrimp, oysters, mushrooms, eggs, beans and spinach. Look at package labels and increase your intake of these foods, and your body will thank you for it.
- Consider Fortified Options – Because Vitamin D-rich foods are somewhat limited, a few products have Vitamin D added to them. These are called Vitamin D fortified products, and they too can provide a healthy dose of Vitamin D. Commonly fortified options include cow’s milk, orange juice, cheese, yogurt, tofu and certain cereals. Many of these products will advertise the fact that they have added Vitamin D, so look for them in the grocery store.
- Daily Supplements – A supplement shouldn’t be your only form of Vitamin D, but it can boost your intake levels and help you hit your daily recommended levels of the vitamin. Vitamin D supplements can be derived from plants (D2) or animals (D3), and many studies say that the D3 form is better at maintaining overall Vitamin D levels, but do your research to see what’s right for you. We can also help point you in the direction of a healthy Vitamin D supplement.
Vitamin D intake is just one factor that contributes to your overall spine health, but it’s not an aspect that should be overlooked. Make sure that you eat a healthy diet rich in Vitamin D, you get regular exercise and you stop small spine problems before they snowball into larger issues. If you do all of these things, we’re confident you’ll have a great chance of having a healthy spine long into your wonder years. If you need help with any aspect of your spine care, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.