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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

OSTEOPOROSIS - ARE YOU AT RISK? by Karen Gilman, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Some of the more obvious symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, sleepless nights and mood swings. However, menopause can also result in bone loss. This 'silent symptom'  of menopause is osteoporosis and is a direct result of dropping estrogen levels. It is important to talk to your doctor about doing bone scans to check for bone density. To help counter the impact of bone loss, we need to focus on getting the right nutrients for bone health.

Nutrients that are important for bone health include:
 a) Calcium – The most abundant mineral in the body, necessary for maintaining strong bones
b) Magnesium – Important for calcium absorption
c) Phosphorus - Works with calcium to increase bone strength
d) Vitamin D – Needed for calcium absorption
e) Vitamin K – Essential for calcium breakdown
f) Zinc – Important for calcium absorption

These nutrients work together. If consumption is extremely high of one particular nutrient the other nutrients may not be absorbed as well.

 Good sources of bone strengthening foods include:
Almonds, avocados, broccoli, beans, leafy greens, oranges, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, chia seeds, sesame seeds, tofu or lentils. 

Make sure you are eating some or all of these foods every day.

A few ways to make meals ‘bone-healthy:’
Grind up sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds and sprinkle on top of yogurt and salads, or use whole seeds in stir fries.

Add soy to your daily routine. Drink soy milk. Add tofu to soups, salads and stir fries.

Add tofu, yogurt or greens to smoothies.

Here's a 'bone healthy' sweet treat:
Tahini Almond Dates Bites
12-14 large dates, pitted
½ cup almonds
1/3 cup tahini
Pinch sea salt
1-2 tbsp water
¼ cup sesame seeds or cocoa, to coat

In a food processor, pulse almonds until crumbly and partly smooth.  Add dates, tahini and salt and continue to process. Texture will be crumbly so add water, 1 tbsp at a time, until dough forms in to a ball.  Form 1 inch rounds and roll in sesame seeds or cocoa to coat. Cool in refrigerator to firm.
For more information on how to manage osteoporosis through diet, email me at karen@nutrilicious.ca

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