Are there foods that I can eat that will help aid in the proper functioning of my musculoskeletal system?

In honor of nutrition month, I would like to answer an extremely common question I receive in my office regarding foods that will maintain a healthy body. Most people understand the importance of physical activity when trying to improve overall health, but many people leave out a huge piece of the puzzle. Eating a proper balanced diet will help you obtain a healthy lifestyle as well as decrease your risk of musculoskeletal conditions.

Dr.-Rikki-McKenzieAs specialists in the nerves, muscles and bones, a big issue chiropractors see is a decrease in bone density. The most common vitamins and minerals that come to mind when discussing bone health are vitamin D and calcium. Inadequate consumption of calcium and vitamin D can result in issues pertaining to bone density. Calcium helps to build bone tissue whereas vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium itself. Supplementing with both vitamin D and calcium will aid in improving musculoskeletal health, but they are not the only important nutrients to include when discussing bone health.

Protein is an essential part of ones diet as it is considered a building block of body tissue and can serve as an important fuel source for the body. It is necessary to gain bone mass as well as preserve it as we age, and will both build and repair muscle tissue. Foods with high protein content include fish, legumes, chicken and many dairy products.

In terms of vitamins and minerals, Magnesium plays a huge part in bone health as it is involved in forming bone mineral. It can be found in several foods including whole grains and green leafy vegetables. Another essential mineral that is often overlooked is zinc. Zinc plays a role in bone tissue renewal and mineralization. Foods high in zinc include red meat, poultry and legumes. Vitamin K is also extremely important when it comes to bone health because it also is needed for the mineralization of bone. Vitamin K can be found in green leafy vegetables and lentils.

These are obviously just a few of the important nutrients our body needs to maintain proper health, but I hope it helps you to understand the importance of our diet on our musculoskeletal system. A common misconception in regards to bone health is that once we are adults, our bones do not change. This is far from the truth; our bones will constantly be remodeled throughout our lifetime, which reiterates the importance of proper nutrition.

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Yours in health,

Dr. MacKenzie