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We can keep our bones and joints healthy and strong through our diet. Bone disease and issues with our joints such as osteoporosis and arthritis, can be prevented or managed by ensuring that our diets contain key nutrients.
For strong healthy bones calcium is one of the most important minerals that we need. Most people are aware that this can be gained from dairy produce e.g. cheese, milk and yogurt. Due to their high saturated fat content it is vital that you stick to the low fat versions and eat them in moderation. For those who do not eat dairy products there are other alternatives available such as soya products, almond products etc.
Calcium can also be obtained from eating green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli and spinach, these are actually preferable sources, as they provide antioxidants, carbohydrate and a number of other vitamins and minerals. At the same time they are calorie dense, so you can eat a large amount without the worry of gaining extra pounds.
Excess sugar and salt have been found to increase the risk of osteoporosis, so some foods to avoid in your diet are excess alcohol, carbonated and sweetened drinks, processed and refined foods. This will also help you to manage your weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Another important nutrient required for stronger bones is vitamin D which helps the body to better absorb the calcium in our diets. Aside from getting it from sunlight which can be a battle during the winter months in the northern hemisphere, it can be obtained from eggs and oily fish e.g. salmon sardines and mackerel. Oily fish is also important for healthy joints due to the omega 3 fatty acids they contain which have been found to reduce inflammation, pain and stiffness.
Something to avoid is red meat which research has found increases the risk of inflammation, so limit it in your diet, cut off the fat and keep it lean.
Other foods necessary for healthy joints are lots of fresh fruit and vegetables for the antioxidants which help to prevent damage to our cells, here are some ideas to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.
So a healthy balanced diet and managing stress which has a negative impact on healthy bones and joints, will protect and strengthen your bones and joints reducing your risk of bone disease.
Are there areas of your diet that need to be improved on to keep your bones and joints healthy? Thanks for commenting.