Nourish - Guide to Managing Menopause the Natural Way Part 5: Staying Strong: How to Keep Your Bones Healthy During Menopause
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’, when bones lose their calcium content and weaken. This can 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. Gradual loss of bone strength can occur as there are lower levels of this hormone during and after the menopause.
But 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 blog here on plant based ways to increase your calcium intake.
Good food sources of calcium
This includes: green leafy vegetables, broccoli, soya, 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!
Good food sources of Vitamin K
This includes: K1 is synthesised by plants and vegetables such as green leafy vegetables, avocados, kiwis; and 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.
Activity and Eating Habits
You can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis by eating well and exercising regularly.
Consuming plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, brightly coloured fruit and vegetables (berries, tomatoes, squash etc.), nuts and seeds to provide vitamin C, K and trace minerals and even seafood and seaweeds for extra minerals is a good way to go.
Put an emphasis on alkaline foods to help with prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and reducing acid producing foods.
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, so 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, and drink 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 to increase muscle strength and to give further support to the skeletal frame.
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. One very popular supplement is Nature’s Plus Source of Life Garden Bone Support.
Those with a family history of the problem, or those who are or are ex-smokers, those who have been less physically active in the past, who consume coffee and tea on a regular basis and those who had periods that stopped for 6 month or more when you were younger are more prone to the problem.
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.
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*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