You can actually ease your back pain by eating right. Certain foods, vitamins, and minerals play a key role in back health. Of course, a good diet is important for the whole body and not just the back, but the vitamins, minerals and foods listed here are particularly good for bones and back health. If you incorporate super foods into your daily diet, you will feel healthier and more energetic.
Minerals, Vitamins, and Foods to Ease Back Pain
You are what you eat. We all know that a balanced diet is important. But there are certain foods, vitamins and minerals that can ease your back pain and help your back stay stronger and healthier.
Calcium is essential for bone health and supplements can be necessary as we age. It is the key mineral in bones and helps maintain bone mass. It is found in many foods including dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and milk. Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, bok choy and spinach, canned fishes with bones (sardines are especially good) and a variety of other foods including almonds, oranges, tofu, and blackstrap molasses.
Magnesium is responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and a key mineral for bone structure. It also helps with relaxing and contracting muscles, making it necessary for strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Magnesium deficiency is not uncommon but often goes undiagnosed so a supplement is not a bad idea. The good news is magnesium is found in dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)! It is also in green leafy vegetables, fish, beans, seeds, whole grains, nuts, avocados, bananas and yogurt.
Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen when there is a vitamin D deficiency, which is common. It is found in only a few foods fatty fish, liver and egg yolks naturally and is present in foods fortified with vitamin D. The good news is that the primary source for vitamin D3 is the sun – so you have an excuse to take those sunny holidays and spend weekends at the beach. The bad news is most of us don’t get enough sun in the winter months so taking a supplement is the best option.
Vitamin K2 regulates bone minerals and takes calcium from soft tissues into the bones. It is critical for bone metabolism and often deficient in the diet. Vitamin K2 is found in fats in meats, cheeses, egg yolks and dairy products while the plant form of vitamin K, vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables and broccoli.
Vitamin C is extremely important for the whole body and for collagen formation so it impacts bones, muscles, skin and tendons, and is an important part of the process that enables cells to form into tissue. A primary antioxidant, vitamin C is vital for healing injured muscles, tendons, ligaments, and keeping the vertebrae strong. Citrus fruits, berries, and kiwi as well as tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, peppers, and sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin B12 is required in the formation of bone building cells and red blood cells in bone marrow. It is found in animal proteins and not in plants so supplements are sometimes necessary.
Proteins are critical components of bone health. Daily consumption of protein is critical for maintaining good health overall and the back is no exception. Eggs, meat, fish, nuts, and poultry all are good sources of protein. If you want to calculate how much protein you need Verywellfit.com has an excellent calculator to help you determine your specific requirements.
Make sure your body is producing enough Collagen, Glucosamine and Chondroitin by eating correctly and getting enough of the above vitamins. You might consider a supplement if you feel you need it or if your doctor recommends it.