Osteoporosis – not just a dairy issue?

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Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Community, Features
As the clocks changed last weekend our attentions turn to the darker evenings. Most of us now leave for work each morning and return home each evening in the dark, venturing perhaps as far as the staff canteen for lunch midday. This often means we see little to no actual daylight, which can be a depressing thought for some as moods wane, but more than that, what else do we need this vital Vitamin that the sunshine provides us with and what steps can we take to ensure we get our supply in the winter months? Vitamin D is a fat soluble Vitamin mainly responsible for the absorption of calcium. A mineral needed for healthy, strong bones, balance in the body, a good strong nervous system. The first thing many think of when I say ‘Calcium’ is milk right? However, you can drink all the milk you like, but if you don’t provide the necessary supporting nutrients to allow your body to absorb it, we’re looking at an osteoporosis epidemic which may already have started. Your body likes balance. At every talk I give, or every plan I recommend, I encourage balance. No, not meat and 2 veg, I’m talking about inner balance, about minerals, vitamins, pH alkalinity and acidity. The fascinating thing about the human body, about YOU as a person, a living organism, is that your body, your blood, your brain will do whatever it takes to restore this balance. This means if your blood is lacking in calcium due perhaps to a fad diet, guess where it draws it’s resources from? Your bones. Long term, weakened bones. Longer term, osteopenia. Longer term again, osteoporosis. Future – broken bones, shortened height, imbalance in the body. That is the reality. Let’s discuss risks: 1. Genes 2. Smoking 3. Lack of physical activity 4. Alcohol 5. Diet Think about your kids, your neighbour’s kids, do they play outside? Most likely the answer is no. Many are stuck indoors learning and playing on laptops, phones and video games. Not only are they not getting adequate daylight, their bones are not being strengthened through physical activity. Combined with a poor diet, we’re seriously looking at problems in the future here. Alas, for the lucky few who may be reading this, take my advice on board and make these changes, think more about what is going on inside your body rather than weight, rather than the scales, rather than fitting into a little black dress for Christmas. Think long term health. It is your wealth after all. There are 3 factors important for strong bones: 1. Adequate calcium intake (along with balance in the body, an over acidic person will not build new bone as successfully as someone who has a more alkaline system. Note too that a diet high in meat without an alkaline balance may give an immediate lean athletic physique, but long term may result in weak, brittle bones) 2. Vitamin D for the uptake of this calcium 3. Impact style exercise Here are my top tips to increase bone health: 1. Engage in physical activity daily, walks, jumping. Crossfit is a fantastic activity especially for women (particularly middle age), the jumps, the impact, all make for strong bones and a toned healthy body! 2. Vitamin D – in this hemisphere it can be a good idea to supplement, despite being found in foods such as oily fish and eggs, our lack of regular intake of these foods and darker days can mean unfortunately it is necessary. 3. Diet. Calcium rich foods other than dairy are often very well absorbed. Increase intake of seeds, tofu, beans and pulses and dark green leafy veg. Make small changes every day, prevention is much better than cure! Lisa is a Nutritionist at The Wellness Coach, find her on Facebook at The Wellness Coach or click HERE. Visit her website here: www.thewellnesscoach.ie Contact Lisa today for more information or a tailored nutrition plan. T: 07730577822/E: lisa@thewellnesscoach.ie
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