Nourish - Guide to Managing Menopause the Natural Way Part 5: Staying Strong: How to Keep Your Bones Healthy During Menopause
For today’s topic on in our Guide to Managing Menopause the Natural Way, we’re covering tips for how to keep your bones healthy. One of the biggest risks for women past the Menopause is osteoporosis.
This condition is often referred to or known as ‘thinning of the bones’. It’s when bones lose their calcium content and begin to weaken. In part, this is due to the lack of hormones that previously maintained the bones, along with several other factors from diet to a sedentary lifestyle.
Hormones, Vitamins and Minerals
The hormone oestrogen is an important factor stimulating the cells responsible for building bones. The gradual loss of bone strength tends to occur as there are lower levels of this hormone during and after the menopause.
Often people think about bones and immediately think calcium. However, it’s not only calcium that is important when it comes to bone health. You also need Vitamin D, C and K, along with minerals boron, selenium, copper, zinc and phosphorus to support good bone health.
Together these enhance the way calcium is absorbed by the body and enables it to be effectively incorporated into the bones. Check out my blogs here for more info about calcium and how to keep your bones healthy:
- Can I Get Enough Calcium On A Plant-Based Or Dairy-Free Diet?| Part 1
- Can I Get Enough Calcium On A Plant-Based Or Dairy-Free Diet?|Part 2
Good Food Sources of Calcium
This includes green leafy vegetables| broccoli| soya (preferably fermented)| figs| millet| oats| almonds| sesame seeds|sardines| chickpeas| tahini| seaweed| watercress and quinoa.
Good Food Sources of Vitamin D
This includes Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines| canned tuna| eggs| fortified dairy and soya products| some mushrooms and of course, sunshine!
Supplementing with vitamin d is also a good dietary add-in since we often don’t get enough through our diets.
Good Food Sources of Vitamin K
This includes K1 which is synthesised by plants and vegetables such as green leafy vegetables| avocados| kiwis. Also K2 by gut bacteria e.g natto (fermented soya beans) and fermented cheeses.
For further information and details, I recommend you read Marilyn Glenville Natural Solutions to Menopause.
You can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis by eating well and exercising regularly (more on the latter in a bit).
Consuming plenty of the following to provide vitamin C, K and trace minerals and extra minerals:
- dark green leafy vegetables
- brightly coloured fruit and vegetables (berries, tomatoes, squash etc.)
- nuts and seeds
- seafood and seaweeds
Try to put an emphasis on alkaline foods to help prevent, as well as reduce osteoporosis symptoms. Reducing acid-producing foods is also a good idea. The more fruit and vegetables you include in your diet the more alkaline your body will be.
When the body is acidic, calcium is leached from the bones to neutralise the acid and bring the body back to a more alkaline state.
Animal protein, coffee, sugar and alcohol are all highly acidic. With that in mind, try to focus on consuming a high plant-based diet, and have meat or dairy in smaller amounts. Opt for water, green juice or herbal teas instead of your 2nd or 3rd coffee and drink alcohol in moderation.
There can never be enough emphasis on the power of fruits and vegetables for healthy strong bones.
Exercise is also important, especially weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging or dancing. These help to increase muscle strength and give further support to the skeletal frame.
Try carving out some time during your day to get in some activity in any shape or form that you love. You don’t have to go jogging to be active. Gardening is also a lovely way to get some activity in. Swimming, cycling and yoga and also great ways to get out and about.
If your diet and lifestyle habits need further support, a good bone mineral complex and multivitamin are good supporters to help you fill in any nutritional gaps. Here are some very popular supplements available instore and online:
- Solgar Ultimate Bone Support
- Wild Nutrition Bone Complex
- Natures Plus Source of Life Garden Bone Support
- Mag365 Bone Support Formulation
If any of the following sound familiar, then you may be at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis:
- you have a family history of the problem
- you’re a smoker or an ex-smoker
- you’re not physically active, or haven’t been in the past
- you consume a lot of coffee and tea on a regular basis
- you’ve had periods that stopped for 6 month or more when you were younger
And that’s it for our Guide to Managing Menopause the Natural Way: how to keep your bones healthy during the menopause.
We’ve got lots more tips for handling menopausal symptoms with natural solutions in the rest of our series on Menopause:
Nourish’s Guide to Managing Menopause the Natural Way
For an introduction on menopause and a general overview on how natural supplements can help.
How to Treat Menopausal Hot Flushes the Natural Way
If you can’t kick those hot flushes to the curb, you can at least learn how to cope with them when they happen.
Combating Weight Gain, Anxiety and Irritability During Menopause
Bust through the blues and keep your body happy with these tips on how to keep both your mind and body in shape during menopause.
Tips for Defeating the “Drying Effect” During Menopause
Sometimes our hair and skin dry out during menopause. Here’s how to handle it if it happens to you.
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication