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According to a 2005 report from the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), $19 billion dollars was spent on osteoporosis-related fractures. Osteoporosis is a crippling disease caused by losing more bone than is replaced by new growth. Healthy eating for osteoporosis prevention and treatment is a way to fight this disease.
Why Bother Eating Healthy?
NOF statistics reveal that “half of all women and up to 1 in 4 men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis". However, is osteoporosis a disease only targeting the elderly? In actuality, people of any age are at risk for osteoporosis if they are not diligent about diet, lifestyle, and daily exercise.
Osteoporosis is preventable and treatable. While healthy eating by itself may not be enough to treat osteoporosis, following a healthy eating plan is a core component in preventing the onset of the disease. Here are a few tips on eating healthy for osteoporosis. These suggestions are not all-inclusive; there are many healthy and delicious ways to add more calcium to osteoporosis meals.
Image Credit: Flickr/Lucid Nightmare
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Creating Your Healthy Osteoporosis Diet
Best Food Choices
Mother always said to eat green leafy vegetables. It turns out she was right. Greens like collard, mustard, dandelion, and turnip are calcium rich sources of bone-building nutrients. Greens provide an average of 150 to 355 milligrams of calcium per cup, and a bonus of high boron concentrations. Research shows eating foods high in boron helps the body absorb calcium better and increases estrogen levels. Eating bok choy, cabbage, and broccoli are other healthy foods for osteoporosis.
Dried fruits like apricots, dates, and prunes are boron-rich nutritional powerhouses – eat them often to fight osteoporosis. Almonds and other nuts like peanuts and walnuts are good calcium-rich foods to eat in moderation.
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Magnesium and calcium-rich yogurts and kefirs are excellent ways to increase the calcium content of daily diets and increase digestive health simultaneously. Yogurt can be eaten plain, topped with fruit, used to make smoothies, or as a substitute for fat in baked goods.
Adding yogurt, goat’s milk, and other dairy products to meals can help in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. While cheeses are high in fat content, their beneficial calcium content may more than offset their fat content. If the possibility of weight gain is a serious concern, you can opt for lower fat versions of favorites like cheddar cheese, goat cheese, or Jarlsberg cheese.
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Beans are an excellent source of plant protein and good choices for those choosing to limit red meat consumption. Most experts recommend restricting the use of red meats in diets to treat osteoporosis, so switching to beans is a good way to make sure protein requirements are met without sacrificing health. As it turns out, beans are good sources of boron and calcium – just one more nutrition-wise reason to add them to daily meal plans. Best-bean choices are: chickpeas, Great Northern beans, kidney beans, and navy beans.
Serve the beans with leafy greens, add a glass of tasty goat's milk, and finish off with a yogurt parfait – now that’s a delicious way to fulfill nutritional requirements for calcium and other minerals while protecting bone health. Exercise, lifestyle changes, and healthy eating for osteoporosis sufferers are the keys to prevention and treatment of this costly and crippling disease.
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