Most people want a strong, healthy spine that enables good posture and a tight core. However, many people believe the only way to gain spine strength is through exercise. The truth is your diet can play a huge role in your spine health. Eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D are key ways to achieve this.
Calcium is a mineral that plays a pivotal role in bone formation. In teenagers and young adults, calcium serves as the building block that increases bone mass and strength. In older adults and elderly people, calcium serves as a “maintenance” mineral that constantly replaces calcium that is lost due to aging and use.
Why Vitamin D?
Consuming an adequate amount of vitamin D is important for the regulation of calcium absorption and the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
Foods That are Rich in Calcium
- Yogurt – Believe it or not, yogurt actually contains more calcium than milk. One serving of yogurt provides almost half (42%) of your daily calcium needs.
- Milk – This is the most well-known source of calcium, and for good reason. Just one cup contains 30% of your daily calcium needs.
- Cheese – Because cheese is made from milk, it’s packed with calcium.
- Dark, leafy greens – Dairy products aren’t the only foods that contain calcium. Kale, arugula, watercress, and collard greens all contain enough calcium to keep your spine healthy and strong.
- Broccoli – One cup of broccoli contains 7% of your daily calcium requirement. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, when combined with any of the above-mentioned foods, broccoli can be a great addition to your diet.
Foods That are Rich in Vitamin D
- Salmon – The best source of vitamin D. One serving of this fatty fish has all the vitamin D you need for an entire day.
- Tuna -This is another fatty fish high in vitamin D. Because tuna is abundant and convenient, eating it can be a quick, easy way to meet your daily vitamin D requirement.
- Mushrooms – When grown properly, mushrooms can be rich in vitamin D. Package labels show you how much each brand contains.
- Egg yolks – Egg yolks contain a moderate amount of vitamin D. Eating them can be a great way to get vitamin D at breakfast. But be careful not to eat too many, they’re high in cholesterol.
- Almonds – The best “bang-for-your-buck”, just a small serving contains a significant portion of your daily vitamin D needs.
Spine Strength and Health
You now know why calcium and vitamin D rich foods are so important. You also know ten foods that are packed with calcium and vitamin D. Start eating them and you’ll be taking a step in the right direction. Combine the calcium and vitamin D rich foods with a consistent exercise routine and you’ll be on the road to having a strong, healthy spine.