Herniated discs, lumbar or cervical, are one of the most common conditions of the spine. Discomfort includes pain or tingling that extends from the extremities near the hernia: legs if it is lumbar or arms if it is cervical.
Proper nutrition can reduce the symptoms caused by herniated discs.
But how do you know what are the right foods to prevent these symptoms from getting worse? According to the experts, the correct diet can be beneficial to reduce discomfort, but the wrong diet can increase it, for this reason it is also necessary to complement this with some exercises and use simple braces such as Cordus and Sacrus.
Here we tell you which foods you should definitely stop consuming and which ones to start eating if you want to avoid or reduce the discomfort of having herniated discs.
What to AVOID doing:
- Avoid alcohol. “Avoid excessive and / or chronic alcohol consumption, since it prevents the absorption of micronutrients such as vitamin B12 and favors the appearance of alcoholic neuropathy,” the authors of this document explain.
- Suppress tobacco. Especially important in the case of rheumatic problems, since it could aggravate the pathology.
- Weight control. Proper weight will help reduce the weight your vertebrae and joints must support.
What are the nutrients we need?
It is the main mineral in the bones. Its intake is particularly important during growth for bone formation. However, consuming milk and calcium supplements is not going to make your bones stronger. The calcium you ingest must be balanced with other nutrients so that it can be adsorbed and used properly.
How to consume it? The most common and most important sources of calcium are dairy products and their derivatives: milk, yogurt and cheese. Other important sources of calcium are green vegetables such as cabbages, legumes, almonds, oranges, and some fish such as sardines and salmon.
Phosphorus is necessary to maximize the benefit of calcium. Dairy products contain both, but many of the calcium supplements do not. Foods rich in phosphorous are eggs, cereals, and meat.
This mineral is also part of the composition of the bones and is necessary in more than 300 biochemical reactions – which are known to occur in the body. When magnesium is deficient, our body takes it from the bones and this can cause a decrease in bone density. Magnesium is found in green vegetables, as well as in fish, seeds, avocados, bananas and dark chocolate, that is, at least 70% cocoa.
This mineral plays an important role in the production of collagen and in the conversion of vitamin D. It is also essential in the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin, the two molecules responsible for transporting oxygen to the tissues.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which we have already seen is the main constituent of bone. Without enough vitamin D, the same thing happens to bones as when we don’t get enough calcium; they become weak and brittle. It is a fat soluble compound. We store it in our fat and, in the same way, we must eat fatty foods in order to obtain it.The main sources of vitamin D in our diet are fish with a high fat content such as salmon and sardines, as well as red meat, eggs and milk (whole). Mushrooms are the only source of vitamin D of non-animal origin. I recently had an analysis that found that I had a lower than normal vitamin D value. Although I try to make a diet quite varied and aware of my nutritional needs. The explanation for my lack is that there are few foods from which we can obtain it. Most of the vitamin D we use is synthesized by our bodies. Through food it is difficult to obtain all the vitamin D we need. We produce vitamin D when we are exposed to direct sunlight. And that happens on the skin. This is why vitamin D deficiency is frequent in the winter months. Vitamin D deficiency is not only related to the loss of calcium in the bones. There is evidence that associates its deficiency with a multitude of diseases, from cancer to fibromyalgia and diabetes.
his vitamin is the one in charge of distributing calcium in our body. We can find it in meat, dairy products and egg yolks. It is also present in vegetables like spinach and broccoli.
It is important for the manufacture of collagen, which is the “cement” that holds the body together, in addition to being a fundamental part of the bones, cartilage, tendons and muscles. It also works as an antioxidant. An adequate intake of vitamin C is important for the repair of muscles, ligaments, tendons and intervertebral discs. Vitamin C can be found in fruits (strawberries, kiwis, citrus) and in vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, and peppers.
It is necessary for the formation of cells that build bone. It is also necessary for the formation of red blood cells, which occurs inside the bones, in the bone marrow. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be associated with osteoporosis. Vitamin B12 is only present in animal products. If you are a strict vegetarian or vegan you should ingest it through supplements. Among the foods where we find vitamin B12 are dairy products, eggs and meat.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Amino acids form cartilage and connective tissues. Among the most important are glucosamine and chondroitin, and are usually ingested through nutritional supplements. These 2 amino acids help regenerate cartilage and mitigate diseases such as osteoarthritis.