Bones are the building blocks of your body, so it’s super important to focus on keeping your bone health strong. Usually the idea of strengthening your bones probably isn’t your biggest health priority, especially when you’re younger. Worrying about bone health can seem like an afterthought that you’ll eventually get to – but you shouldn’t wait. Don’t worry about starting now, we’re here to help. Here are some things that can be changed to bump up bone health.Read More >
We all try to eat healthy and finding great recipes that are healthy can be a challenge. As we age we tend to focus on keeping our bones strong, something our parents probably instilled in us at a young age, but keeping a balanced diet isn’t always easy. The change of seasons, available good produce, our own personal preferences and specific needs can make it a challenge. We say keep it simple. Here’s a simple, yet delicious salad recipe we found at Eatingwell.com that you can edit to your tastes and even makes a great pack ahead lunch for work.Read More >
Maximize nutrition as we age? What does that even mean? Assessing the diet of older adults is especially important for identifying issues relevant to their present health and nutritional status. Far too many people over the age of 65 are considered malnourished and this can also have an impact on bone health. Having a balanced and nutritious diet is one way to help our bone health as we age. So many times just a few minor adjustments or interventions can reduce or eliminate the problem.
There are some special considerations of nutritional needs of the aging body that are relevant to be emphasized. Caloric needs decline with age because of a decrease in basal metabolism related to the loss of lean tissue and a decrease in physical activity.Read More >
What are key nutrients we need for our bone health? As we all know, bones are the skeletal structures of our body. They connect the various body parts by means of joints. However due to excess weight, nutrient deficiencies, and improper postures, bones do get deformed which sometimes is irreversible. That’s why it is critical to make sure you are keeping your bones healthy.
Excess weight puts an additional burden on the delicate bone joints. Over time, this can lead to brittle bones which can easily break in case of fractures. So, it is very essential that you take proper nutrients to support your bones. Calcium, vitamin D and protein are the three most important nutrients that have to be adequate in the diet.Read More >
How do you make your bones stronger and keep them strong as you age? Bones are important to the body because they provide support and shape. When it comes to strengthening your bones, one of the best ways to do it and maintain good bone health is to exercise. Exercise, especially as you age, reduces the risk of developing bone-thinning diseases like osteoporosis. If you implement a minimal 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercises (i.e. walking, jogging, tennis and dancing) into your daily routine, it will help make your bones both stronger and denser. Bone health can also be affected by certain medications, smoking and too much alcohol consumption.Read More >
The National Osteoporosis Foundation website (www.NOF.org) has a wonderful article about which foods are rich in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K and other important nutrients for bone health. Below is the part of the article that highlights each food and the nutrient in that food. So next time you are at the grocery store pick up some of them and start strengthening your bones. Your body will thank you for it!
Food and Your Bones
The food that you eat can affect your bones. Learning about the foods that are rich in calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients that are important for your bone health and overall health will help you make healthier food choices every day. Use the information below for examples of the different types of food you should be eating every day.
If you eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of dairy, fish, fruits and vegetables, you should get enough of the nutrients you need every day, but if you’re not getting the recommended amount from food alone, you may need to complement your diet by taking multivitamins or supplements.
Calcium: Dairy products such as low-fat and non-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Some dairy products are fortified with Vitamin D.
Calcium: Canned sardines and salmon (with bones)
Vitamin D: Fatty varieties such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines
Fruits & Vegetables
Calcium: Collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, mustard greens and broccoli
Magnesium: Spinach, beet greens, okra, tomato products, artichokes, plantains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens and raisins
Potassium: Tomato products, raisins, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, papaya, oranges, orange juice, bananas, plantains and prunes
Vitamin C: red peppers, green peppers, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, strawberries, brussel sprouts, papaya and pineapples
Vitamin K: Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens and brussel sprouts
Calcium; Vitamin D: Calcium and Vitamin D are sometimes added to certain brands of juices, breakfast foods, soy milk, rice milk, cereals, snacks and breads.
For complete article and source click here: http://nof.org/foods
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin because the body synthesizes it when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun.
This fat soluble vitamin can also be obtained from eating sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel and other oily fish, as well as by taking fish liver oils. Egg yolks, beef liver, and dairy products like cheese also contain some vitamin D.
Vitamin D is vital for bone health because it helps the body absorb calcium from the food that is being digested in the intestines. After absorption, vitamin D is still needed by the body to maintain normal levels of this important mineral in the blood.
