Are you eating your way into spinal disc degeneration? (Part 2)

Oh, man!  There’s nothing like a good fried chicken dinner, hot and juicy and greasy straight from takeout from Colonel Chicken!  Now I prefer extra-crispy, the crunch being everything.  My wife, on the other hand, prefers the regular recipe.  As a result, we usually get two buckets, one of each, along with all those great side dishes.

So, what does this have to do with disc degeneration?  Last week, we looked at how spinal discs depend upon the body for nutrition and maintaining disc health.  It’s pretty basic stuff:  most fried foods, including fried chicken, are loaded with those trans-fats we have all heard about.  The trans-fats, when digested, are one of the worst culprits when it comes to contributing to heart disease, cancer, and – yes – poor spinal disc health.  Not only can trans-fats contribute to spinal disc disease, studies have shown that they can actually speed up disc degeneration by causing inflammation which contribute to back pain and disease.

A healthy diet does require fats.  Healthy fats.  Information on good vs. bad fats are available all over the internet.  Bottom line, if you eat trans-fats, you risk damaging your entire body’s health cycle, including spinal disc health.

Are there foods that will help heal a spine?  Yes, there are:

Choose a diet filled with organic proteins, fruits and vegetables. The body replaces and heals its tissues using raw materials which come from a healthy diet, including vitamins and minerals important for bone and connective tissuehealth. Drinking filtered water is also essential. To get a balanced assortment of these vitamins and minerals each day, choose foods from the following categories:

Fruits and vegetables–aim for the recommended number of daily servings (RDA) from the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, which is five, although there are many nutritionists who feel a minimum of nine is best. A serving of fresh or frozen fruit or vegetables equals 1/2 cup, except for lettuce and greens, where a serving is equal to 1 cup, and 1 serving of fruit or vegetable juice equals 6 ounces. Try getting your required servings through nutrient-rich meals such as vegetable salads, soups and stir-fries.

Protein–choose organically raised beef, poultry and wild ocean fish when possible; otherwise, decrease your exposure to damaging chemicals by removing visible fat from the meat before it’s cooked. Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds are also good choices, although in smaller amounts due to their high calorie content. Legumes like lentils and black beans have protein and are also high in fiber

Whole grains–these contain helpful nutrients for your back which processing grains (white bread and rice, doughnuts, cookies) removes. Choose whole-grain breads, brown rice, oats, corn, millet, barley, rye and buckwheat.

Yes, it’s your choice!  You can choose to eat your way into pain or you can choose to eat your way out of pain.  We hope you make the right decision, but, if not, we’ll be waiting for your call.