Back to Better Health: The Best Foods for a Healthy Back

It’s reported that 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Chronic back pain can be caused by a lot of factors like injury and genetic makeup, but a lot of ongoing health problems are related directly back to food. 

In a world where processed foods, misleading product marketing and reliance on pills and supplements for health, it’s easy to miss out on the essential nutrients you need.  

Getting nutrients cleanly from whole foods is still the best way for your body to get the vitamins and minerals it needs. People often don’t check to see if a supplement is water or fat-soluble, which relates to how the nutrient absorbs into your body. Many supplements are not sourced viably and fail to deliver what they say they will. 

So, have back pain? Start with food. Here are five of the essential foods you need for a healthy back. 


Calcium is an essential building block for strong bones. To put things simply, our body is in a constant state of growth and change. Our bodies are continuously extracting calcium from our bones, and (hopefully) have enough extra floating around to rebuild. 

People who are deficient in calcium, do not have the “extra” they need to keep up with the body’s natural process, which weakens bones. Back pain can be caused by calcium deficiency, as it can lead to a weakened spinal cord. 

Luckily, there are many ways to easily ensure that you’re getting enough calcium in your diet. One serving of dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach contain about one-fourth of the total amount of calcium you need in one day. Almonds, beans, lentils, and seeds are also all great sources that are easy to integrate into every meal and snack! 

Anti-inflammatory Herbs and Vegetables

Inflammation is another core cause of back pain. Inflammation is caused when your immune system is triggered. While inflammation is ultimately a positive process your body uses to fight against potentially dangerous toxins, chemicals, and foreign bodies, persistent inflammation can cause harm to the body. 

There are certain foods that cause inflammation, which can contribute to back pain. Inflammatory foods include processed sugars, red meat, and refined carbohydrates. 

On the other end of the spectrum, there are many foods known to actually fight inflammation. Some of the top anti-inflammatory foods are tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts, ginger, turmeric, and fruits.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential to so many different vital body functions. From blood to DNA, protein absorption and energy, you need an adequate amount of B12 to operate efficiently. Vitamin B12 is a building block for nerve tissue development. Healthy nerve tissue is vital for a strong back. 

Without B12, you’ll be finding yourself in the chiropractic office often, being told you need to learn more about back health. Meat and animal byproducts are the primary sources of B12. People who eat plant-based diets can easily get an adequate amount of vitamin B12 by taking supplements. Just be sure to do your due diligence, research about the companies you’re buying supplements from. Vitamin B12 is also a vitamin that needs to be taken with food. 


Magnesium is a key nutrient for nearly every core body process. It’s especially important in maintaining strong muscles and bones. A lack of magnesium can cause the back, and the body, in general, to weaken, along with many other health issues. 

The best way to get magnesium is through food rather than supplements. Luckily, there are dozens of foods high in magnesium and a lot of different options to choose from. Some of these foods include dark leafy vegetables like kale, different types of nuts and seeds (like pumpkin seeds and almonds), soybeans, avocados and so much more. 

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3, or Vitamin D for short, has become synonymous with bone health. When it comes to back health, Vitamin D is necessary for your body to be able to absorb calcium. People who are deficient in Vitamin D will have an overall lethargic feeling. 

Your body can make its own Vitamin D, and certain foods and environments can initiate this process. One of the best ways to get Vitamin D is from the sun. Your body needs sunlight to produce healthy amounts of Vitamin D. But don’t go crazy with it, go out in the sun during safe times of the day. When it comes to food, omega fatty acids found in fish and some algae promote the production of Vitamin D. 

Eating Your Way to a Healthy Back

The key to improving your health by adopting a healthier diet is to not just make changes but to stick to them consistently. When you alter your diet by eating whole foods packed with vitamins and nutrients, you won’t get a healthy back overnight. 

These changes take time to feel the impact from and are not a magic fix. The earlier you start living a healthy lifestyle that’s sustainable for a lifetime, the better. Preventative health is key to a healthy life in the long term. 

For more health tips, tricks and news, click through more health articles on our website. We showcase news, tips, and trends in health, fitness, wellness, and nutrition. Have tips for back health we didn’t mention? Join the conversation! Comment on this article and share it with your friends across your social media networks.