Spinal health is one of the most vital aspects of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle as we age. Fundamentally, the spine connects to the brain, essential organs and contains a delicate column of nerves responsible for alerting the brain when something is wrong. In order to maintain a healthy, active and comfortable lifestyle it’s imperative to consider the spine when making decisions about what to ingest for healthy bones. Here are five essential foods that contain the vitamins necessary to ensure spinal health!
A diet rich in calcium may help prevent spinal problems such as spinal fractures and osteoporosis. Most of us have been conditioned to think milk and dairy products are the most efficient way to incorporate calcium into our diet, but salmon actually contains a bit more! A six-ounce serving of fresh salmon has roughly 340 milligrams of calcium – that’s about 40 more milligrams than a standard glass of milk! Perhaps even more surprising, eating a 5-ounce can of salmon will increase that number to about 350 milligrams of calcium. Salmon is an incredible and versatile food to add into your food rotation.
The next time you feel guilty about having chocolate, just remember that you’re actually doing your spine a favor! Due to the milk content, about three squares of milk chocolate contain roughly 100 milligrams of calcium. Another added bonus is that milk chocolate has about 106 milligrams of magnesium which can help maintain bone density and prevent back problems.
Bok choy, a leafy, cruciferous vegetable, is another surprising way to mitigate spinal health issues. One cup of bok choy has about 75 milligrams of calcium. Cruciferous veggies are also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and awesome to incorporate into your diet in general.
Who knew eating cheese was actually great for spine health? Cheese contains vitamin K2 which activates a protein that helps calcium bind to our bones. Vitamin K2 intake also improves bone density and reduces the risk of bone fractures. Munster, Camembert, aged Gouda and cheddar are the top four cheeses with the most vitamin K2 content.
Just one strawberry contains a little over 7 milligrams of vitamin C which assist in the formation of collagen just as iron and magnesium do. Vitamin C also helps to regulate calcium to ensure it’s doing the most for our bodies.
Red meat may not be the best option to choose every day, but the iron content in red meat is hard to beat. Iron is an important element in the production of collagen which helps reduce back pain and inflammation. One serving of ground beef is roughly 15% of your daily value for iron!
Salmon, Chocolate, Bok choy, cheese and red meat are only a few of the great options you can eat for good spinal health. While most of us are aware of our general bone health, most of us neglect our spine when it comes to implementing supplements and more ways to maintain good spinal health!