7 EASY WAYS TO STRONG BONES

One mil­lion Aussies now find them­selves af­fected by the pain of os­teo­poro­sis, which ramps up frac­ture risk. HFG di­eti­tian Melissa Meier has sim­ple strate­gies to look af­ter your bones.

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Our di­eti­tian shares sim­ple strate­gies to help you avoid os­teo­poro­sis

Os­teo­poro­sis is a dis­ease that makes your bones thin, weak and brit­tle, in­creas­ing the risk of breaks and frac­tures as you age. Luck­ily, the right diet and lifestyle can help im­prove the health of your bones. Here’s what you can do:

1 GET PLENTY OF CAL­CIUM

Con­sum­ing enough cal­cium is vi­tal for your bone health, not just when you’re grow­ing, but through­out adult­hood as well. That’s be­cause when your diet is low in cal­cium, your body will take it from your bones, re­duc­ing your bone den­sity.

The best sources of cal­cium are dairy foods such as milk, yo­ghurt and cheese. Other foods, how­ever — like canned sal­mon with ed­i­ble bones, tahini, or al­monds with the skin on — pro­vide a cal­cium boost too. Plant-based milk al­ter­na­tives can also be use­ful, but check for at least 100mg of added cal­cium per 100ml.

2 STEP OUT­DOORS

Vi­ta­min D, other­wise known as the ‘sun­shine vi­ta­min’, is cru­cial for bone health be­cause it in­creases cal­cium ab­sorp­tion. So, head out­side dur­ing your lunchtime, or go for a long out­door walk on the week­end. Re­mem­ber to re­main sun-safe, es­pe­cially in the sum­mer months. You can also get some vi­ta­min D from eggs, and from oily fish such as sal­mon and tuna.

3 EN­SURE YOU EAT A BAL­ANCED DIET

Sev­eral other nu­tri­ents play a role in bone health, so it’s im­por­tant that your diet is as var­ied as pos­si­ble. En­joy a range of foods from each of the five food groups to set you on the right nu­tri­tion path. These groups are ve­g­ies and legumes (re­mem­ber to ‘eat the rain­bow’ of ve­g­ies); fruits; whole grains; lean meats, poul­try, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds; and milk, yo­ghurt and cheese.

4 Do more huff & puff

Weight-bear­ing ex­er­cises like power walking, jog­ging or ten­nis, and re­sis­tance train­ing help pre­vent os­teo­poro­sis. the stress they place on your bones makes them stronger and also en­cour­ages bone growth.

5 Quit smok­ing

It’s well known smok­ing is bad for lungs — but it can af­fect bone health too! Smok­ers have lower bone den­sity than non-smok­ers — so if you smoke, re­ally try to quit the habit.

6 shake off the salt

When your kid­neys re­move sodium from your body, they take some of your cal­cium too, so do your best to eat less salt. Seventy-five per cent of the salt in aus­tralians’ di­ets comes from pack­aged su­per­mar­ket foods. try these easy, ev­ery­day tips to re­duce your salt in­take: Limit the amount of pack­aged foods you eat. Choose ‘re­duced-salt’ or ‘no-added-salt’ prod­ucts. Avoid us­ing salt in cook­ing or at the table.

7 be care­ful with caf­feine

Caf­feine can ac­cel­er­ate cal­cium loss, so limit cof­fee or tea in­take to two or three cups a day, and drink wa­ter more.

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