Superfoods are foods that are considered to be high in nutritional value as well as biological value (due to their higher bioavailability within the body). Given our fast-paced lifestyle, disturbed sleep cycles, sedentary jobs and poor eating habits, the prevalence and severity of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and cardiovascular diseases are on a rapid rise. Many countries use nutritional elements as successful preventive therapies to prevent or manage metabolic syndromes that most of these life-threatening health ailments bring along. Superfoods can be regarded as one such measure.
Adopting a balanced diet, which is rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins can contribute significantly to bone health. Adequate nutrition is an imperative parameter of skeletal health, participating in both the prevention and the treatment of bone diseases.
There are numerous factors that can affect a woman’s bone health and these need to be monitored and managed effectively across various life stages such as pregnancy, lactation, and menopause as they impact hormonal functions in the body. Women are more likely to get osteoporosis than men as they have smaller and thinner bones. The chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause due to a sharp decrease in the hormone oestrogen, which further can lead to bone loss. Foods that increase the acidity of blood can also cause bones to become porous faster. A good nutritional programme can prevent osteoporosis and regulate other nutrient deficiency problems.
Osteoporosis is one of the most common health problems of women today, and the expectation is that more than 41 million women worldwide will be effected within the next 20 years if current trends are not reversed. It is a silent disease that appears later in life, mostly affecting women.
WHAT TO EAT AND WHY?
Almonds and Oatmeal
Almonds have the highest content of calcium among all other nuts. They are also rich in other nutrients like fibre, manganese, and Vitamin E, which improves overall bone health. Oatmeal is generally satiating and healthy and can be considered as a good option for non-dairy calcium-rich food.
Being rich in vitamin C and calcium, it boosts the immune system and strengthens the bones. A balanced diet that covers the daily caloric needs and the required daily intake of calcium is a key factor in achieving peak bone mass during the transition from infancy to adulthood and reducing the rate of bone loss in the elderly stages.
Green leafy vegetables
One of the best sources of calcium and potassium is dark, leafy greens such as spinach and collard greens. Some varieties of green vegetables are high in oxalates which bind to calcium and make some of it unavailable for absorption.
Moringa oleifera is a plant that is often called the drumstick tree, the miracle tree, the ben oil tree or the horseradish tree. It contains calcium and phosphorous, which help keep bones healthy and strong. Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, moringa extract might help in treating conditions such as arthritis and may also heal damaged bones.
Milk is the most famous source of calcium amongst all the foods. It is also one of the important components of a balanced diet. Desi ghee has been a staple in most Indian households. It is a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins that help in the growth and development of the bones. Dairy products are considered good sources of calcium (having the highest concentration per serving of highly absorbable calcium).
The article courtesy goes to Luke Coutinho, fitness expert, adviser of Integrative Lifestyle, Nutrition at Purenutrition.me.