Back Problems? Load Up On These Nutrients-Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Federal Employee Program

Back Problems? Load Up On These Nutrients

Sore back? Fill up your plate with an array of nutrients designed to improve your spine.

While there’s no magic pill for a healthy back, a healthy diet can make a major impact on preventing back problems and improving recovery. Learn how to choose the right foods for back-friendly nutrition below.

Calcium
Known as an essential for bone health, calcium helps maintain necessary bone mass. As you grow older, it’s especially important to prevent painful fractures in your vertebrae.

  • Where to find it: dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese, dark leafy vegetables and legumes, fatty fish, almonds, fortified orange juice and tofu.

Magnesium
Our bodies need a healthy level of magnesium to perform over 300 actions—such as keeping muscles strong and flexible. When magnesium levels drop, the first place it’s pulled from is our bones. Too low, and our spines won’t get the support they need.

  • Where to find it: leafy green vegetables, fish, beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains, yogurt, avocados, bananas, and dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher.)

Vitamin D3
Paired with calcium, vitamin D3 helps build strong and healthy bones. Too little vitamin D and bones can become thin, brittle or misshapen.

  • Where to find it: fatty fish (salmon), liver (or cod liver oil), and egg yolks. You can also soak up some vitamin D from the sun, or take a supplement.

Vitamin K2
This vitamin helps distribute calcium throughout your body. Vitamin K1 is the plant form of vitamin K, which is converted to vitamin K2 by healthy digestive bacteria.

  • Where to find it: healthy fats in meat, cheese, eggs, and other dairy products, and dark leafy greens.

Vitamin C
Aside from being a power antioxidant and a major flu-fighter, vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation, the substance that holds the body together. Vitamin C helps heal injured muscles, tendons, ligaments, and keeps vertebrae strong.

  • Where to find it: strawberries, kiwi and citrus, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, red and green peppers, and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin B12
This vitamin helps the body build bone cells and is necessary for healthy formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow.

  • Where to find it: animal proteins such as eggs, fish, poultry or meat, dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.

Iron
Iron helps produce collagen and delivers oxygen throughout the body, including to the tissues that support the spine.

  • Where to find it: liver, pork, fish and shellfish, red meat, poultry, leafy green vegetables, lentils, beans, soy, eggs, and whole grains.

Source
Two people sharing a healthy salad

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