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Is consuming foods rich in calcium enough for our bones

calcium for bones


We all know how important the mineral calcium is for our bones. It is necessary for the growth of our bones and for maintaining the overall bone density in our body. Since early childhood parents push their kids to consume a diet rich in calcium. They want their children to have stronger bones during their growing age, as bones provide structural support to the body. Some children tend to grow faster than others, hence they require more calcium for their body.

Even adults require strong and healthy bone structure. If calcium consumption is less and more calcium is flushed out of the body, there is a great chance that the bones will become weak. This increases the chance of fractures on medium-strong impacts. Another problem is, that weaker bones will not be able to support the weight of the body and the overall structure. This can lead to muscles to have majority of impact on them in order to support the body structure. As a result there will be more stress on the muscles , especially the joint muscles (tendons, cartilage in joints). As a result these muscles will go under wear and tear at a higher rate, thus increasing the chance of joint injuries.

Spinal cord being the major bone structure supporting the back, needs a good supply of calcium for it’s over all strength and to maintain the over all posture of the body. A weaker spinal cord structure can cause excruciating pain in the back, making it difficult to stand, sit and even sleep. In humans, women tend to lose calcium faster than men. This is due to blood loss in women during periods, pregnancy and post menopause which is the major factor in late ages.

The real question is, “Does consuming calcium rich foods enough for our bones”?

No, just consuming calcium is not enough. The important thing is whether body is absorbing calcium from food for making the bones strong and to maintain their strength. Research suggests both men and women after the age of 35 start losing calcium from their body. If good calcium intake along with good calcium absorption doesn’t occur in the body, there are great chances of developing osteoporosis –  a disease in which the bone density decreases and chances of fractures increase, along with other joint problems. In order to overcome this our body needs a good supply of calcium along with good calcium absorption.

How to achieve higher bone density or higher bone mineral density?

Just like muscles need protein, our bones need calcium. In order to have stronger and bigger muscles, one need a diet rich in protein and should engage in regular exercises. If we only consume protein and do not engage in exercise, protein will not be absorbed by the body and will be flushed out quite easily. The same way calcium is absorbed by the body more often, when we exercise on a regular basis. Research suggests that weight-bearing exercises increase bone density and make bones heavier and stronger. According to the research (Dana L. CreightonAmy L. MorganDebra BoardleyP. Gunnar Brolinson, Journal of Applied Physiology, Published 1 February 2001, Vol. 90, Page no. 565-570), athletes involved in sports producing higher weight-bearing exercises have higher bone density mass as compared to sportsmen and sportswomen who were involved in less weight-bearing/resistance activity. This means both men and women along with their calcium diet should also engage in weight-bearing exercises from an early age to increase bone density, thus increasing the chances of stronger/healthier bones and reducing the chances of osteoporosis in the older age.

Another way to increase calcium absorption in the body is by consuming food rich in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important nutrient which helps in making our bones stronger by helping our bones to absorb more calcium. The good news is, that this nutrient is naturally available from Sun. All you have to do is spend at least half an hour to one hour a day in the Sun. Make sure you wear sun screen to protect your skin from damaging. Some of the foods rich in Vitamin D are fish, eggs, button mushrooms, oysters, caviar, etc. Now days you can find many fortified milk products to which Vitamin-D is added. Cod Liver is one of the most popular supplement for Vitamin D.

In conclusion, just consuming a rich diet of calcium is not good enough for our bones. One must consume foods rich in Vitamin D, spend time in the Sun and most importantly conduct in weight-bearing exercises for better calcium absorption, so to achieve higher bone density and have stronger bones. By doing this you are pushing away the common bone disease Osteoporosis.

Eat fresh and always stay healthy. A better health means a better life and less medical bills.



Keeping In Control Of Your Diet

Many of us diet every year to loose extra kilos/pounds that we have gained, for not being in control of our diet. Some of us even diet twice a year or more and others diet every now and then. We all diet for majority of reasons – getting a six pack before the summer, getting fit before a competition, travelling abroad, beach party, etc. But do we all get the desired results? With so much information out there and various diet plans available from the best nutritionists, we still fail to get the desired results. Most of us have tried various diet plans, detox programs and yet unable to achieve the desired results. Well let me get to the point-‘dieting is not easy’.  There is a lot more to it than following the program.

