On 20th October it’s World Osteoporosis Day so our nutritionist Jeannette Hyde suggests 5 foods to help prevent it

After the menopause, women have less estrogen which can lead to weaker bones and teeth, and even develop as far as osteoporosis. So making sure you fill your diet with bone supporting foods, is super important. Here are five simple steps you can take starting today:

1. BONE BROTH DAILY

Drink a cup of fresh chicken stock, also known as bone broth, daily like medicine. When the bones are boiled for many hours in water, they begin to crumble, leaving deposits of calcium and magnesium in the water, which now becomes stock or broth. A really successful stock/broth should be like gelatine at room temperature. You can add this to stir-fries, soups, and sauces if you prefer not to drink it on its own. I’m including a recipe from my book at the end of this post. The recipe is using chicken bones, but you could use any animal bones. You can often buy bags of bones at local butcher shops. Calcium and magnesium are needed for strong bones and teeth. In my experience it is better to get calcium from a real food like this, rather than a supplement, as calcium supplements can cause constipation and an imbalance in the ratios of other minerals in the body. But you need sufficient levels of D3 and K2 in the body, for the absorption and uptake of the minerals from your stock/broth into your bones and teeth. Which leads to the next point…

2. TAKE VITAMIN D3

Take a regular vitamin D3 supplement. In winter in the UK, it is hard to get enough D3 from the sun through the skin and the levels in foods are low. For healthy bones, choose a product that also contains K2. As mentioned, both D3 and K2 are needed to get the minerals into your bones and teeth. Follow dosage instructions on the label.

3. AVOID COLA

Avoid cola drinks, whether diet ones, or with sugar. Cola contains phosphoric acid which may prevent bones absorbing calcium from your food.

4. TAKE VITAMIN A

Vitamin A is important for healthy bones and teeth. Have a piece of liver or organ meat once a week for the most absorbable form.

5. ENJOY REAL BUTTER

It also contains vitamin A, and helps you absorb more vitamin A from vegetables such as carrots too if eaten with it at the same time. Many foods work synergistically and are designed by nature to be enjoyed together!  A growing body of research indicates butter is not the issue with heart disease. Sugar is the main problem.

Recipe from The Gut Makeover by Jeannette Hyde 

REAL CHICKEN STOCK 
(Makes at least one litre)

Chicken carcass and bones, meat picked off

1   washed celery stick

1   washed carrot, topped and tailed

1    onion, peeled

2    bay leaves

1 litre  filtered water

Put the chicken carcass and bones in a large saucepan and add enough water to completely cover the chicken, but do not fill it up too much or the stock may turn out too watery.  Add the celery, carrot, onion and bay leaves.

Bring to the boil, then simmer with lid on for 3–4 hours, or cook it for an hour in a pressure cooker. Leave the stock to cool, then pour it through a sieve and discard the bones and vegetables. Pour the clear stock into several containers (I usually divide into four/five containers’ worth from the bones of one chicken).

You can keep the stock in the fridge for 4–5 days or you can freeze it and defrost when needed. If you like, you can also pour the stock into an empty ice-cube tray to give you smaller portions of stock that you can pop out, a few at a time, when needed to go into soups, stir-fries and stews.

October 20th is World Osteoporosis Day and High50 is delighted to support its efforts to draw attention to it. Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men aged 50 years and over will suffer an osteoporotic fracture.  Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and fragile, so that they break easily – even as a result of a minor fall, a bump, a sneeze, or a sudden movement. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can be life-threatening and a major cause of pain and long-term disability.

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