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.