Best Foods for Healthy Bones

 

Build a strong structure

When it comes to building strong bones, there are two key nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. Calcium supports your bones and teeth structure, while vitamin D improves calcium absorption and bone growth.

These nutrients are important early in life, but they may also help as you age. If you develop osteoporosis, a disease characterized by brittle and breaking bones, getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D may slow the disease and prevent fractures.

 

 

Understanding Bone Health

Your bones may seem rock-solid, but they could be at risk for a condition called osteoporosis, which can make them brittle, weak, and prone to breaks. The good news is that proper nutrition and exercise will help keep your bones strong for life.

Calcium is essential in building strong teeth and bones, and it may even keep you thin. Get your daily dose with these 10 figure-friendly meals that pack plenty of calcium.

Adults up to age 50 should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 200 international units (IUs) of vitamin D a day. Adults over 50 should get 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 IU of vitamin D.

Get these nutrients by trying these foods for healthy bones:

Cheese

Just because cheese is full of calcium doesn’t mean you need to eat it in excess (packing on the pounds won’t help your joints!). Just 1.5 ounces (think a set of dice) of cheddar cheese contains more than 30% of your daily value of calcium, so enjoy in moderation.

Most cheeses contain a small amount of vitamin D, but not enough to put a large dent in your daily needs.

Milk

There’s a reason milk is the poster child for calcium. Eight ounces of fat-free milk will cost you 90 calories, but provide you with 30% of your daily dose of calcium. Choose a brand fortified with vitamin D to get double the benefits.

Can’t get three glasses a day? Try blending milk into a smoothie or sauce.

Eggs

Though eggs only contain 6% of your daily vitamin D, they’re a quick and easy way to get it. Just don’t opt for egg whites—they may cut calories, but the vitamin D is in the yolk.

Yogurt

Most people get their vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, but certain foods, like yogurt, are fortified with vitamin D.

One cup of yogurt can be a creamy way to get your daily calcium. Stony field Farms makes a fat-free plain yogurt that contains 30% of your calcium and 20% of your vitamin D for the day.

And though we love the protein-packed Greek yogurts, these varieties tend to contain less calcium and little, if any, vitamin D.

Tuna

Tuna, another fatty fish, is a good source of vitamin D. Three ounces of canned tuna contains 154 IU, or about 39% of your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin. Try these low-cal Tuna-Melt Tacos as a way to sneak in vitamin D and calcium.

Sardines

These tiny fish, often found in cans, have surprisingly high levels of both vitamin D and calcium. Though they may look a bit odd, they have a savory taste that can be delicious in pastas and salads.

Spinach

Don’t eat dairy products? Spinach will be your new favorite way to get calcium. One cup of cooked spinach contains almost 25% of your daily calcium, plus fiber, iron, and vitamin A.

Salmon

Salmon is known for having plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but a 3-ounce piece of sockeye salmon contains more than 100% of your vitamin D. So eat up for your heart and your bones.

Orange juice

A glass of fresh-squeezed OJ doesn’t have calcium or vitamin D, but it’s often fortified to contain these nutrients. Try Tropicana's Calcium + Vitamin D to get a boost of these essentials.

Also, studies have shown that the ascorbic acid in OJ may help with calcium absorption, so you may be more likely to get the benefits of this fortified drink.

Fortified cereal

Certain cereals - like Kashi U Black Currants and Walnuts, Total Whole Grain, and Wheaties - contain up to 25% of your daily vitamin D. When you don’t have time to cook salmon or get out in the sun, cereals can be a tasty way to get your vitamin D.

Collard greens

Like spinach, this leafy green often enjoyed south of the Mason-Dixon Line is full of calcium. One cup of cooked collards contains more than 25% of your daily calcium. Plus you can easily sneak it into your favorite foods, like this über-healthy frittata.

Compiled by: R. Sawas

 

 

 

Back to basics: Yoga for a stronger back

 

Back pain can result from poor posture, badly designed furniture, lack of exercise or even an injury.

Yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your back. It can help maintain good posture, improve circulation and heal injuries. Try these basic postures to relax your muscles and release the tension in your back. Remember that yoga is best practiced under the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Lie on your stomach with heels adjoined. Raise your body and support the chin/face with your palms. Elbows remain on the ground. Those with severe back problems can keep their elbows apart and as the back becomes better slowly bring them closer so that they ultimately touch each other.

Maher Taki

  

Soybeans, excellent source of protein

 The soybean originated in China and has been cultivated there for over 13,000 years. It was first introduced into Japan before becoming popular in other Asian countries.

Soy food products come in many forms such as soy milk, soy flour, soy hot dogs, soy burgers and soy cheese.

The simple sugars raffinose and stachyose found in unfermented soy foods are not digestible and can cause flatulence and abdominal discomfort.

