Your shin bone is connected to your ankle bone… But does it break when you bounce on a running pole on your first ski trip this winter? As we get older, unfortunately, we have to start thinking about keeping our bones strong.
When you were younger, your body was a bone-making machine, breaking down and rebuilding your skeleton 24/7. Then, you’re in your twenties and thirties, and this reconstruction project is starting to slow down as is everyone else’s. As a result, over time, your bones may become less dense and strong. It may become porous, brittle and prone to fracture, a condition known as osteoporosis. The foods you eat and the ones you don’t get enough of, calcium, can accelerate bone loss early on, putting you at risk of fractures even from downhill skiing.
Avoiding foods that are harmful to the bones is important for both women and men who want to keep their skeleton strong as they age. Here are some things to consider. And while you stay away from foods that drain bones, consider adding these best supplements to prevent bone loss.
Limit salty foods that lack nutrients, such as potato chips, as well as foods high in sodium such as pizza, fast food meals, processed foods, and some canned soups. “Foods that are low in nutrition and high in salt do not provide calcium, vitamin D, and potassium to help maintain bone mass, but they do overload the blood with sodium, which leads to a loss of minerals important for bone health,” says the registered dietitian. Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDNco-author of Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Hormones, Health and Happiness.
Since sodium and calcium are stored in the bones, studies It has been shown that high sodium consumption can increase urinary calcium removal and contribute to low bone mineral density.
Clinical research, including a recent report in Frontiers in Physiology, suggests that chronic inflammation directly contributes to bone loss. One of the main causes of inflammation is the high consumption of fats and protein-rich meats such as steak, ribs, and processed meats. “Studies show that people who eat a lot of meat and animal protein tend to have lower bone density compared to those who follow a vegetarian diet,” says a member of the Medical Review Board at Eatthis.com. Julie Upton, RDHe is a dietitian and co-founder of Appetite for Health.
On the other hand, Upton adds, “Eating more plant foods can keep systemic inflammation and other signs associated with aging in check.”
“Any foods that contain excessive refined carbohydrates such as added sugars, flour, and juices can cause blood sugar to spike, causing a metabolic imbalance and increasing the risk of osteoporosis,” Taylor Fazio, MS, RD, CNregistered dietitian and wellness consultant lanby in New York City.
By the same token, you should keep an eye out for sugar-sweetened beverages, and soda is an especially bad culprit when it comes to depleting bone strength.
“Soft drinks contain phosphoric acid which can inhibit calcium absorption,” Fazio. This leads to an imbalance in the proportion of calcium and phosphorous and a decrease in bone mineral density. For example, one large study in the journal menopause It found that postmenopausal women who drank more than two servings of soda per day had a 26% greater risk of hip fracture than women who didn’t drink soda. Replace fizzy drinks with unsweetened sweeteners to keep a gassy mouth at bay without negatively affecting health.
You may have read that beans or legumes contain a substance that can reduce the absorption of certain nutrients. “Phytic acid binds to some minerals like calcium which prevents its absorption,” says Fazio. But Fazio and other nutritionists we spoke to say the benefits of eating beans greatly outweigh any potential negative effect on bones.
“Beans, especially black beans, provide essential magnesium and potassium to help prevent osteoporosis, along with other nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K,” Ward says. “When consumed as part of a balanced diet, legumes are good for bones.” Additionally, you can reduce naturally occurring phytates that may limit the absorption of calcium, iron, and zinc by soaking, sprouting, or fermenting beans and legumes before cooking. “Soak beans and legumes in room-temperature water overnight, then discard the water afterwards,” Knowles suggests. “Washing the beans/legumes, and then cooking them, can help reduce the phytate content.”
Jeff Csatari, contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, is responsible for editing galvanized media books and magazines and advising journalism students through the Zinczenko New Media Center at Moravian University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Read more about Jeff
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