Friday, October 4, 2013

Osteoporosis and Prevention

MyAchingKnees received a request to post an article on Osteoporosis prevention and what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. Well, I'll give it a try.

Osteoporosis, means porous bones, and is a condition where a person loses too much bone mass making the bones weak and prone to breaking from minor falls, or in the case of my Mother, fracturing a bone from attempting to move a piece of furniture. And we have all heard stories from friends about their elderly relatives who fell down and broke hip or leg.

I have read articles that state that Medical Professionals are now seeing Osteoporosis in children, pre-dominantly girls, as young as 11 or 12 years old. Be that as it may, Osteoporosis is not something you have to accept as inevitable as you age. But what can you do about it?

Most Osteoporosis Prevention sites will tell you to: 1 - Ensure you get enough calcium and vitamin D; 2 - Eat a well balanced diet and include fruits and vegetables; 3 - Get regular exercise including weight lifting; and, 4 - Quit smoking and minimize drinking alcohol.

Green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and turnips can provide Calcium. Potatoes, artichokes and spinach for instance can provide Magnesium.

Consuming dairy products like yogurt, cheese and milk (cow and soy) can provide Calcium and possibly Vitamin D. Fish, fresh and canned, such as salmon and sardines, etc., also provide Vitamin D and Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Excessive salt can prevent you from absorbing calcium even if you get enough.

All good advice, but I believe even the best of us cannot get enough nutrients in the needed amounts from foods. And don't use the Required Daily Allowance (RDA). The RDA, of course, is the government's recommended level of a nutrients considered sufficient to meet the requirements of approx 96% of the population, without considering age and gender or any other factors. Besides, the RDA was developed in 1941. Let me say that again,...the RDA was developed in 1941!

Even if the RDA, in 1941, was sufficient, what's changed since then? Well, basically our society has changed, demanding fast solutions to everything including foods. Processed foods dominate our lives. Include the development of GMO foods and other strains of crops which may be more hardy against the ravages of the weather, but provide much less nutrients. Add the massive amount of toxins prevalent in our lives and you have recipe where no one is getting, nor probably can get, the required daily nutrients through foods.

While eating right - maximizing the good foods and minimizing the bad foods are one cornerstone of my healthy lifestyle plan, taking quality nutritional supplements in amounts necessary to provide protection against today's early onset of degenerative disease is another cornerstone and really the only consistent part of my healthy lifestyle plan.

Avoiding toxins, is yet another cornerstone, or what I call a "leg on the chair of health".   Cigarette's and alcohol are a mortal enemy of not only your general health, but your bone health as they help enable Osteoporosis. Hello? Quit smoking and drinking to excess. Two to three drinks a day is not "in moderation".

And if you're going to drink, don't drink Bud Light or Sailor's Scotch. At least a quality red wine can provide some anti-oxidants, which most people are sorely in need of.

Exercise, especially weight lifting can help prevent Osteoporosis. A person also needs protein in the diet, but an excessive amount of Omega 6 in our diet with a corresponding lack of Omega 3's can increase free radical damage which often manifests itself in joint pain in my opinion.  Osteoporosis is not something you have to accept as inevitable as you something about it!

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