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Saturday, November 14

Diet is a Key to Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis


Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and thin, and prone to fracture, particularly in the hips and spine. There can be few symptoms of osteoporosis until a fracture occurs, so it can only be diagnosed by a bone scan. Approximately one in four post-menopausal women develops osteoporosis. Certain other factors are thought to be risk factors for developing osteoporosis including family history, heavy alcohol use, hyperthyroidism and hyper parathyroidism, smoking, long term use of anticonvulsants and glucocorticosteroids and being white or Asian race. Dietary-wise, those people who eat an imbalanced diet resulting in too many acidifying foods are more likely to develop osteoporosis. The body must strictly keep the blood mildly alkaline. If many acidic foods are eaten, the body has to leech alkalizing calcium from the bones to keep the blood at the mildly alkaline level. Therefore, eating a healthy diet is vital for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis.

Calcium is a key component of our bones. Diets high in salt and sugar can also contribute to the condition because they increase calcium excretion.

Women who have lowered estrogen levels have increased risk of osteoporosis as lack of estrogen is thought to increase certain cells which break down bone. Stomach acid is very important for avoiding osteoporosis; it is required for calcium absorption. Liver and kidney disorders can also contribute to osteoporosis because good functioning of these organs is required to metabolize vitamin D into an active useable form for the body. Vitamin D is required to absorb calcium.

Nutrient deficiencies of certain key vitamins and minerals for bone health including magnesium, boron, silica, calcium and vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin C can contribute to osteoporosis. Long term stress is also a risk factor for osteoporosis as it increases bone dissolving adrenalin. Exercise and weight bearing activity is also a key to preventing osteoporosis as it triggers stronger bone formation by the body as a response to the extra strain.

Foods to avoid

Avoid all fizzy drinks as they contain very high levels of phosphorus which is an acidifying mineral. Avoid all sugar and white refined carbohydrates which increase calcium excretion. Cut out caffeine; three cups per day of coffee can increase the risk of osteoporosis by 82%. Avoid alcohol as it is a highly acidifying drink. Avoid adding salt to your food; it increases calcium excretion.

Avoid a diet with excessive protein levels in it as it is acidifying. Eat no more than one palm size portion of meat or fish per meal, and always have plenty of alkalizing foods with your protein. Cut down or cut out dairy products. Ironically milk can be very acidifying to the body, which in turn can leech calcium from bones.

Foods to Increase:

Increase intake of all kinds of fruits and vegetables as they are very alkalizing. Begin green vegetable juicing daily, which provides a high dosage of alkalizing nutrients quickly in an easily digestible form. Great high calcium greens include kale, spinach, broccoli and all other green leafy vegetables. Eat plenty of lettuce, celery, millet, oats and parsnips; they contain high levels of silica, which is a mineral important for bone regeneration. Increase intake of green leafy vegetables as they also contain vitamin K and magnesium, which are both found to be low in people with osteoporosis and are involved with bone health. Kelp and alfalfa prevent bone loss.

Cauliflower, onion soup, berries, potatoes, and green leafy vegetables are advisable and are high in vitamin C, which helps produce the collagen that makes up 90% of bone matrix. Use non-dairy rice and oat milk as alternatives to cow's milk. The mineral boron which is important for bone formation is found in apples, pears, grapes, peaches, almonds and hazelnuts. Eat fermented soy products 2-3 times per week in your diet, including tempeh and miso, as these are phyto-estrogens and may provide an estrogen-like effect on the body increasing bone cell production.

Lifestyle Changes

Stop smoking as it is associated with an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. It is vital to begin weight-bearing exercise. This can include walking, yoga, weight training, swimming, cycling, rebounding, tennis, dancing and gentle jogging. Get some sunshine every day when you can; it promotes the natural production of vitamin D, an important vitamin for calcium absorption. Avoid long term stress as it can over-produce adrenalin which can dissolve bone.

All vegetables, especially raw vegetables, balance the acidity and alkali levels in the blood. Although it might seem that citrus fruits would have an acidifying effect on the body, the citric acid they contain actually has an alkalizing effect in the system. -naturalnews

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