Vitamin D is also needed by the body to make new bone from the absorbed calcium in a process known as mineralization. Its importance is seen clearly in children who develop rickets when they have vitamin D deficiency. These children have poorly mineralized bones which are soft and unable to bear their weight, and thus they develop bow legs and knock knees.
Adults also need vitamin D to maintain healthy bones since its deficiency causes osteomalacia. This condition, which is also characterized by defective mineralization, results in painful bones which are thin and thus more likely to break.
Middle aged menopausal women also need vitamin D since its deficiency worsens into osteoporosis. The progressive loss of calcium and bone mass in osteoporosis, which results in brittle bones that break easily, can be reduced by Vitamin D.
To prevent these complications of its deficiency, foods which are fortified with vitamin D should be added to the diet. Examples of such foods include fortified orange juice, cereal and milk, which can be taken to start each day.
This increased dietary intake should be combined with basking to help the body make its own vitamin D. This can be done by exposing bare arms and legs, without sunscreen, to the sun for 5 to 10 minutes.
Though the amount of vitamin D made with this method depends on many factors, like the time of the day, the season of the year, cloud cover, skin pigmentation and the amount of sunscreen applied, basking between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. twice a week can ensure the body has adequate amounts of the sunshine vitamin to make and maintain healthy bones.
Medical Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor regarding questions about Vitamin D and bone health.
Written by: Dr. Marian, Freelance Medical Writer
Many of us think of osteoporosis as something that happens as we age, and many of us think that it’s something that only post-menopausal women need to be concerned about.
We’re right and wrong. According to the website www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics, 1/10 of all women over the age of 60 are affected by osteoporosis, with that number increasing to 2/3 by the age of 90. But according to that same site, “It is estimated that the lifetime risk of experiencing an osteoporotic fracture in men over the age of 50 is 30%, similar to the lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer.” So it’s not just a female issue.
First, what exactly is osteoporosis? It’s a condition where the bones become brittle (porous). An article on www.nof.org (“Bone Basics”), explains that we build and lose bone mass throughout our lives, but when we’re young we build it faster than we lose it. We usually hit ‘peak bone mass’ between the ages of 18 & 25, at which point we may begin to lose bone mass faster than we grow it. Therefore, the more bone we have at ‘peak’ the better. There are a number of things that cause it, ranging from illnesses that hinder calcium absorption, to hormonal changes associated with menopause, to certain medications.
Some of these are controllable, others aren’t. As far as some of the things we can control, we can:
- Eat a well-balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of calcium & vitamin D, as well as bone healthy foods such as fruits & veggies. In addition to being necessary for bone growth, calcium helps our blood to clot, our nerves to send messages, and our muscles to contract. Our bodies are not able to produce calcium on their own, so when they need it they’ll take it from our bones. Dairy products are probably the best known calcium source, but it’s also in certain green vegetables as well as soy and almond milk, and fortified breads & cereals. Vitamin D comes from three main sources; sunlight, a few foods, and supplements. Our bodies take UVB sunlight rays, turn it into vitamin D, and store it. Unfortunately, while sunscreen is beneficial in the fight against skin cancer, it also limits our body’s ability to manufacture vitamin D. It only occurs naturally in a few foods such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna so it’s added to such things as milk and cereal products.
- Exercise regularly. Both high-impact, if possible, and low-impact weight-bearing exercises are important, as are muscle-strengthening exercises. Examples of high-impact weight-bearing exercises are things like dancing, running, jogging, and rope jumping. Low-impact includes such things as the use of elliptical machines, stair step machines, and treadmill walking. Muscle strengthening exercises include weight lifting, elastic exercise bands, and any kind of exercise that involves lifting one’s own weight.
- Avoid smoking.
- Limit alcohol intake; alcohol interferes with our body’s ability to absorb calcium.
As far as the uncontrollables, such things as age, race, gender, size, family, and medical history all play a part. Long term use of corticosteroids such as asthma inhalers, certain types of anti-depressants, and some medicines used to treat esophageal reflux have all been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis, and diseases such as Crohn’s and celiac can affects our body’s ability to absorb calcium as well.
Uncontrollable risk factors aside, it’s never too early to be concerned about bone health. Eating well, staying active, not smoking, and limiting alcohol intake are all important and should always be part of a strong bone strategy.
Written by: Tricia Doane, FizzNiche Staff Writer