Degeneration of cartilages in the joints of the spine or inflammation of the spine joints causes spinal arthritis. Good nutrition is essential for arresting degradation of the cartilages and reducing inflammation. People suffering from spinal arthritis have reported significant improvement in the symptoms of arthritis through dietary interventions.
In addition to meeting your appropriate daily calorie requirement, your diet should be a source of essential nutrients essential for maintaining the normal functioning of the spinal cord. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant constituents in the diet protect the spine from arthritis and in some cases may reverse inflammatory arthritis of the spine.
Spinal Arthritis Diet
Add Vitamin C Rich Food to the Diet
If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis of the spine, consuming sufficient vitamin C rich foods daily can help to reduce the pain and inflammation of the spinal joints. Studies suggest that rheumatoid arthritis patients tend to suffer from vitamin C deficiency. Papaya, pineapple, oranges, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are some of the best sources of vitamin C. However, supplementation with vitamin C may worsen the spinal arthritis pain caused by osteoarthritis of the spine.
Consume Foods with Vitamin D
Vitamin D is needed for maintaining the normal bone density and preventing osteoporosis that may affect the spine. Although exposing the skin to sunlight triggers vitamin D synthesis, if you are not getting sufficient sunshine to meet your optimum daily vitamin D requirement, consider adding vitamin D rich foods to your daily diet. It occurs naturally in fish, milk, eggs and mushroom. Cereals and beverages fortified with vitamin D are other common dietary sources of vitamin D.
Increase Calcium Intake
Including adequate amount of calcium in your daily diet helps to strengthen the spine and arrests degradation of the bones. People suffering from spinal arthritis need around 1200 to 1500 mg of calcium daily.
Milk and dairy products are the best sources of calcium. Leafy green vegetables contain moderate amounts of calcium.
Eat Fatty Fish
Add fish, especially cold-water fish, to your meals several times a week. Fish oil is the finest natural source of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. By suppressing the activities of inflammatory substances in the spine, fish oil provides relief from pain and inflammation of the spinal joints. If you are a vegetarian, take a teaspoon of flaxseed oil daily to meet your omega-3 fatty acid requirement.
Five Servings of Fruits and Vegetables
Most of your spinal arthritis related symptoms could be addressed by adding at least five servings of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. A predominantly vegetarian diet can prevent abnormal inflammatory activities of the immune cells that trigger spinal arthritis.
Adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet meets most of your nutrient requirements. Emphasize especially on fruits and vegetables with anti-inflammatory plant compounds. Cherries, strawberries, apples, olive and onions are some of the common fruits and vegetables with powerful antioxidant compounds. Moreover, fruits and vegetables are sources of dietary fibers that studies suggest could reduce inflammation.