Bone-up on bone-friendly foods
Unless you've had a fracture or a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia, I bet you hardly ever think of your bones. It's a sobering thought that one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 could be affected by bone disease. It's never too early to start looking after your bones. Here are some simple nutrition tips to build into your daily routine.
Calcium is the major mineral in bones and widely available from food. Milk isn't the only source of calcium; it's found in leafy greens (such as broccoli), sardines with bones, salmon, yoghurt, kefir, pumpkin seeds and nuts. Almonds are rich in calcium and contain other bone-friendly nutrients, including magnesium, manganese, vitamin E and essential fats. Make hummus with calcium-rich tahini (ground sesame seeds) for a bone-boosting snack.
The action of sun on the skin makes vitamin D but how many of us get enough sunshine? This important vitamin increases the uptake of calcium from the gut. You'll find vitamin D in eggs, mushrooms, dairy foods and oily fish. Wild Alaskan salmon -widely available from supermarkets- provides about 75% more vitamin D3 than farmed, according to research from Boston University School of Medicine.
Hands up if you've heard of vitamin K! It may not have the super-star status of calcium but is essential for the binding of calcium to bone tissue. Incidentally, a lack of vitamin K is also associated with cardiovascular and Alzheimer's disease. Make sure you're K-confident by eating butter, eggs and green leafy veg. Fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut not only provide this essential vitamin, but also feed beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Meals and snacks for happy bones
It's easy to make a few healthy food swaps to feed your bones. Here are some bone-friendly food tips:
- Swap sugary snacks for a handful of almonds or hummus and veg sticks
- Add a dessertspoon of tahini and a handful of berries to plain, live yoghurt or kefir and whiz up a smoothie
- Dinner tonight: Grilled salmon (wild, if possible) with broccoli and kale. Make my pumpkin seed pesto- recipe opposite - to go with the salmon. Vegetarian option: a mushroom omelette with leafy greens
- A healthy pud: have some berries - fresh or frozen blueberries and raspberries - with kefir or plain, live yoghurt.
Invest in a healthy future
A personalised nutritional therapy plan is the best investment you can make for a healthy future: protect yourself against chronic diseases, enhance your brainpower, increase your energy, have strong bones, glowing skin and an efficient digestive system.
Take the first step towards your personalised healthy-eating plan by filling in the health questionnaire and food diary on the Consultations
page of my web site. Or, email
me your phone number and I'll call you for a free, no-obligation 10-minute chat. In three months' time you could be a different person!
Yours in good health,
Rita Carmichael, registered nutritional therapist
and Metabolic Balance® coach