Maintaining Healthy Bones and Joints

Maintaining Healthy Bones and Joints

Osteoporosis is a crippling disease which weakens the bones. It is most commonly associated with older people. Women especially are affected as oestrogen levels - which drop at menopause - can cause bones to weaken, often leading to hip fractures.

Seven out of ten Australian women, and a significant number of men, aren't getting the calcium they need to avoid the risk of osteoporosis. By 2050, nearly half the world's hip fractures will occur in Asia. Studies have identified Asians as the ethnic group with the lowest calcium intake. Getting enough calcium to avoid the risk of osteoporosis through your diet can be difficult - a calcium supplement is often recommended for those who are on a low-calcium food diet.

Consume more - Low fat dairy foods (look for those with extra calcium). Soya bean products, wholegrain bread and cereals, fresh fruit and vegetables. Regular weight-bearing exercises.

Consumer less - coffee, tea, alcohol, animal, fats, meats and eggs

Arthritis - Arthritis literally means "fire in the joints", a description that almost 4 million Australian adults who are believed to suffer from the condition understand only too well.

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis mostly affects older people. It develops as the cartilage that protects a joint wears away. The result is a painful, sometimes debilitating combination of stiffness and swelling.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis, and an auto-immune disorder. IT occurs when the body replaces damaged tissue with scar tissue. This forces within the joints to become narrow, so the bones actually fuse together.

Consume more - Deep sea fish (tuna and salmon, for example), avocado, olive oil, linseed oil, leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, ginger, wholemeal bread and cereals, brown rice, water, sulphur-containing foods such as asparagus, eggs, garlic and onions

Exercise which doesn't put stress on your joints - swimming is great. Unused joints tend to stiffen.

Celery supplements - traditionally used to relieve joint pains. Glucosamine - a supplement that contains the natural component of human cartilage. It enhances the structural integrity of connective tissue.

Consume less - Nightside vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, capsicum) - they contain compounds which can inflame arthritis. Animal fats, tea, coffee, processed food.

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