Are you eating your way into spinal disc degeneration? (Part 3)

In the last article, we, hopefully, steered you into the kind of diet that can prevent and even heal spinal disc disorders. For our final article, we’d like to pass along some helpful information regarding vitamins and herbs that can round out a healthy life style from your spine’s point of view.

Look for foods with the vitamins and minerals most important in renewing spinal tissue, including vitamin C, all of the B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin K and the minerals calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, boron and manganese. You can take a supplement, but it’s best to get the nutrients the natural way, via the following sources:

• Vitamin C–found in fruits, such as strawberries, kiwi fruit, citrus fruit (oranges, guavas, grapefruits), tomatoes and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, sweet potatoes and white potatoes.

• B vitamins–B1 (thiamin) is found in whole-grain cereals, bread, red meat, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, legumes, sweet corn, brown rice, berries, and yeast; B2 (riboflavin) is found in whole-grains, milk, meat, eggs, cheese and peas; Vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid) and B12 are found in protein sources; B6 (pyridoxine) is found in liver, meat, brown rice, fish, butter, wheat germ, whole grain cereals, and soybeans; B9 (folic acid) is contained in yeast, liver, green vegetables, and whole grain cereals; pantothenic acid is found in meats, legumes and whole-grain cereals.

• Vitamin D–occurs naturally in egg yolks and fish oils and is also found in most brands of fortified milk; the best source is sunlight (10-30 minutes a day).

• Vitamin K–found in liver, pork, green leafy vegetables, including broccoli, and in dairy products.

• Calcium–found in dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, tofu, peanuts, peas, black beans and baked beans, some fish (salmon and sardines), sesame seeds, blackstrap molasses, corn tortillas, almonds, brown sugar and fortified juice.

• Magnesium–found in whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, potatoes, avocados, bananas, kiwi fruit, shrimp, and green leafy vegetables.

• Copper–found in calf’s liver, crimini mushrooms, turnip greens and blackstrap molasses.

• Zinc–found in calf’s liver, mushrooms and spinach.

• Boron–found in pears, prunes, apples, raisins and tomatoes.

• Manganese–found in greens, raspberries, pineapple and maple syrup.

You also might try the following herbs for promoting spinal health and healing:

• Confrey root–in tea, capsule or tablet form, two or three times a day, can stimulating the healing process in bones and discs; in European folklore it’s called “knitbone” for promoting the healing of fractures.

• Chamomile tea, passion flower, or melatonin–best taken at night to help relax the muscles of the back and alleviate insomnia and its associated tossing and turning.

• Bromelain–available in capsules, it’s an enzyme found in pineapples which can help with swelling and inflammation of spinal discs in some cases.

• Willow bark–contains salicin which is related to aspirin; it’s available in capsules or tea and has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Well, we’ve given you all the information to promote spinal health. Chiropractic can help heal damage already done, but a combination of diet, exercise, and chiropractic is a more appropriate solution. Give us a call and we’ll share more information on how best to let us help you help yourself!