Eat Your Way to Healthy Bones
Osteoporosis literally means 'porous bone'. It is a degenerative disease that gradually causes changes in the posture. Because of physiological, hormonal and nutritional differences between men and women, women are more susceptible to osteoporosis. In fact, this progressive disease affects more women than breast cancer, or heart disease. Between the ages of fifty-five and seventy, women typically experience 30-40 percent bone loss. This usually goes unnoticed because bone loss does not cause specific symptoms. Often it isn't until a minor accident causes a broken bone, that osteoporosis usually comes to light. If osteoporosis becomes advanced even an enthusiastic hug can cause fractured ribs. Osteoporosis can also cause compression fractures in the spine, cause loss of height and severe pain.
Most people are under the mistake assumption that osteoporosis is caused by a calcium deficiency alone and that taking a calcium supplement will prevent it. In reality it is more complex. Although calcium supplementation is important in dealing with osteoporosis, vitamins protein and magnesium, zinc and boron all play important roles. Your amount of daily exercise is also a very important factor.
How to Eat Your Way to Healthy Bones
- To enhance the diet and protect your body against osteoporosis consume plenty of food high in calcium and vitamin D. Food sources calcium that are easily absorbed include kelp, cruciferous vegetables and salmon.
- Avoid yeast products; yeast is high in phosphorous, which competes with calcium for absorption.
- Keep your intake of cashews, rhubarb, and asparagus to the minimum. These foods contain large amounts of oxalic acid which reduces calcium absorption.
- Avoid fizzy drinks and high protein animal foods
- Avoid excessive alcohol.
- Include garlic and onions in your diet, as well as eggs (if your cholesterol level is not too high). These foods contain sulphur, which is also needed for healthy bones.
- Exercise regularly.
Thing to Avoid
- Too much protein (particularly animal proteins) can upset you body's pH balance. When this happens your body removes calcium from your bones in order to neutralize the acidity.
- High intake of salt. Excessive sodium levels may cause you to loose calcium through urination.
- Drinking too many of fizzy drinks can cause the body to use calcium to balance phosphate levels.
- Drinking too much caffeine- Excessive amounts of caffeine disrupts your body's balance of calcium. Avoid drinking more than one or two cups of coffee a day.
- Being over weight or underweight is not good for calcium levels.