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Bone density - questions explained

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Bone density - questions explained

Bone density is so important.

Reduced bone density causes weaker more brittle bones. There are simple ways to help improve or maintain your bone density focusing on nutrition and exercise.

Not too long ago osteoporosis (very low bone density) used to be only a problem for some women over the age of 65 years old, however in todays age with lower levels of activity and poor diets even teenagers are getting diagnosed with osteoporosis. Nothing is being done to stop this!

Our bone density reaches its peak at 30 years of age. Up to this point we are building more bone than we are losing, after this point it gradually starts to flip, losing more bone than it is gaining. But not to worry! There are things we can do to help increase or maintain our bone density.

So we know we need calcium for healthy bones right? Sadly it's not that simple.

Most people actually get enough calcium in their diets, even if you eat junk food all the time your likely to meet you RDA of calcium. The issue here is more about how the calcium is getting used by the body and this is where vitamin D helps out, as well as being an antioxidant it also helps use the calcium for new bone growth so get some sun rays when you can.

The are also strong evidence that magnesium is very important in bone growth.

Magnesium helps utilise the calicuim without it calcium cannot be absorbed into the body, it also removes any extra calcium that we don't need. Magnesium helps you relax and lowers the blood pressure.

Here are 10 foods high in magnesium!

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  • Spinach (along with most dark green vegetables)
  • Pumpkin seeds (plus most seeds)
  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Dark chocolate (one square around 24% RDA!)
  • Black beans
  • Tofu
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa

All pretty healthy foods to be honest, no doughnuts or pizzas sneaking in there. 

Many scientist suggest there are two more important things than calcium for bones!

Silicon and exercise.

Silicon creates the collagen matrix that give your bones most of their strength and flexibility. Without strength and flexibility your bones will become weak and brittle increasing the chance of broken bones.

To stimulate silicon we need movement, weight bearing exercises like weight training and running. The loading of the bones and the compression helps activate electrical signals to produce new silicon leading to new bone growth.

Think of it this way, if you are not moving your bones and muscles what need is there for strong bones and muscles? No need at all, hence with reduced activity we increase bone loss. 

Exercises that work particularly well for helping improve bone density include those that vertically load the muscle, for example- squats, push ups, lunges, planks and running. This is one of the most important things for bone strength, as soon as we reduce our exercise negative affects start to happen. This is one of the main reasons older people, especially women have weak and brittle bones. Being older is not an excuse to not exercise or lift the odd dumbbell.

To summarise we need silicon, exercise and magnesium to help improve and maintain our bone density. No pill or medication can ever replace this. We need this from the right nutrition and good exercise. 

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HOW ANTIOXIDANTS WORK

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HOW ANTIOXIDANTS WORK

One of the best things we can do to prevent degenerative diseases such as cancer is to have a good supply of antioxidant rich foods. Along with this yoga has also been proved to promote the ‘relaxation response’ and helping prevent degenerative diseases. 

Other key nutrients that have been proven to turn the good genes on and the bad genes off include;

  • Folic Acid - leafy veg, liver, sunflower seeds
  • Vitamin B 12- meats, liver, milk, shellfish *** veggies aware, can supplement
  • Vitamin B 6- vegetables, nuts, meats, whole grain products 
  • Methionine- sesame seeds, brazil nuts, spinach, peppers, fish 

The nutrient sulforaphane found in broccoli, as well as the nutrient Dilly sulphide found in garlic have been shown to turn on anti-cancer genes. Red wine… YAY.. contains Resveratrol which has been proved to improve health!

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Antioxidants are so power because they help fight against free radicals. Free radicals go around destroying other cells by oxidation, just like the browning of an apple. 

The free radicals are caused by the metabolism, pollution, radiation, smoking, herbicides, stress, lack of exercise, lack of sleep and diet. Oxidative stress has been linked with arthritis, premature ageing, leg swelling, artery hardening, cancer susceptibility. 

Antioxidants are critical for our survival without them oxidation would destroy our bodies. Antioxidants are the bodies defence mechanism for free radicals. 

Where to find antioxidants? In fruits, vegetables, pulses and some supplements. Go for a full range of colours with your vegetables and fruits; traffic light system, taste the rainbow. 

