You may never have considered diet as a way to promote back health, but what you eat is most certainly an influence in whether or not your back is feeling up to par. Consuming enough nutrition – through back-health promoting vitamins and minerals – is crucial in the development, maintenance, and improvement of your bone, muscle, and disc health. Review this list of vitamins and minerals – whose back relief benefits we’ve highlighted – and find out where you can access these (easy, healthy recipes linked accordingly) to start promoting your best back, today!
- Vitamin A helps repair tissue and aids in the formation of bone.
- Examples of sources high in vitamin A include: beef liver, carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, broccoli
To note: more than the recommended amount of vitamin A (about 900 mg daily for men and 700 mg daily for women) can promote bone fractures, so beware of excess intake.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B3, also referred to as Niacin, can help maintain a healthy nervous system, which is important for many spine conditions.
- Good sources: turkey, chicken breast, peanuts, mushrooms, lamb liver, tuna
- Vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy bone marrow and for the spine to grow and function.
- It reduces pressure in your back and eases chronic back pain.
- Good sources: clams, beef liver, mackerel, crab, tofu, bran cereal
- Vitamin C is necessary for the development of collagen, which allows cells to be able to form into tissue.
- It is important in the healing process for injuries involving tendons, ligaments, discs, bones, wounds, and burns.
- It increases calcium absorption in the body to promote strong bones and protects your back from damaging free radicals.
- Good sources: oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries
- Vitamin D is important for the development of healthy bones, aiding in calcium absorption to help prevent osteoporosis.
- It produces new bone cells, decreases inflammation in the body, and can lessen spasms in the lower back.
- Good sources: sunlight, sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, soy milk
- Vitamin E can help alleviate lower back pain as a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals.
- It increases the antioxidant reaction in your body and reduces muscle pain and soreness by repairing damaged tissue.
- Good sources: almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds
- Vitamin K is needed for the bones to properly use calcium, which in turn aids in the strength of healthy bones.
- Good sources: dried basil, kale, onions, brussels sprouts, chili powder, asparagus
- Calcium is essential for bone health and building strong bones, helping to maintain the necessary level of bone mass and prevent osteoporosis.
- Good sources: watercress, mozzarella, milk, yogurt, bok choy, tofu
- Iron aids in the production of myoglobin, an important element of healthy muscles needed to support the spine.
- Good sources: squash and pumpkin seeds, chicken liver, oysters, mussels, clams, nuts
- Magnesium helps maintain muscle tone and bone density, which can aid in the prevention of back problems.
- It is also a factor in prevention of calcium deficiency and osteoporosis.
- Good sources: raw spinach, squash and pumpkin seeds, mackerel, soy beans, brown rice, avocado
Omega-3 fatty acids
- Omega-3 fatty acids can help inflammation that cause back pain.
- Good sources: cold pressed flaxseed oil, salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, caviar, mackerel
Other sources that could be helpful…
- Devil’s Claw comes from a native African plant and can reduce flare-ups of chronic low back pain.
- The ingredients in this plant may be effective in reducing back pain, because it’s chemicals may decrease inflammation and swelling that cause the pain
- Capsaicin is the agent that gives hot peppers their heat, and this ingredient can be applied, using a cream, to relieve back pain.
- Taken as a powder in capsules, mixed into tea, or as a liquid extract, Turmeric contains effective anti-inflammatory properties.