Nutrition and Hydration

Everything in your spine is composed of living cells. Bone, nerves, muscles, ligaments and cartilage all need similar nutrients required by the rest of the body .  There are many diets and fads out there, but useful tips include the following:


1. Selectively follow the “perimeter diet” and try to eat the non-processed fruit, vegetables, dairy, fish, poultry, etc. found around the walls of your supermarket. Even amongst these whole foods you can still find lots of highly processed or poor food choices.  Additionally there are beneficial or lightly processed foods found in the aisles: 

 

  • Bulk foods – beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, oatmeal and dried fruit. 
  • Canned goods- (watch the salt) tuna, beans, vegetables and fruit (useful especially in winter). 
  • Frozen – Vegetables and fruit.
  • Spices – a calorically minimal way to add taste and flavour.


2. Follow author Michael Pollan’s practical tips from his book “In Defense of Food”:     

 

  • Eat food (as in “real” or unprocessed food) 
  • Mostly plants (small amounts of dairy, fish, meat etc.)
  • Not too much (watch quantities)
  • Don’t eat food your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize (are Pop Tarts, Pizza Pops and Twinkies food? Did your great grandmother eat them?
  • If it has more than 5 ingredients it’s not “real” food


Living cells are full of water. Maintain adequate hydration over the day.  Heavy activity or hot weather may increase fluid requirements to match heavier sweating.  There is no existing scientific evidence that states you need 8 cups of water each day. Our thirst mechanism has worked for hundreds of thousands of years, and should continue to function perfectly well. 

 

  • Water works very well by itself.
  • Minimize caffeinated and especially sugary soft drinks, juices and flavoured water.
  • Use a refillable water container. If you must use commercial bottled water, at least recycle the plastic bottles.