Multivitamins…not just for kids anymore

 

 

The bad news is, if you’re 30 years old, your bone density is already started to decline. Considering our lifespan now is around 75 to 90 years, that’s pretty scary. Why? Because over half our lifetime will be spent with less and less bone density.

 

The good news is, proper nutrition can help slow, and even stop, bone loss. Starting a diet program that is rich in bone supporting nutrients is key to avoiding bone loss from becoming a critical issue. Let’s take a look at some of the best nutrients and vitamins to preserve and build your bones:

Vitamin B12

This vitamin is responsible for creating new blood cells in the bone marrow. People with lower levels of vitamin B12 experience greater bone loss than people with adequate vitamin B12. Eggs, dairy, and meats are good sources for vitamin B12. However, as people age, they may simply eat less food, making proper nutrition difficult.  If you are not drinking milk, eating eggs, or eating a lot of meat, you will probably want to consider a supplement.

Calcium

We know that calcium is responsible for bone strength and structure. Dairy foods are a good source of calcium, but as we age we aren’t likely to consume as much milk as we did when we were kids.  If you don’t consume enough, you won’t get the amount of calcium you need to preserve bone mass. Most adults past the age of 40, especially women, should talk to their doctor or health professional about adding a calcium supplement to their diet.

Vitamin D

This vitamin is necessary for calcium absorption to help build bone density, keeping bones stronger. Vitamin D is formed in the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight.  It’s important to understand that just 15 minutes of sun exposure daily is enough to put your body to work making vitamin D.  If you are not able to get enough sunlight to produce vitamin D in the body, ask your doctor whether a supplement is right in your case.

Vitamin K

Working right along with vitamin D is vitamin K. These two work together to build bone mass, even reversing signs of bone loss in some cases. Good sources of vitamin K are  green leafy veggies, such as spinach, kale, collards, cabbage, and turnip greens.

Magnesium

We already know that vitamin D is needed to help our body absorb calcium.  However, did you know that magnesium is needed to convert vitamin D into the form it needs to start the process of calcium absorption?  Magnesium works along with vitamin D to help your body absorb calcium, which we know builds strong bones. A few ways to get more magnesium in your diet is by eating nuts, seeds, green vegetables, and natural grey sea salt.

Potassium

This mineral prevents the blood from becoming too acidic. Acidic blood will actually break down the bones.  If this is allowed to happen, your bones become weak, they lose mass, and are more susceptible to breaks. Potassium is found in an abundance of foods, including green leafy vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, and potatoes. You’ll also want to enjoy bananas, raisins, and dried apricots to boost your potassium intake. And don’t forget the whole grains, seeds, nuts, salmon, and sardines.

Getting nutrients through our food is the best way to get the vitamins and minerals we need for bone and body health. However, the hard fact is that not all of us get the nutrient rich foods we require. Taking a supplement may be an option you will want to discuss with your doctor or health care professional. Your bone health is so important. After all, you and your skeleton want to support each other for a long, long time.

5% Fumble Does not Cancel 95% Effort

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California chicken pizza with pineapple

Okay, so you were off to a great start with your New Year’s resolution to cut out the bad stuff inn your diet. That is, you cut out sugar, most of your carbs, fats and that generally unhealthy stuff. You’ve even lost a few pounds. Then…you walk into work one day. There- sitting in the breakroom is that evil pink box full of the sugary fat pills. At first, you ignore it. Easy. There’s always a box of some sort full of sweets in the breakroom. You’ve got this.

Then, ten o’clock rolls around and you go for your bag of snacks…only to remember dismally that you left it on the kitchen counter as you rushed out the door to beat that morning traffic. Breakfast was too long ago to remember, and lunch seems hours away. The vending machine taunts you with chips and cookies…
It’s ten o’five. You can see that pink box with the lid slightly open and a few donuts are still left untouched. Your favorite one with the glaze covering is just hovering in sight.
It’s ten o’six. Man, how can time be crawling? Lunch can’t possibly get here fast enough. You make your way to the water cooler to refill your bottle (staying hydrated at least) in hopes to stave off those hunger pains…
Ten-fifteen. You sit back down and suddenly realize you’re not hungry anymore. But then with the realization that you ate that donut that tottally had your name on it. It was good, and it was gone before you even knew what happened. You think, “Oh! There goes my diet! And I was doing so well too!” Of course it might also be something along the line of “I’ll just push myself a little more, do x amount of sit-ups or crunches or an extra mile to burn off those extra calories.”

Well, if you are in the first case, all is not lost. And if your thinking leans towards the second, at least you have a positive outlook.

However, don’t sweat the small stuff. One donut isn’t going to ruin a month or a week’s worth of work. And for those in the second camp with the thoughts of working it off, just keep in mind that you may have already worked it off by lunch- otherwise you would’t be hungry again. Don’t ever use excercise as a punishment for eating. And conversely, don’t use eating as a reward for exercise. More on that in another post.

What it comes down to is this: eating a good balanced, healthy and nutritious diet is something that we plan and do on a daily basis. I know of a lot of people who have “cheat days” where they allow themselves to have that peice of cake, scoop of ice cream, pizza, hambuger, milshake, all the things that are not good for us. For a few people (very few) this works. However, the rest of us tend to increase those cheat days and meals and end up right back where we started.

It’s really about creating a new way of eating and living. The junk food-cut it out. No “cheat days”, but ways to eat healthy all the time. Snacks are important. Find healthy snacks that you like. Fruit, nuts, crackers and trail mix. Read labels-buy snacks that are made from real ingredients. Get sorbet instead of ice cream. Make your snacks in the form of PB & J on whole wheat in finger sandwiches, cut fruit, or ants on a log (celery and PB with dried fruit bits on top). That saves money, are fun to eat and make, and if you have kids, it leads by example with good eating habits.
That way, for the times when you go out with friends, are at the next office party, or just out and about, that junk food won’t seem at all tempting:

However, when you do grab that donut from the box, rest assured that your eating habits more thanmake up for a liitle sugar splurging every now and then. Continue reading “5% Fumble Does not Cancel 95% Effort”