How Diet Affects the Spine

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

dietYou’ve heard it before – “you are what you eat”. This old adage may seem silly when taken literally, but what you eat absolutely impacts your bodily health – including your spine. In this blog we will discuss how your diet can affect your spine health, and offer some dietary recommendations for maintaining a healthy spine.

Diet & the Spine

People who suffer from obesity are at a greatly increased risk for spine conditions, simply because of the extra strain the weight places on the spine. Being overweight puts excess stress on your spine, and the more weight the spine has to carry, the more susceptible it is to degenerative conditions and injury. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly are the best measures you can take to prevent spine pain and related issues.

So what should you eat, and what should you avoid?

Vitamins, Nutrients, Calcium – Oh My!

Your body (and spine in particular) needs a combination of vitamins, calcium, and other nutrients to maintain optimal health. These nutrients increase the strength of your vertebra, spinal discs, and muscles.

Most of these vitamins and nutrients can be found in foods (for example, beef is rich in Vitamins A and B12, while eggs are a great source of Vitamin D). Calcium, iron, and magnesium are also essential ingredients for a healthy spine. Calcium can be found in dairy products, magnesium is present in many vegetables, and iron is plentiful in meat products and beans. Supplements can help fill in the vitamin gaps if a patient has any existing dietary restrictions in place such as lactose intolerance, food allergy, or even if the patient chooses not to eat meat.

Avoid processed foods, junk food, soda pop, and sugar in excess quantities.

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about your diet. If you have any questions specifically about the spine, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

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