Health Benefits of Soybeans

  • Nutrients

Soybeans are an excellent source of protein and molybdenum. They are a very good source of iron, calcium, phosaphorus, and dietary fiber. They are a good source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E and folic acid. They also contain other health promoting compounds, including phytosterols, lecithin, isoflavones, phytoestrogens, and protease inhibitors. The amino acid profile of soy is a little low in methionine and tryptophan, but is still regarded as an excellent source of protein, soybeans (38% protein), soy flour (40 to 50% protein), soy protein concentrates (70% protein), and soy protein isolates (90 to 95% protein).

  • Reduce LDL Cholesterol

Increased consumption of soy foods has been associated with reduction in LDL cholesterol in both clinical and observational studies. Human studies have also shown that soy protein is effective in lowering plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.

  • Cancer Prevention

Soybean consumption is thought to be one of the major reasons for the relatively low rates of breast cancer and prostate cancer in Asian countries.

Results of numerous studies are suggestive of a possible relationship between phytoestrogen intake and reduced prostate cancer risk.

The results of the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study suggest that a high intake of soy bean curd (tofu) might have preventive effects against the risk of ovarian cancer.

  • Testosterone

 

There has been some evidence suggesting a mild inverse relationship between soy protein intake and testosterone levels in males. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that a 12-week supplementation with soy protein did not decrease serum testosterone or inhibit lean body mass changes in subjects engaged in a resistance exercise program.

 

  • Coronary Artery Disease

In a study of forty-one hyperlipidemic men and postmenopausal women it was concluded that consumption of soy products reduces coronary artery disease risk because of both modest reductions in blood lipids and reductions in LDL cholesterol, homocysteine, and blood pressure.

1. Soy contains amounts of oxalate and individuals with a history of oxalate-

Containing kidney stones should consume soy in moderation.

2. Genetically modified soybeans should be avoided if possible.

3. Women with estrogen-sensitive breast tumors should restrict or avoid

Consumption of soy.

Compiled by: RaghdaSawas

 

 

Carrots, The Crunchy Power food

  Forget about vitamin A pills. With this orange crunchy powerfood, you get vitamin A and a host of other powerful health benefits including beautiful skin, cancer prevention, and anti-aging. Read how to get maximum benefits from this amazing vegetable.

Benefits of Carrots

  • Improved Vision

Western culture’s understanding of carrots being “good for the eyes” is one of the few we got right. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.

Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts. A study found that people who eat the most beta-carotene had 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consumed little.

  • Cancer Prevention

Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Researchers have just discovered falcarinol and falcarindiol which they feel cause the anticancer properties.

  • Anti-Aging

The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism.  It help slows down the aging of cells.

  • Healthy Glowing Skin (from the inside)

Vitamin A and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.

 A Powerful Antiseptic

Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts – shredded raw or boiled and mashed.

Carrots are used as an inexpensive and very convenient facial mask.  Just mix grated carrot with a bit of honey. See the full recipe here: carrot face mask.

  • Prevent Heart Disease

Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.  Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein.

The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots bind with bile acids.

  • Cleanse the Body

Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fibers present in carrots help clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.

  • Healthy Teeth and Gums

It’s all in the crunch! Carrots clean your teeth and mouth. They scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes or toothpaste.  Carrots stimulate gums and trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria.  The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage.

  • Prevent Stroke

From all the above benefits it is no surprise that in a Harvard University study, people who ate more than six carrots a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot a month or less.

 

Compiled by: Raghda Sawas

 

 

Health Benefits of Pomegranate Juice

 Pomegranate juice has become popular in the past few years, but does it really live up to the hype? It looks like it.

Several recent studies have shown significant potential health benefits from drinking pomegranate juice. Here are eleven:

1-    Fights Breast Cancer

Recent studies show that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It may also prevent breast cancer cells from forming.

2-    Lung Cancer Prevention

Studies in mice show that pomegranate juice may inhibit the development of lung cancer.

3-    Slows Prostate Cancer

It slowed the growth of prostate cancer in mice.

4-    Keeps PSA Levels Stable

In a study of 50 men who had undergone treatment for prostate cancer, 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day kept PSA levels stable, reducing the need for further treatment such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

5-    Protects the Neonatal Brain

Studies show that maternal consumption of pomegranate juice may protect the neonatal brain from damage after injury.

6-    Prevention of Osteoarthritis

Several studies indicate that pomegranate juice may prevent cartilage deterioration.

 7-    Protects the Arteries

It prevents plaque from building up in the arteries and may reverse previous plaque buildup.

8-    Lowers Cholesterol

It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol).

9-    Lowers Blood Pressure

One study showed that drinking 1.7 ounces of pomegranate juice per day lowered systolic blood pressure by as much as 5 percent.

10-     Dental Protection

Research suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may be a natural way to prevent dental plaque.

11-     Protects from Alzheimer's disease

It may prevent and slow Alzheimer's disease. In one study, mice bred to develop Alzheimer's disease were given pomegranate juice. They accumulated significantly less amyloidal plaque than control mice and they performed mental tasks better.

 

Compiled by: Raghda Sawas