The program is a great first step but not everything. These programs are designed using thorough research and years of experience. The people who may have followed various diet programs will know that all diet plans are not the same. In terms of food, one diet plan includes something that the other diet plan restricts. One diet plan will allow chicken and other will allow lean beef. The reason these diet plans are different is because, the nutritionists know your weakness. They design it so you don’t fail, and they give you best alternatives for sticking to your plan. If bread is your weakness, they will recommend you wholemeal with extra fiber. If you can’t live without beef, they will recommend you lean beef but only during the day.

So why do we fail?

1. Lack of Patience –  Most of us lack patience. We want to achieve results way to quickly. Due to lack of timely results we tend to  give up.

2. Munching every now and then – The time between lunch and dinner is the time when most of us starve the most. Picking up a cookie, m&m’s, chocolate bar when we are not supposed to, is quite common. We end up gaining those calories back, that we burnt during the day.

3. Badly defined goals – Goals are long-term and way too big. Some of us plan to diet for an entire year and follow the same program. In the end we loose motivation.

4. Letting things get out of hand – Some days we have parties and birthday dinners to attend, so we eat what we want rather than what we should. Many dieters make this mistake of falling in trap of peer pressure and let themselves use the excuse of birthday dinner.

How to take control and achieve those results?

1. Discipline – Its very important to discipline yourself. Dieting is a hard process and achieving the results take time and patience. Its very important to keep ourselves calm and to stay focused on the goal. One way to do that is divide our goal in small targets. For example if you want to loose 5 kilograms by the end of the month, your target can be losing 1.2 kilograms every week.

2. Knowing the products in your house – If you are starting a program, make sure you remove all the junk food such as potato chips, salty nuts, popcorn packs, chocolate bars, ice-cream, soft drinks, etc. Do not consume a whole lot of canned foods. Many canned foods are loaded with excessive salts(sodium, potassium). Load your shelf with bananas, quick oats, tuna, etc and your fridge with apples, oranges, pears, etc. Its much more healthier to munch on fruits than candy. Drink plenty of water, liquids between lunch and dinner. More water in the belly will trigger the brain that you are less hungry. Drinking coffee and tea in the evening can also take that hunger drive away for some time.

3. Treat yourself – Its always a good decision to treat yourself if you have achieved a goal. An occasional treat doesn’t make you hate dieting. If you have earned it, you deserve it. However don’t keep a pack of cookies or chocolates at home, else you will treat yourself more than often and way too much. Its a good idea to go buy chocolate from outside or treat yourself with a cookie at a coffee bar.

4. Start with five – Make goals that are attainable and can be foreseen. Making a goal of losing 15 kg’s in a month is very hard, start with 5 kg’s. If you lose 5 kg’s in 20 days, add extra 2 more to the goal and vice-verse if you loose 2 kg’s in 20 days, reduce your goal to 3 kg’s.

5. Planning your night outs – If you know you are going out for dinner, go to a restaurant that offers food relevant to your program. Many restaurants offer online menus, so browsing over the internet is a great option. You can also give the restaurant a call and ask the kind of menu they have. At birthday dinner you can stick with more grilled and roasted options, rather than fried. If your dish has chips as side try to switch them with salad. If you will be drinking, keep it to a glass of wine where possible. It has less calories than spirits and cocktails. You have to keep your will strong, as birthday dinners can be a great deal breaker.

6. Exercise – Doesn’t matter what it is whether dancing, jogging, swimming, aerobics, yoga or any other physical activity, they always make you feel good. They help to burn those extra calories and help you to get to your goal faster. You can also switch your exercise routine so it does not become boring. If you go for a run one day, go for dancing or swimming the other day.

Always think about your goal when you are dieting. If its getting away from you, try think about what will be it be like to achieve it. This attitude will always keep you in line. Example: Try imagine yourself with six packs on the beach. Once you achieve it go for a beach holiday to show what you have achieved. Nothing will make you feel better.

Good luck to all the fellow dieters.

Keep fresh and stay healthy.