Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Optimal Spinal Health

Eating anti-inflammatory foods is one way to help keep your spine in tip top shape. Whether seeking preventative measures or recovering from surgery, the benefits of proper nutrition go a long way.

Some anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, etc.)
  • Nuts
  • Salmon
  • Cherries

These are just a handful of potential options to keep on hand at home. We heard about how diet can be a part of preventative care in a recent video interview with Dr. Colin Haines, a Spine Surgeon and Director of Research at the Virginia Spine Institute. Dr. Haines had this to say:

“Diet has tremendous impact on the body’s overall levels of inflammation and the body’s ability to heal. In general, eating more plant-based and more natural food is optimal. We want to try to stay away from the highly processed, highly sugary foods, ones with lots of nitrates…foods that just aren’t natural. Those are the ones we should try to avoid because we know the more sugar, the more processed ingredients a food has, the higher level of inflammation.”

Proper nutrition is also important for post-surgery recovery, as well. In a NSHF Journal article, Susan Brady, MPT wrote:

After surgery, people often neglect their diet, yet optimal nutrition is essential during this time to aid in recovery and recuperation as well as for preventing loss of muscle mass during this period of inactivity. Healing requires that the body create new tissue, repair injured tissue, and produce cells that repair wounds. These complex processes cannot occur efficiently if one’s diet is short on essential nutrients.

It can be hard to switch your dietary habits, but if you value your spine health, it’s worth the effort.