Kim Beardsmore, BSc, MBus(HRM)
my 74-year-old mother while walking, tripped on a small tuft
of grass, fell - and broke her rib! Her recovery has been
painful, debilitating and at times depressing. It also
affected my elderly father who relies heavily on her day to
day. Surprisingly, this instance of fracture was not due to
osteoporosis. However my mum's experience caused me stop and
think deeply. As a 40-something woman, am I doing everything
possible to keep my skeletal system in tip-top condition?
Once we get past
the inevitable scrapes of childhood, during our middle years
we don't give too much thought to our bones. We understand
that bones make up our structural frame, but we tend to
think of our bones like the frame of a house. Supporting and
rigid, and that's it.
The truth of it
is that bone is an active, living tissue. Bone is constantly
changing, undergoing synthesis and remodelling itself. Like
all other bodily tissue, bone is totally dependent on many
different micronutrients and enzymes for optimum bone
function and health.
typical western diet is now so heavily weighted with white
flours, refined sugars and fats it is deplete of many of the
micronutrients required for healthy bones.
There are other
aspects of concern with the typical western diet. Do you
regularly drink carbonated beverages? Did you know that
carbonated drinks increase the body's intake of phosphorus -
which, in turn, decreases our absorption of calcium.
Decreased absorption of calcium can lead to an unhealthy,
nutrient-starved skeletal system. And in time this can lead
Whilst calcium is
necessary, it is not the only critical micronutrient for
healthy bones. Make sure your diet has an adequate supply of
magnesium, zinc, silicon, boron, folic acid, vitamin B6,
vitamin B12, Manganese, vitamin K, vitamin D and magnesium.
These trace elements are important and many of us are not
getting them from our regular food consumption patterns. For
instance, the Journal of Nutritional Medicine reports
between 80 to 85 per cent of Americans consume a
The good news is
that if many of us with diet deficiencies which may have
impacted our bone health, can improve our situation with a
few lifestyle adjustments. Medical evidence supports an
improvement in bone density where people make lifestyle
changes to incorporate weight bearing exercise, a diet more
rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, complemented with high
quality nutritional supplements.
Why wait until
you bones start breaking before you think about ensuring a
healthy skeletal system?