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Skeletal Syndromes And Diet For Healthy Bones

Everyone knows what the skeletal system does. It keeps us upright and off the floor. In other words, it gives us our ‘shape’. In fact, it’s our backbone — the arrangement of vertebrae — that places us on top of all living beings. The lowest forms of life have no bones at all!
It isn’t hard to see that healthy bones mean a healthy body. Unfortunately, as our lives get busier and more sedentary at the same time, we neglect to take care of our bones, just as we don’t take care of the rest of our body. This leads to skeletal disease and disorders, which, in a vicious circle, makes life even more difficult for us.

Skeletal disease can take many forms. For instance, many children in developing countries, who suffer from malnutrition, are affected by a disorder called Rickets. This causes their bones to become soft, and deformities to form in the legs and spine. Similarly, many post-menopausal women in developed countries suffer from osteoporosis, where their bones become brittle and break easily. Both diseases are caused by a lack of vitamin D and calcium. Arthritis is also a common disorder, and actually refers to a group of conditions affecting the bones. They may be caused by a number of different factors, including genetics, trauma, malnutrition or the deposits of acids on the joints. What’s common in all of these illnesses, though, is that they’re life-changing, but can be avoided or healed with a proper diet.

Diet For Healthy Bones And Treating Skeletal Abnormalities

Can diet help me? Yes! After genetics, your diet may be the single most important factor that will help you stave off skeletal disease. In fact, even if your family has a history of bone disease, a good diet can keep it at bay. This is particularly important for women, who are prone to osteoporosis after menopause. Remember that even though older women are at risk, you must start early, as the body’s capacity to absorb calcium diminishes after the 20’s.

Calcium, calcium, calcium! This mineral is the most important in the fight against bone disease.  If you’re under 50, you should get at least 1000 mg a day, and up to 1200 mg a day if you’re older. The best source for calcium is from milk and dairy products. Cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, orange juice, and breakfast cereal are also good sources. Remember to include many portions of green, leafy veggies in your diet every week, as these too are rich in calcium. If you feel you may be at risk of bone disease, or cannot get enough calcium in your meals, consult your doctor and take calcium supplements.

Get some sun! Vitamin D is created by the body, but it needs sunlight for the synthesis. As we spend more of our lives indoors, we make less and less of this vitamin. Ten to fifteen minutes of sun, thrice a week, should do the trick. Consider going for a morning jog or walk, or stroll out into the street during lunch hour. It’ll keep you slimmer too! Many foods are also fortified with this nutrient, and you can also get it from multivitamin tablets.

Meat isn’t your friend. Studies show that the consumption of large amounts of red meat inhibits your body from absorbing calcium. Instead, include many servings of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet.

Say no to alcohol. Similarly, consuming more than two servings of alcoholic beverages per day can play havoc with your body. Restrict it to just a few glasses a week, and you’ll be much healthier in all aspects.

Exercise. Studies show that body builders, as a group, lose the least amount of bone mass as they age. We’re not asking you to pump iron like them, but a little strength, endurance, and flexibility training everyday will keep you happy and healthy well into your old age.
Submitted on January 16, 2014