How do Antioxidants work?

1- our bodies contain billions of cells held together by electronic bonds. Sometimes these cells are help together by a weak bond and can split apart. 

2- resulting in an unstable molecule with unpaired electrons. This is known as a free radical. 

3- these free radicals will start attacking healthy near by cells in an attempt to replace their missing electron.

4- when the attacked molecule losses it electron is becomes a free radical itself, causing a chain reaction to occur damaging many cells. This is known as oxidative stress. It literally decays otherwise healthy cells. 

5- antioxidants protect against oxidative stress. Antioxidants stop the chain reaction by donating one of their electrons to the free radicals. The great thing is antioxidants stay stable and do not become free radicals. 

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Dont ignore a whiplash even a mild one.

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Dont ignore a whiplash even a mild one.

Whiplash injury is a type of neck injury and occurs when the neck and head are suddenly forced backward and then forward, putting the cervical spine through lightning-quick motions and extreme stresses.

It occurs when the soft tissues in the neck become stretched and damaged. Most cases caused by car accidents where the person has been hit rear-ended

Whiplash will sometimes get better within a few weeks or months, but for some people it can last longer and severely limit their activities.

DON’T IGNORE IT! IT GETS WORSE AFTER A YEAR OR 2

It's best to see a chiropractor, osteopath, physiology or sports massage therapist right away. It will save you time, pain and money. 

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How much of you is determined by your genes? 50%, 90% or 5%?

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How much of you is determined by your genes? 50%, 90% or 5%?

Food has the power to directly shape and change us at almost every level. Food is one of the only things we put into our bodies, it really has a huge effect on our health, fitness, energy, strength and moods to name a few.

We need to see food as fuel and in some ways we are very much like cars... If we put good fuel and regularly maintain our bodies we will perform well without breaking down. We have got to make sure that the fuel we eat is going to drive our bodies not slow them down.

Good nutrition has been proved countless times on having a huge effect on reducing most health diseases.

Everyone is effected by their own health, it has been proved that by making positive gradual changes to your diet you can seriously decrease the risk of many health diseases, increase strength as well as helping to fight of mental health diseases.

Crashing energy levels are not fun for anybody… quick fixes to these problems are often a bad idea. Building an balanced diet has been shown to hugely impact on every levels, the right foods can help control sugar levels, increase metabolism and increase energy levels. 

There is no quick fix to sustained long term health and fitness. You cannot diet and train for three months and expect long term health and fitness. In order for long term success you must change the way you view food and exercise. A fundamental change to your habits and priorities is needed in order to move forward with health and fitness.

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How much of you is determined by your genes? 50%, 90% or 5%?

Studies have shown that actually the genes your born with only determine 5% of what you will end up being like, looking like and feeling. The other 95% that creates you comes from your environment; what you eat, how you live.

Much research has been done looking at identical twins (with identical genes), and they have concluded that the majority of the factors that contribute to ageing and degenerative disease are due to the environment, not the inherited genes. 

Picture it this way, if twins grew up together they would most likely look pretty similar when they are young. One of the twins becomes an elite athlete, training every day and eating well, the other twin becomes an office worker, living a mostly sedimentary lifestyle, eating mainly junk food and processed meals. 

Now, as you can imagine these twins will look very different, and with more and more time the differences would enlarge. It’s the environment, not genetics that cause the difference seen in twins. 

Today it’s been proven that your diet, whether it’s good or bad will switch genes on or off. (Epigenetic's- science on how environmental signals affect your genes). The environment and food choices that we make constantly change the activity of our genes, shaping who we become. 

Here’s a great example of how biology works in the human body, every single cell in the human body has the same DNA code. Each cell starts as a stem cell, but the different environments they get put under makes them totally different; bloods cells, nerve cells, liver cells, bone cells, all the same DNA code but hugely different to one another. 

Now here’s something pretty freaky… only 80% of our height is determined by our genes! The rest is mostly affected during the pregnancy, the environment that the mother and the baby are in; food, drink, stress, and health. 

(n.b. histone acetylation activates genes- DNA methylation silences genes)

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