When was the last time you showed your bones some love? When it comes to your overall health, the human skeleton is vitally important!
Did you know:
• At birth, the human skeleton is made up of around 300 bones. By adulthood, some bones have fused together and we end up with about 206 bones.
• Bone marrow makes up 4% of the human body’s mass
• Our bones will re-grow and repair themselves after a break. Doctors will often place a cast or a splint to make sure that bones set straight.
• The largest bone in the human body is the femur, or thigh bone
• There are 54 bones in the hands, fingers, and wrist
Most people don’t think about their bones very often, but it’s important to take care of them. Just as important as what to eat for healthy bones, is what NOT to eat.
For starters, please ditch the sodas! Soda can sap bones because of the phosphoric acid that can leach calcium from your bones.
Also, watch out for salty foods which can rob bones of calcium as well.
Finally, watch out for excessive caffeine. I’m not talking about two to three cups a day, but anything over three cups could spell trouble. Need that fourth cup of coffee? For real; you do? Okay fine, switch to decaf after that third cup to cut down on your caffeine consumption.
Now that we’ve covered what to stay away from, let’s talk about what to add.
Magnesium – Studies have linked magnesium intake with improved bone mineral density. You can get magnesium from foods such as beans, nuts, potatoes, seeds, spinach, and whole grains. If you aren’t eating enough of these foods, a good-quality magnesium supplement may help.
Potassium – If you can’t stay away from the salt, potassium will surely be your friend! Potassium may decrease the bone resorption that can be caused by a high-salt diet. Look to apricots, avocados, bananas, beans, orange juice, sweet potatoes, and yogurt to get your potassium fix.
Vitamin B12 – Low levels of vitamin B12 have been shown to accelerate bone loss. Yikes! You can find B12 in foods such as cheese, milk, and yogurt, or nutritional yeast for all you vegans out there!
Vitamin C – Vitamin C has been shown to help form collagen in bone. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli, kale, kiwis, mustard greens, papayas, strawberries, and tomatoes.
Vitamin K – Although vitamin K is usually associated with blood clotting, it also helps with certain bone-forming proteins such as osteocalcin. You can get vitamin K from asparagus, kale, prunes, spinach, and Swiss chard.
You’ll see that eating for bone health isn’t that difficult, so start incorporating these foods today!
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Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!
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